Scholarships nurture talent: Matthew’s story

The Futures Scholarship programme awards talented students with up to £4,500 and enables them to access guidance and careers support from a dedicated coordinator. The scholarships are funded by Bristol’s alumni and friends and the support they provide gives students the security to focus on their studies and pursue their interests with enthusiasm. Read on to hear from economics and mathematics student Matthew, who is among the first cohort of 33 Futures Scholars graduating this year. 

In my final year at the University, I secured a graduate position with Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (LCP), as a pensions actuarial analyst. My position involves a blend of analysing the financial costs of risk in pension schemes and liaising with clients. In this role I’ll be able to use soft skills whilst also having the opportunity to solve complex problems, which is why I was overjoyed with the offer.

Laura, the Futures Scholarship Coordinator, encouraged me to apply for opportunities within the University very early on which helped me develop all the skills I needed to succeed. In my first year, I was selected as the vice-president of Riverside Junior Common Room at the Students’ Union, representing over 600 students. In my second year, I became treasurer for the Economics, Finance and Management Society. Then, in my final year I became the secretary of the Bristol University Actuarial Society and the head of finance for Epigram, the University of Bristol’s student newspaper.

The Scholarship Coordinator also encouraged me to enrol in a social mobility programme called upReach, where I received in-depth one-to-one career support and took part in mock interviews to prepare me for job applications. I was also offered insight days at Bank of America, Citadel, and HSBC. Initially I was apprehensive to apply to large firms like these, but upReach improved my confidence during the application process. All of this has led to my successful assessment and graduate position at Lane Clark & Peacock LLP.

Through the Futures Scholarship, I accessed employability funding, which I used to pay for accommodation and travel to assessment centres. I also bought a webcam for remote interviews and shirts so I could look professional when meeting prospective employers. The employability funding has been essential in my success; it removed the financial barriers involved in securing a graduate position.

The Futures Scholarship is vital in guiding students from lower income backgrounds; it allows us to pursue our passions and funds the leaders and thinkers of the future.

If you would like to support more students like Matthew, go to our Alumni website to make a donation. 

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