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Icenian Interview – Dena

Dena Al-Nakeeb

Dena Al Nakeeb croppedI joined Langley in Year 10, along with my younger brother Ali, after having started my education in Amman, Jordan. Moving from the Middle East to the UK was a huge culture shock for me, however, Langley was a place I quickly felt comfortable and made some lovely friends – with teachers and pupils alike.

I studied Psychology, English Literature and Theatre Studies for my A Levels. Following this I attended the University of East Anglia to study a BSc in Psychosocial Sciences (a combined course involving Psychology, Sociology and Biology). I then continued further education at UEA taking a postgraduate diploma in Child and Family Psychology. Strangely enough, I didn’t pursue a career in that field but instead moved to London to pursue a career in finance. I wanted to utilise the fact that I spoke Arabic, and understood the culture, along with having a career in a stable and secure industry.

My fondest memories of Langley are CCF and Mr Cooper, who promoted me to Colour Sergeant Major, and of course the dinner ladies’ desserts!

As I didn’t study finance at uni, and didn’t even have any A levels in Business or Maths – I had to be rather creative in my applications. I decided to write some cover letters to Middle Eastern banks, explaining the importance of psychology within the banking and finance sphere – the importance of understanding clients’ needs, along with being able to accurately assess their risk appetite.

After sending through a dozen CVs, I finally got an interview with Gatehouse Bank. I was soon after hired as the Assistant to the Chief Investment Officer, who has been my mentor ever since and someone to whom I credit my entire career. He taught me that Google was my best friend and to invest in my new career by taking exams in finance. Luckily it all worked out, and I am now a Senior Relationship Manager at Europe Arab Bank, looking after a portfolio of more than 400 clients and assets under management of £500 million. The moral of this story – it doesn’t necessarily matter what you studied at university – what matters is having the drive and motivation to get to where you want to be, in order to live the life you envisage for yourself.

My fondest memories of Langley are CCF and Mr Cooper, who promoted me to Colour Sergeant Major, and of course the dinner ladies’ desserts! The jam roly-poly was the winning ticket for me (I can almost taste it now as I write) – I genuinely used to sink to such underhand tactics as cutting the queue when it was that dessert!

Published On: September 22nd, 2021Categories: Icenians, News

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