Mary-Grace, a Year 13 student from Brampton Manor Academy, shares her story of being an Uptree member and all the experiences she's had being part of this national professional network.
Mary-Grace (second from right) at the Future Talent Awards, 2019
How did you hear about Uptree?
I heard about Uptree through an assembly they had at my school when I was in Year 12. Funnily enough, I was actually absent from the assembly but a friend passed on all of the information to me. I didn't realise how signing up for the company would be the start of something amazing.
(New students can sign up for free here: www.uptree.co)
Tell us about your experience of the Future Talent Awards!
My experience was honestly life-changing.
When I got the email that I was short-listed to Top 10, I was so sure that would be the end of my journey, full of doubt that my little experience would be credited compared to others. However, after being short-listed to the Top 3, being posted on the Uptree website (www.futuretalentawards.com) and invited to JP Morgan for the awards ceremony, I was full of joy! I began to feel so proud of the steps I've taken in the legal sector and how what I may not have seen in myself, others have seen and awarded.
Mary-Grace on stage with the other two finalists for the Future Lawyer of the Year award
I was in a beautiful office in Canary Wharf, surrounded by young entrepreneurs, writers and scientists.
Mary-Grace with other finalists at the Future Talent Awards, 2019
Hearing their journeys and achievements inspired me more and made me realise that this is the only beginning of my story. I realised how many opportunities there are out there for me and that the world is truly my platform (I hate to sound cheesy).
All in all, the Future Talent Awards was the beginning of my journey, helping me create an amazing network of young professionals, as well as growing a relationship with the sponsors of my award, Clifford Chance, and Uptree, who helped me see beyond the mere achievements I have now.
You can view all the finalists and winners here: https://futuretalentawards.com/shortlists
How has being part of Uptree helped you?
Uptree has helped me because of the versatility of their opportunities and how accessible their platform is. I have learnt so many different things through them, attending an open day at a Magic Circle law firm, a conference at one of the Big Four accountancy firms, EY and a Personal Development Session at Uptree's London offices.
Uptree has helped me become multi-faceted in my skillset and to have a greater knowledge of applications for jobs, internships and work experience, which is something I have and will continue to experience at every stage of my life. Their genuine support, care and assistance really helps me maximise the insight days and experiences I have to my best potential and I am thankful they always give me a chance.
What advice do you have for other students in your position?
Be open minded
There is nothing wrong with having a specific industry but always explore others in the professional world, there is a lot of interrelation and you may find interest in the crossover between industries as your niche. For example, law and how technology can be used to innovate the industry.
Aim the absolute highest you can and push yourself. There is nothing wrong with dreaming to work in Dubai, for example, or open a new technology business! Ultimately, we are the future of the workplace and we can shape the way it is by understanding how it is now & identifying gaps in the market, all linked to our professional interests.
Believe in yourself and take initiative
What stops people achieving and growing in their career is believing they are not good enough or that they will not be accepted into certain experiences. Ultimately, build up your portfolio by asking for opportunities as well, building relationships through professional networks and truly maximising the chances you are given. I have personally asked for LinkedIn profiles and emails of people working at companies I have visited and have been able to shadow them, have networking lunches to learn about the company and more. This is all by ASKING!
LINKEDIN LINKEDIN LINKEDIN!
Everyone needs to make an account; there are not only job opportunities but you can look at the experiences of people and their journeys to success. The inspiration and wide scope on LinkedIn really motivates me, you learn how much there is to do in the world, as well as top tips and advice from people already where you want to be.
Uptree would like to thank Mary-Grace for sharing her experiences with us and we are certain that she will go on to great things in the future!