Ana Speed

BA Sociology (2009)

Investment Analyst, Bond Dickinson
(formerly Dickinson Dees LLP)

Profile

I have always had a keen interest in social structures and interactions and studying social sciences at the University of Birmingham provided me opportunity to critically engage with key political, social and economic issues facing contemporary societies.

During my time at the University of Birmingham I was actively involved in the debating society. I also chaired the student staff committee for the Sociology department, for which I was awarded the Outstanding Student Representative award 2009. In both of these positions, I was able to develop the reasoning and presentational skills needed to put forward effective arguments and I quickly realised that I would be suited to a career involving an element of advocacy and strong analytical skills. This prompted me to explore law as a potential career choice.

After graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2009, I moved to London to study the Graduate Diploma in Law, before later moving to Newcastle to complete the Legal Practice Course. My time at law school highlighted that I enjoy working creatively with clients to anticipate events that might affect them in future, and to find constructive ways forward. This is a key aspect of private client work and prompted me to apply for my current job as an investment analyst in the financial arm of a national law firm, Bond Dickinson (formerly Dickinson Dees LLP). In this role, I work closely with businesses, trustees and high net worth individuals to protect and maintain clients’ wealth. I work closely with legal and tax colleagues to devise financial planning strategies for clients involving tax mitigation and inheritance tax planning, as well as portfolio changes to address clients’ changing needs. I am also responsible for the day-to-day management of the client relationship and preparing advice in relation to investment, pensions and protection issues. And, as many graduates are finding these days, I am yet to finish studying! Alongside working, I am currently studying towards the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The graduate market is increasingly competitive, and employers are looking for students who are able to demonstrate that they have more than good grades. My advice for current students would be to seek out work experience, get involved in extra-curricular activities and use your time at university to find out exactly where your skills and interests lie.

Course Information: Sociology BA

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