Lakshmi Drake (nee Banner) | Streatham & Clapham High School

“I applied for a Business Management course having enjoyed Business Studies classes so much at SCHS”

Lakshmi Drake (nee Banner)
Class of 2006

In August 2006 I received my results for A-levels in Business Studies, Geography and Maths. I didn’t quite make the grades for my conditional University places but knew that I would be happy at any University on a Business Management course, having enjoyed Business Studies classes so much as SCHS. So, with a huge amount of support from the staff at SCHS, especially at such a nerve-racking time, I started the process of going through clearing. After many hours on the internet and nervously making calls from a room just off the Sixth Form common room, I had a number of invitations for University interviews all around the country.

As soon as I drove onto the campus at University of Southampton I knew it could be somewhere I could call home, but first I had to get through an interview with the Undergraduate Admissions Tutor from the School of Management! The University already knew my grades, so the interview was more about my enthusiasm for their BSc Management course and how I had prepared myself for it. Without a doubt, the various extra-curricular activities I did at SCHS helped the tutors decide to offer me a place, particularly the leadership skills I’d developed from being St. Andrew’s House Captain, tutoring the Year 7 dance club in my lunchtimes and completing Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Just goes to show- grades are important but make sure you’ve got some relevant extra-curricular activities to make you stand out from the crowd!

After throwing myself academically and socially into University life- holding positions including Course Rep, President of the Management Society and Social Secretary of Bencraft Halls, I graduated with a BSc (Hons) Management (2.1). In such troubled financial times, I decided to jump straight into the job market, even though many of my friends decided to go travelling.

After a stressful four months of looking, I got accepted onto the Graduate Trainee Scheme at a marketing agency based in Richmond. At the end of 2009, I was offered the role of Digital Marketing Executive working on a number of clients. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work on award-winning digital marketing campaigns (mainly emails, websites, social media and display advertising), been promoted, put on a performance based fast-track programme to become an Account Manager and recently achieved the promotion to Digital Account Manager. This March, I was recognised as one of the UK marketing industry’s rising stars as the youngest winner of Promotional Marketing’s 30 under 30, definitely my career highlight to date.

Without the continual support from friends, teachers and staff at SCHS, I wouldn’t be the confident and driven young woman I am today. I still live in South London, meet up with lifelong friends I first met at SCHS and will always have such great memories of SCHS, even though I left five years ago.

Although I’m usually too busy at work to keep it up to date- you can see what I’ve been up to on my blog –

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