Career story: studying for a degree while working

27 May, 2021Mutahara Gofur

1618935173491Daniel Heger is an Internal Auditor at Barclays. He’s worked in construction, in warehouses and as a lorry driver and became a full-time mature student while working and starting a family. He tells us about fitting his studies around his life and what he loves about working in banking and finance.

I loved my last job, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do long-term. So I talked to colleagues who’d transitioned from a role like mine to an office-based one.

From there, I did a business and administration qualification at college. My tutor suggested going to university because I did well in my business and administration course. I came to an open day at LIBF, which helped me understand what I’d get out of it but also what I wanted to do career-wise.

I really liked that the university specialises in banking and finance and that I’d get a niche expertise from it.

Going from working full time as a lorry driver to university was difficult, but I loved it.

Before I started, I had no idea about the different areas of finance or the role banks play in the industry. I found it fascinating and it opened my eyes to how a banking degree could help me.

How to fit studying around work

My first year was hard. My wife was pregnant, and eventually we had our son, while I was going to university four days a week and working for the other three.

But you must be ready to make sacrifices and work hard. I learned to plan everything I needed to do a month ahead, whether that was for work, studying, or my personal life.

I’d encourage anyone to go for it because there isn’t anything to lose. Going from being a lorry driver to working in finance – I was making a huge transition.

I eventually realised that it was only three years of my life and once they’d passed, I would have a degree and more opportunities.

You can’t stop time. But you can use it to achieve something that will put you in a better position and open more doors for you.

Working in banking and finance

The best thing about my job is all the opportunities. Before working in finance, my career options felt limited.

The work environment is very supportive at Barclays. When I first started, I had the choice to either stay in my first role and become an expert in that field or upskill and explore other areas.

I started as an auditor in operational risk, then moved into markets, and now I’m specializing in electronic trading.

Working in finance, there’s always that motivation to keep progressing and deliver on your goals.

Right now, I want to become an e-trading expert. Maybe in the future, I’d like to go down the business route and transition to a front office role. I’d also like to boost my academic profile and perhaps do a postgraduate qualification in banking to continue developing my knowledge.

Related content

We support the progression of under-represented groups in banking and finance through our REACH programme – including by encouraging mature learners to study with us.

Our next REACH event takes place on 10 June and is for mature learners.

Find out about REACH and register your interest

More about the higher education we offer