My career journey

I don’t recall receiving much in the way of career advice when I was young, aside from loving and well-meaning parents who told me to follow my passions. Looking back, I would really have appreciated some guidance on the world of work and how your educational choices at a young age can steer the way that you spend the next 40+ years! 

So, armed with a love of sport from an early age and A levels in English, French and P.E., I studied Sport and Physical Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and expected to pursue a career in physiology or sports medicine. 

However, after University and a helping hand from my brother who worked in the City, I took a temporary role in the banking industry. I then joined RBC and here I am 20 years later.

I considered myself very lucky to have rather painlessly moved from a good sports degree to a job with a global bank. It strikes me that it’s much more difficult for graduates today; their CVs are literally littered with qualifications and it’s incredibly competitive to land a job. A handful of people took a chance with me and it was the break I needed.

My first job was settling trades for our asset management clients and I did that for three years. I got my head down, learnt quickly and was always curious. I guess that was my first lesson. It struck me that if I understood what my colleagues were doing, what the next department was doing and how these activities all hang together, I could add more value to the business and our clients. I like to think I’ve continued to do this throughout my career.

Those first three years were a great foundation; I learned that the client is everything and I really enjoyed making a difference to their investment process. I naturally moved on to client servicing roles and then spent ten years preparing client materials for our sales and relationship management activity. 

The role provided terrific exposure to all areas of the business, allowed me to work with colleagues all over the world, extend my knowledge and develop commercial awareness. 

I have always had a passion for writing. Over those 10 years, I prepared literally hundreds of client materials so there was no shortage of practise.  

I joined RBC’s Corporate Communications team in 2014 by chance really. At that point, I still didn’t really know what my career was, but that all changed the minute I sat down at my new desk. I am now responsible for media relations in Europe and Asia, and writing and editing is a full time role.  I can use my knowledge of the business every day to implement communication strategies to inspire and motivate colleagues, develop corporate culture and protect and enhance RBC’s reputation internally and externally. I really enjoy it.

I would also say that I have developed resilience over the years and this has served me well through many changes in the business.

Ben Adams

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, RBC Wealth Management

Take the Lead is a free employability programme from The Old Vic for students aged 15–18. This programme is created in collaboration with schools and businesses and draws on The Old Vic’s expertise as a theatrical institution to support young people to take ownership over their next steps after school and prepare them for the working world of the future.