Claire Thompson

Financial Services

CT Alumni

I studied at St Mary’s between 1996-2001. After leaving, I went on to study at the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, before starting work for a financial adviser. I then left in search of a higher income, taking a job at a call centre. Whilst this was great, it occurred to me that it was a job with a ceiling in terms of salary, which led me back into the financial services industry – this in combination with further study has led me to my current role as a senior corporate financial broker. I have found that the gender pay gap has been a bit of a struggle so far in my career, but I have managed to work around that barrier over time, nevertheless, I would suggest that it has been a challenge. On the other hand, achieving my fellowship was a massive highlight of my career, and it is always extremely self-fulfilling to consider just how far I’ve come in my career to now, relative to where it started.

In terms of my time at St Mary’s, I look back fondly with great memories of Mr Doyle and Mrs Grant especially, who always made me feel like I matter, such was their inspirational nature. I also particularly enjoyed English as a subject, it was always particularly interesting and thoughtprovoking to me.

In terms of advice, both for my younger self and those currently at St Mary’s, I would suggest that it’s vital to focus on learning – friends come and go but education can set you up for life. It’s also important to have a positive mind set and a willingness to work hard; take the opportunity to learn from anyone who is willing to share their knowledge, as experience will take you far.