High-flyer’s assured progress in finance

High-flyer’s assured progress in finance

After gaining straight A* grades in his four A-levels, Drew Williams opted not to go to university but instead entered straight into the world of financial services.

Just 19 months later, Drew (OE 2005-12) is already attracting attention in his chosen field, having been shortlisted for the national Apprentice of the Year award. His firm, Ernst & Young, which nominated him for the award, has also made him a Student Ambassador, a role that involves him in promoting its School Leaver Programme and speaking to prospective students.

Drew, who joined the four-year programme in October 2012, is specialising in Banking and Capital Markets.

A popular pupil, he was also an outstanding sportsman at School. He captained the First XV rugby team in his final year and while in Year 12 was the First XI wicket-keeper when the QE tourists convincingly won the Read Trophy on their visit to Lancashire. He took A-levels in Mathematics, Economics, History and Politics.

Drew set his sights early on the Ernst & Young (EY) School Leaver Programme, choosing not to take up the place he was offered at Durham University. In addition to his day-to-day work in EY’s Assurance division, he is given time to study for his ACA chartered accountancy qualification.

“What I enjoy most about the programme is the emphasis on practical experience gained through working for various clients,” says Drew. “Exam preparation is a combination of ‘block release’ to study courses and a lot of home-learning, which can be difficult to balance with full-time work. There are also regular in-house courses focusing on best practice; the next one will be in Amsterdam, so I am especially looking forward to that! Additionally, I enjoy the role of Student Ambassador.”

In a recent interview with the London Metro newspaper, Drew said: “I knew at School that I wanted to go into financial services. Since starting at EY, I have gained an appreciation of just how respected the ACA qualification is. The other skills I have learned, such as teamwork, communication and time management will stand me in good stead for my career.”

He is thoroughly enjoying his career so far and, although he did not win the Apprentice of the Year title, he attended the awards ceremony with the other nine shortlisted candidates at the Grosvenor Hotel. The ceremony was hosted by TV celebrity Jonathan Ross and was “a great experience,” says Drew.