Fraser joined Langley in 2007, leaving seven years later with A-Levels in Biology, Geography, and Psychology. He went on to study Biology at the university of Birmingham and here we find out how his career path led him to becoming a chartered accountant.
Which of Langley’s extra-curricular activities were you involved in?
Once I knew the degree I wanted to do, I took part in the biology Olympiad as this helped bridge the gap between school and university in terms of knowledge. I was also heavily involved in sport at school, and for my earlier years perhaps spent more time doing sport than focusing on my studies. As I moved into the latter stages of school life I tended to focus more on rugby and played for the 1st team throughout Sixth Form and followed this up throughout uni and now post education. I enjoyed the social side of sports like cricket during the summer too.
Have these activities helped you since school?
Inherently there is always some transferable skills that sports bring as you work in a team from an early age. I noticed that the social side of sport particularly helped with interview skills as you learn to chat to other teams after games and it allowed for soft skills to develop when looking for jobs post university. The team environment and camaraderie is transferable in pretty much every facet of life.
After school, how did you career begin?
I started my career with a small accountancy firm in London before making the decision to move to a larger global firm towards the end of my training. The move allowed me to understand both smaller owner managed businesses and how they are run alongside larger multinational corporations. Starting in auditting also allowed me to train towards the ACA chartered accountancy qualification, which will be beneficial as I move forward in my career. Coming to the end of this ACA course has been a career highlight as it has been quite the undertaking.
On reflection, did your time at Langley help your attitude towards career choices and progression?
I don’t think my time at Langley really influenced my decisions with regard to the avenue I wanted to go down. More so I was given the opportunity to do what I enjoyed and I was given the platform to go from there. I would say that my time at Langley helped to a certain degree with regard to progression opportunities due to how busy I was all the time, be it balancing sports and academia or any of the other extra-curricular activities on offer, it all helps with what’s required later down the line as you enter the world of work and learn to prioritise certain tasks in order to progress in your chosen field.
What advice you would give to students considering their A-Levels or careers?
I would genuinely do what you want to do, lots of people do A-Levels based on what they think will look good but they don’t necessarily consider whether they will be able to achieve the grades required to get into their choice of university. A more rounded subject selection may allow you to get what you need while also developing other skills and interests. So I’d think carefully on that.
I would also say set yourself an ambitious goal because with a little bit of hard work and focus you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. I’m sure many of my ex teachers will probably have a giggle over these pearls of wisdom given the very relaxed approach I took to studying in my formative years, but to be fair to them they do know what they’re on about and genuinely have your best interests at heart. On this point I’d say listen to the advice you’re given and act upon it. You need to make use of what the teachers tell you and act upon their advice so you can improve as far as your ability will allow.
Your fondest memory of Langley?
I have to say spending every weekend and evening going to different schools to play rugby. It’s something that you can only really enjoy at school so enjoy it while you can.
I’d like to express my sincere condolences to the Greenhall family, after hearing about Mr Greenhall’s passing. As I’m sure will be the case for other ex students, I have many fond memories of him both in a sports environment and on tour.
I’d also like to give a big shoutout to Mrs McRobert for giving me the tough love I needed at my Lower Sixth parents evening, as without this I probably wouldn’t have gone to the uni I went to and achieved what I have post education.