John Rooney, Corporate Actions Administrator at Rathbone Group Plc, explains
why he chose to pursue a career in Financial Services...
Which school did you go to?
Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby
What qualifications did you take for GCSE and A level?
Maths, English Language, English Literature, French, German, Geography, History, ICT, Physics,
Maths, Physics, Economics, Further Maths (AS)
What CISI qualification did you take at school and why did you decide to study for and take that qualification?
IOC: Introduction to Securities & Investment
I decided to take up my school’s offer of this qualification as I was keen to look past the short term hurdles of
A-levels and University, and aim to achieve an advantage in the job market come graduation. As an introductory module, I
thought this would offer a good foundation for a world of investments.
Did you go to University? If so, which one and what degree were you awarded?
Newcastle University – Economics Bsc (Hons) – 2:1 Classification
How did the CISI qualification help you in your career?
I definitely think having just that introductory module of the IOC put me ahead in the job market. The growing
competitiveness of the graduate job market these days has made it imperative to differentiate yourself from fellow
graduates. Regarding my specific career working in operations departments of large investment management firms, I will
always say that the first module of the IOC taken at school laid the building blocks of it all. It fuelled my interest
in the finance sector, specifically in dealing with securities, and the knowledge gained all those years ago is still
extremely relevant. I have since built on this by taking and passing further exams.
Why did you decide to follow that career?
I honestly believe that the introduction to securities and investment module positively impacted my choice of career. I
was always inclined to aim for a career in finance. Studying economics at A-level opened my eyes to the economy at a
micro and macro level. Alongside this, commencing my studies for the IOC complemented it perfectly – I was hungry
to learn the technical details of the investment sector, and the IOC module supplied the foundation level. With my
numerical skills, I was instilled with the confidence that I could flourish in the investment sector, and even back then
I was planning for further IOC and CISI exams I could take in the future.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying a CISI qualification at school?
It’s a must if given the opportunity. The benefit of having a qualification from such a well-respected
organisation in the wealth management sector is invaluable for school-leavers and graduates alike. Whilst having a
professional qualification may seem like a luxury you can’t afford – sixth form/college years are
particularly stressful as it is – it really will pay off if you dedicate some time towards it. It’s an
investment that will yield itself valuable when it’s time to enter the job market – showing not only the
technical knowledge you will have learnt, but demonstrates a dedicated, knowledge-thirsty character to potential