Volunteer profile – Abid Mian, Quantitative Analyst at MUFG

Abid Mian is Quantitative Analyst at MUFG. Abid has been actively involved on the Year 10 Mentoring Works programme with Beacon High School in Islington, via BIG Alliance. Read on to hear about Abid’s experience and why he chose to volunteer.

Why did you decide to volunteer on this specific programme?
I’ve been volunteering with other organisations for a few years, inspiringthefuture.org being the main one. In part it was the result of guiding my own children and but mainly my own experiences when I was at school back in the dark ages. I’d always loved maths and back then I didn’t have the mentors to advise on what career paths there were with a degree in maths or what it could lead to, so I ended up doing the next best thing; Engineering. This led to a career in engineering design, followed by a Phd in applied maths and then later an MSc in Financial Maths, which brought me to Investment Banking. It turns out the two are compatible, since the main skill set is problem solving. So a few years back I decided to pass on what I’ve learnt from my (slightly) random walk along my career path.

How have you found the programme so far? What have you enjoyed?
The programme is really well organised by some of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met. The mentees are on the whole great with some needing a bit more engagement to bring them out of their shell, which is part of the reason for doing this, i.e. to observe the change is a young person as they grow in confidence and ability.

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of it?
I have a couple of aims for the programme; firstly to try and encourage more young people to want to study STEM (hopefully at the best universities). But also, while the future hasn’t been written yet, I’d hope that the miniscule nudge of mentoring has a positive impact on their prospects.

What advice would you give to your colleagues who are thinking about volunteering?
These programmes are fantastically rewarding and any would be mentor would be surprised at how much they can pass on to a motivated young person with dreams and ambitions, no matter what their background, experience or age. In fact often I’ve learnt something from these youngsters, simply because they provide a perspective I hadn’t appreciated. If anyone is considering joining the programme, I’d recommend that they try it out; the most likely scenario is that it works out well, in which case you won’t regret it.

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