Education & Deciding What To Do
At school, Kate wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she was grown up. She chose subjects that she enjoyed as well as subjects that would keep her career options open for the future.
When deciding what subject to study at university, she was still undecided. She loved music and was her best subject at GCSE and A-Level. She was beginning to love physics and applying maths to everyday experiences. Kate chose a Physics degree, she originally started on an Astrophysics degree but converted to a physics degree whilst choosing her subjects.
Kate’s Early Career
She graduated and got her first job selling science equipment, everything from high power lasers to light sensors (like those used in particle detector labs). This was a lot of sales and not really what Kate wanted to do.
Kate knew she loved Energy from her degree, she lived learning how the solar panels worked and why humans are changing the climate. She converted to a 2-month temp Energy Analyst job. Kate worked really hard to keep this job and helped out with other departments and eventually got a permanent job at this company. She stayed here for 6 years comparing the costs of energy and reporting why these costs were fluctuating. Kate found herself enjoying the job, but not learning as much as she would like.
The Start Of Kate’s Finance Career
One day, Kate got a call from a recruiter for a job as an analyst for a finance company. Kate worried about her knowledge of the market, but she had transferrable skills that would make her a perfect fit. She got through the interview stages and was offered a job at ION Group.
Today she is Head of Research at ION Group. ION Group is responsible for creating software for banks and traders to run their operations within their company. It makes it easy and efficient.
It houses lots of market data which tells them what their competitors are doing. This is really useful as it tells them what investments they are making, what countries they are going to, and which markets they are going to. This is a lot of data which is very useful for companies.
What Does Kate Do?
ION Group also owns lots of smaller companies, like Acuris Studios. Kate was working at Acuris Studios when it was bought by ION. Acuris make reports and events for banks and other companies.
Kate works on a lot of White label reports. These are reports produced by reporting companies, like Acuris, but all the reports have the branding of another company. It could be companies like HSBC or KPMG who are 2 big clients Kate has worked with. Kate’s role is to make sure the data behind all the charts in the reports is accurate and correct, whereas editors and designers give the report the correct branding.
There are 2 main roles Kate needs to fulfil for each report :
- To analyse massive amounts of data and pull out the key findings and hand this over to the designers to make it easy for a company to understand.
- Kate also has to write questionnaires to be sent to high-level people, like CEOs, to find out more about their company or their market. Kate has to create the questions and then analyse the results before handing this over to the designers to make them easy to read.
What Does Kate Love About Her Role?
Kate loves her job as she gets to play with numbers all day long and turns the data into a story. She also gets to learn something new all the time and she now knows loads about the corporate finance world, whereas she didn’t know much when she first started. At ION Group, Kate gets to work with an international team and also gets to visit them from time to time. And finally, she is proud of what she produces in this role and its all-new information that people find interesting and helpful.
A massive thank you to Kate Fox from ION Group for leading a session in Easter Explore.