Former student Jonathan Sturges has returned to Brooke Weston to feature in a film reminiscing about his time here and his experience of meeting one of the school’s founders, Garfield Weston.
Mr Sturges, a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, spoke to a film crew in the grounds of Brooke Weston. His segment will be incorporated into a presentation that PwC is preparing for Associated British Foods. Following the interview Mr Sturges had a tour of the school and then spoke to some of our Sixth Form students about career options and his experience in the accountancy and professional services sector.
He said: ‘I was a student here from 1992 to 1999. I travelled to London with the first Principal, Mr Newman, and three or four other students to meet Mr Weston for his 65th birthday and retirement. I was tasked with carrying what felt like this huge cake across London on the buses and tube. I was a small boy with this huge cake and the terror that I was going to ruin the whole day and the whole surprise!
‘We met with Mr Weston and spent a couple of hours with him, he really chatted to each of us and told us his story of how he came through the family business. Even though I was very young it was one of the most vivid memories I had of that time as a student.’
After filming, which took two hours, Mr Sturges spoke to Sixth Formers about his career including studying Economics at Cambridge University and working abroad. He said: ‘At PwC there are four parts of the business – Assurance, Tax, Deals and Consulting. I sit in Assurance mainly doing audits of companies but also doing other advisory work. It has been a great career, not least because you get a chartered accountant qualification that gives you the opportunity to go anywhere. It allowed me to spend several years working in the US so there is a lot of variety. You need to like your numbers and have a good attention to detail. As I have got more senior you step away from the technical stuff and it becomes more about interactions with people and relationships, managing projects, getting to know people and finding ways of helping them with things that they are struggling with.
‘I told the students about what is available, not just in my company but within the industry as a whole, how it tends to work and what you can do as Sixth Form students to get a bit of experience such as short term placements and the types of programmes that all of the big companies like PwC and Deloitte are doing by partnering with universities. They came up with some good questions and were really engaged.’
‘I am convinced that the education I got here was much better and much better suited for me than any other school in Kettering and Corby during that time. That is the stuff that really carries you forward because the grades get you into university and the degree is a route for those opportunities but for professional services firms like PwC, their main asset is their people. Your main skills come down to how you interact and manage people and understand where they are coming from so I have fond memories of my time at Brooke Weston.’