BSc Hons Applied Physics and Electronics, 1983, Pendle
Following Lancaster I initially worked in oil exploration in Saudi Arabia for 5 years before taking an MBA at Cranfield. I then went into the City, working initially for a firm that provided services to insurance companies. My then employer went into liquidation (a very good career move and to be strongly recommended as a learning experience). I moved into private equity where our fund acquired, restructured and sold second-hand insurance companies. We closed out our fund at the end of 2006 (fortuitous timing) and distributed profits to investors. I then joined PwC - initially in London, transferred to Boston and more recently have been seconded to Tokyo where I advise clients on the acquisition, restructuring and post merger integration of insurers.
All of them! Arriving for my interview in the middle of a snowstorm, my first day, the beauty of the countryside all around – and the rain and the damp! Mainly though my memories are of the friendships I made at Lancaster – many of which continue 29 years later – and the great times we had. The last week of term after 3rd year finals with all the events, our very last night sitting in front of the Plough in Galgate and then finally – my incredible sadness at leaving Lancaster on that final Saturday morning for the drive back to London.
It was a turning point in my life and probably changed me more than any other place I've been. I was extremely happy at Lancaster – and have been fortunate to have been increasingly happy since.
Lancaster was very good to me – and I was fortunate to go to university at a time when not only were your fees paid but the government also actually paid you for attending via the grant system. Today's students aren't quite so lucky. While there are benefits in investing in your education rather receiving it for free (I certainly worked much harder during the MBA I had to pay for than during my BSc), I've always felt that it would be good if the tax system charged people like myself (who benefited from a free education) an extra 1% on our incomes with the funds raised going directly to the universities we attended. It's good to give something back and to provide opportunities for those studying at Lancaster today and in the future.