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Finance expert gives career top tips

Clare Francis (OS 1994) returned to the school to speak to Business Studies and Economics pupils about her career in the finance industry and answer questions from the A-level pupils.

Clare, who is now a Director at Barclays, heading customer engagement and content for a new service designed to make online investing quicker and more straightforward, gave an interesting insight into the steps she had taken since leaving Stockport Grammar School and university.

Having read International Studies and Politics at the University of Birmingham, Clare had work experience at The Sunday Times the summer before completing a Masters in War Studies at King’s College London. Expecting to be placed on The Times Foreign Desk given her academic background, Clare spoke about how working for six weeks in the Money section opened up a career path in financial journalism which she had never considered before.

As her first job, Clare spent five years as a Personal Finance Journalist at the Independent on Sunday, before returning to The Sunday Times as Assistant Money Editor for another five years. In 2008 she became Editor-in-Chief of MoneySuperMarket, focusing on consumer affairs and public affairs strategy.

During the talk, Clare spoke eloquently about how her job as a journalist enabled her to build up contacts in the industry, and how networking had led to progression in her career. She also gave tips to pupils on being open minded as to which job areas to work in and stressed the importance of making the most of opportunities that come along.

Head of Business Studies and Economics Miss Leanne Curl reiterated the importance of taking opportunities such as work experience whilst still at Stockport Grammar School as a way of learning about potential career paths and building contacts that may be useful in life after school.