22 March 2023
In conversation with Andrew Neil, Investment Writer, Financial Services
At the Futures launch event in February, we caught up with many of our alumni making waves in the working world. One such alum was Andrew Neil, who has landed the role of Investment Writer at a leading global investment firm. On account of his success, we sat down with Andrew to share his Futures Story.
Tell us about your current role
My current role involves writing and editing content focused on financial markets and investment themes. There’s a lot of variety in the subject matter. Some articles focus on big macroeconomic topics, like inflation and interest rates, while others explore thematic megatrends like tech innovation, the future of healthcare, and environmental sustainability. I get the opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in the business and craft compelling stories for investors of all shapes and sizes.
What made you choose this career path?
The 2007–2008 financial crisis sparked my interest in both finance and the media. This led me to Christ Church in 2009, where I studied multimedia journalism. After graduating in 2012, I landed my first job as a financial reporter for a UK publishing house. Over the last decade I’ve worked as a financial journalist in London and New York. More recently, I’ve switched from newsrooms into the financial sector itself, putting my editorial skills to the test at financial firms.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
I’m fortunate enough to be able to speak to leading economists and subject-matter experts on a regular basis. Talking to thought leaders is always a great privilege and learning experience. Finance is a global industry, so it’s a great space to connect, collaborate and build relationships across markets and regions. I also enjoy researching and writing about the risks and opportunities facing investors in an increasingly complex and uncertain world.
What are your goals for the future?
After learning about the financial industry mostly on the job as a journalist, I’m deepening my knowledge and adding to formal qualifications over the next few years. In 2022 I obtained the Investment Management Certificate (IMC)—an entry-level qualification into the UK investment profession. It provides a good foundation for those looking to go further into finance. More broadly, I hope to keep learning about new content approaches and technologies. It’s important to keep an open mind as industries evolve.
University isn’t just a learning phase, it’s also about planning for success and setting the stage for a meaningful career. In that sense, building up belief in my own abilities was one of the big impacts from my time at CCCU.
What advice would you give to aspiring investment writers?
Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of helpful advice during my career. I’d highlight three things:
- Have a hunger to learn. Finance can be technical and often you need to research, probe and investigate to make your content credible.
- Networking and collaboration are critical. Make sure you build relationships to enhance your knowledge and boost your career opportunities.
- Be creative and get to the heart of a good story. Content is everywhere, so winning the competition for attention is important.
How did you come to study at CCCU?
I grew up in Kent and was lucky to have historic Canterbury on my doorstep. After discovering CCCU’s multimedia journalism course and team of experts, it felt like the right place to be. I was able to study print, TV, and radio production, as well as media law and shorthand. Importantly, studying at CCCU allowed me to stay close to family but also make lots of new friends and professional contacts along the way.
What is your fondest memory of your time at University?
Visiting the CCCU campus in 2009 was my first experience of film, TV, and radio studios. The facilities were impressive then and have only improved since. I have fond memories of creating live broadcasts and covering real local news stories alongside course mates. Projects didn’t always go to plan, but they were always high adrenaline! Graduation day is another great memory. Canterbury Cathedral is an awesome setting for a ceremony.
How did your studies impact your life and career?
University taught me how to work and, in some ways, live independently. It also allowed me to explore different interests and find out what my strengths were. University isn’t just a learning phase, it’s also about planning for success and setting the stage for a meaningful career. In that sense, building up belief in my own abilities was one of the big impacts from my time at CCCU.
What does being a CCCU alum mean to you?
Former students often become informal ambassadors for their respective universities. I’m often in situations where I can provide some perspective on campus life, media courses and CCCU’s attributes. Hopefully this encourages the next generation of students to begin their journey. Aside from that, I’m proud to have been a part of one small chapter of CCCU’s long history, which now spans over six decades.
What made you want to tell your story and contribute to Futures?
Sharing individual stories is not meant to be just an avenue for self-promotion, it’s a way to inspire others, exchange ideas and make new connections. CCCU provided me with platform to learn, grow and build a career. Contributing to the Futures programme is a chance to stay in touch with individuals at a great institution, give something back by supporting students, and for me to keep learning and adapting in the years ahead.
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