FAS student goes from scientist to financial adviser

London-based Nasima Ali is preparing for her next round of exams with the training organisation and hopes to become a self-employed adviser.

Ms Ali took a biomedical sciences degree at university and, after graduating in 2009, progressed to a job in a busy district hospital where she worked in the pharmacy department.

At the hospital, she realised her strengths lay elsewhere and, impressed with the way her mortgage adviser had helped her, she decided to get work experience at an advisory firm.

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She said: “During my work experience, I gained a true insight into the industry and had the opportunity to meet and work with advisers.”

But her plans to work there full-time were thwarted when the firm was forced to close.

She then discovered the FAS. She said: “I knew I had to take exams to qualify as an adviser and I knew that because I was new to the industry I would require assistance with my course.”

She eventually enrolled with the school’s spring 2013 entry, and hopes to join the Sesame network on graduating.

She said: “The school enables you to gain experience, not only with the knowledge aspect of the programme, but also the practical side as well.”


The FAS was launched by Sesame in 2011, and will welcome its 100th candidate this autumn. In July, FAS director Lisa Winnard said the industry needed to “take action” to develop, bringing in new blood and apprentices.