Ten Questions (Don't worry about the final destination) James Bottrill (OV1995)

1.Your full name (and last name at school, if different) and years at BVGS?
 
James Bottrill, 1989-1995

2. What are you doing now?
 
I am living in Richmond upon Thames for last 11 years, married to Nicole with a four year old daughter, Charlotte who just started Pre Kindergarten. I have worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for almost 15 years now.

3. What's a typical working day for you?
 
Getting up at 7.00 then helping get my daughter ready for school, then actually getting her to school on the bike. Traveling in from Kew Gardens to the City catching up with Market information & emails on the train. Once in the office armed with a strong coffee I catch up with my team, fielding any overnight queries. After that my day varies depending on day of month, at start of month my days are largely focused on coordinating my teams work load whereas the later parts of the month there are far more meetings on projects looking at improving IT architecture.

4. Have you ended up in the job you thought you'd be in when you were a teenager?
 
Yes and No, I always wanted to work in Finance industry but the role I am in is not something I was even aware existed when I started out.

5. What's the best/ worst/ most unusual thing about your job?
 
The best thing about the job is getting to work in London in both a cosmopolitan city & industry with an array of people from different backgrounds, I have learned a lot about different cultures, the countries and most importantly which restaurants are not to be missed.   
 
The worst thing about the job is it the recent environment we operate in means the industry has attracted much bad press, what that means in practice is we have to justify our activities to many regulators/auditors and compliance teams on a daily basis which detracts from the good things about the role. I think we have turned a corner and the industry has adjusted but things were certainly more cavalier ten years ago and that made things interesting.

6. What would you say to BVGS pupils who are interested in a career in your industry?
 
I would not get to fixated on your final destination, my own experience tells me if you want to work in finance industry in general you need to have a quantitative/analytical mind but don’t wed yourself to one particular role people are more focused on potential to learn. What I would also suggest is do your homework, the world of investment banking/trading is intense there are some options that I was oblivious to from the outset. Why do I say do your homework, first and foremost the job you think of today has every chance of being moved or becoming redundant in its current form. Robotics will automate processes and trading has become increasingly electronic and as has long been the case, you may even have to look overseas for certain roles.

7. What's your best/ funniest/ most vivid memory from BVGS? 
 
I remember mostly having the games teacher, Mr Crawshaw, as your form tutor meant most punishments involved press ups. I remember a few days where we needed a larger form room and a dusty blazer from ensuring it was all the way down. 
 
8. What was your favourite subject/ teacher/ classroom/ school trip etc?
 
My favourite teacher would be difficult, the more eccentric end of spectrum tend to dominate the memories for amusement but i think the teacher I owe most to would be Mrs Wright, Economics as a topic gave me a steer for my future career, and as I have realised that which you like and are good at tends to hit a sweet spot.

9. How many school mates are you in touch with now?
 
Sadly I have not been good on this front but maybe re-engaging with some school events can fix that and Brian has already made a visit to my office.

10. What are you reading/ watching/ listening to at the moment? What was your favourite TV programme at school?

I have been a season ticket holder at Arsenal for a number of years and this is my escapism at the weekend and a few weeknights. I also enjoy watching Rugby and live within walking distance of Twickenham so get there a few times a season. Music wise I have been listening to Adele and was fortunate to go to her last concert at Wembley before she cancelled the final shows through illness.