During the first week of term 3, I was presented with the unbelievable chance to attend the 2016 UBS Finance Academy, which consists of a week away in Sydney developing an understanding of financial career prospects and building our leadership skills. It was quite an unreal feeling knowing I had been selected from over 2000 applicants. Prior to the trip, I was unsure and anxious about what it would be like, as I knew no one. It was a very foreign area for me, as I have never experienced anything like this before.

On the first day we flew up to Dunmore Lang College where we spent the week. It was excellent accommodation and the food was just awesome. The majority of our days were spent either at UBS, which is the largest investment bank in Australia, learning about the career paths and completing our weekly case study, or at Dunmore Lang College, carrying out several leadership and public speaking workshops. Aside from the long days, starting at 9am and finishing at 8pm, this was an invaluable experience, not only from the insight into banking and finance fields but the chance to better myself.
Perhaps my biggest fear before going was what the people on the camp would actually be like. I had an idea in my head that they would be stereotypical nerdy people, as it was a finance camp, but it was anything but. They had a joke and made the trip so memorable. I’m confident in saying that some of these people will remain friends for a long time.
At the conclusion of our experience, we were required to present a case study of a company in a unique way, where we competed against our peers. Unfortunately we did not win but it was good to have something to show for our hard work all week. We then ate on the 16th floor of the UBS building overlooking Circular Quay, before saying our goodbyes.
Looking back at this experience, I can happily say it was one of the best week’s of my life. The skills and friendships were invaluable and I have a far clearer idea of where I would like to pursue a career. In the coming years, anyone that has an opportunity to apply for this should do so, as it is something that you will never forget. Thankyou UBS.

Jakob Ayres