Alumnus of the Month: March 2022
George Pepper is our Verulam School Alumnus of the Month for March 2022. George left Verulam School as a student in 2016 and now works for PwC in Manchester.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get into this role?
I joined Verulam in 2011, having previously been at a Primary School in Radlett. I completed my GCSE’s, gaining 4A* and 7A’s and then left Verulam in 2016 to move up North to Cheshire. Here I studied for my A-Levels; Maths, Chemistry and Economics, and then went on to the University of Birmingham, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree with Honours in Economics in the summer of 2021. These academic achievements and relevant work experience allowed me to secure a graduate job at PwC in Manchester as a Deals Associate. My first rotation is in Business Restructuring Services, but the main focus is studying to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant across the 3-year graduate scheme. I will also rotate across Deals to Forensics and Corporate Finance.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
Obtaining a 2.1 BSc Economics degree from the Uni of Birmingham during the pandemic is one of the biggest achievements of mine. Adapting to online learning and exams for my final year was very tough but personally I believe it helped me work smarter. Furthermore, securing a graduate role at a company such as PwC, particularly during the pandemic where graduate roles were heavily sought after and unemployment rising, was a major achievement.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
I believe that its perfectly okay to not know what you want to do with your career whilst in secondary school. Make choices for GCSE subject and A-levels that combine what you enjoy and what you achieve highest in. However, apprenticeships are an equally great way to start a career as they get you ready for working life much sooner. For the profession I have just started you need to be very self-motivated because studying for exams whilst having a full-time job is a tough balance to strike. Also, be confident in your own ability, you are in this position for a reason, and you shouldn’t undermine your own achievements.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
Achieving highly in my GCSE’s obviously put me in a strong position, but there were many other experiences that I will never forget. Firstly, I played a valuable part of the Verulam football team at RB/RM that won 5 district championships in a row from 2011-2016. Furthermore, I played rugby for the school, typically at fly-half, where we won a couple of county championships in rugby union and reached the national semi-finals in rugby league. Not to mention winning the district championship with the school cricket team against the odds. All these experiences taught me vital skills such as leadership, discipline, and teamwork.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories
I was in Park house throughout my time, and I remember we seemed to win the Verulympics most years. One of my fondest memories is the two jam packed ski trips we went on to Kitzbuhel in Austria. These trips, along with the Lake District and Blue Peris, were incredible learning and social experiences that I was so fortunate to go on.
At this moment in time, I have achieved the Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB), which is the first 6/15 exams to become a ICAEW Chartered Accountant. I am currently getting stuck into my first rotation in PwC Deals in the Business Restructuring Services line of service. If all goes to plan, I should be a qualified accountant by September 2024!
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re an alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.