Ross Faulds - Glasgow University
Make Your Mark Ambassador 2021/22
“When I was going for traineeship interviews, my learnings from Make Your Mark definitely helped,” Ross begins.
It will take seven years of study for Ross to qualify as a solicitor, five studying law at Glasgow University and then two as a trainee with a law firm. Unsurprisingly, having already invested so much in his studies, those traineeship interviews are high stakes and highly charged.
“Susan spent a session going through how to be professional but friendly. I knew professionalism was important but understanding that employers want to see some of your personality and how to do both, that was useful. But Susan also shared techniques to control your thoughts, your breathing, and that helped me feel more in control. Interviews can be stressful but being able to calm myself and focus, these techniques made a difference.”
Ross aced those interviews to secure a traineeship, yet until participating in Make Your Mark he’d never had any support to develop the non-technical skills, that clearly helped him secure it.
His opportunity to attend Make Your Mark came about thanks to Baillie Gifford, an investment management firm, who offer Susan’s coaching programme as part of their 12-week summer internship.
“Baillie Gifford has created a great workplace and their people genuinely seem to care and be cared for. Their internship left a great impression on us all. Make Your Mark was a big investment by them in us and it was just such a positive experience. I wish more employers took their lead and offered something like this. We just don’t get this type of development as part of our education and now more than ever we need it,” says Ross.
Ross describes how he feels a lot of young people he meets are unsure about putting their views forward or are underconfident in their own abilities.
“Not putting yourself forward seems a cultural thing with young people right now and the pandemic hasn’t helped, lots are just shier from being in lockdown for years. It’s inspirational stuff that Susan shares, like how I discovered on her programme that everyone has this inner critic, that was a bit of a ‘Eureka’ moment for me to be honest. It’s made such a difference to my thinking.”
And Ross believes this learning offers enormous value for other young people, which is why he’s become a Make Your Mark Ambassador; a voluntary role that sees him sharing his coaching experiences and encouraging his peers to take advantage of a similar free-to-attend programme available to students. For, having seen how powerful her programme proved to be for Baillie Gifford’s interns, Susan now runs a free-to-attend Winter School each year for up to 100 students.
“I want to grow my career by being an asset to others - becoming an Ambassador felt like a great place to start to do that,” explains Ross.
“Make Your Mark is brilliant for our age group, it’s the perfect time to start developing these skills, yet it’s not available to us in the classroom and most students simply don’t have the money to access this type of coaching experience. What Susan’s offering with her annual student school is a great opportunity and I wanted to be a part of helping spread the message so more students benefit from it.”
Ross shares his reasons for wanting to become an Ambassador weren’t purely altruistic though.
“It’s inspirational the stuff Susan shares and being an Ambassador gives me the opportunity to remain involved with Susan and the programme. As Ambassadors we get ongoing access to coaching and that’s so helpful. Because what coaching gives you is time. The time to think things through and to think about those things that are so important but that we usually think much less about. There are so many sessions you sit through as a student where you are just watching the clock, but with Susan you are engaged the whole time. What she says really resonates. The best way I can describe it, is that she is sharing something you’ve always known but you’ve never been able to crystallise into words or anything actionable. This programme makes it actionable and when you draw on it, when you put it into practice it just helps you… it helps you a lot.”
Ross Faulds is in the final year of his law degree at Glasgow University, which is where he’ll remain next year to complete his post graduate diploma. He’ll then embark on a two- year traineeship with Scotland’s 4th largest independent law firm, Thorntons LLP to become a solicitor in 2025. He has an interest in corporate and intellectual property issues and is particularly fascinated by start-ups and entrepreneurship.