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News 2 > OL Spotlights > Shabbir Merali (OL 2010).

Shabbir Merali (OL 2010).

Full Name
Shabbir Merali

What year did you leave John Lyon (Class of)?

What did you do after leaving John Lyon?
After JLS, I studied Bsc Economics at UCL specialising in international and financial macroeconomics.

Can you describe what you have done in your career so far?
After graduating, I started my career in finance at PwC, specialising in M&A financial modelling and becoming a CFA charterholder and an ACA qualified accountant. I then moved to Westminster to work in politics - first as the Economic Adviser to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and then to the Secretary of State for International Trade and the Foreign Secretary. After which I moved to 10 Downing Street, to work as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister. Since leaving Westminster, I am a Policy Fellow at Cambridge University, Policy Fellow at Onward think tank, and Director of Intelligence at CogX, an AI start up.

How did your experience at John Lyon prepare you for/or shape your future?
My experience at John Lyon set the trajectory for my career path. The focus on academic excellence and extra curricular opportunities at the school, enables pupils to get a head start in life. But more importantly, it's the confidence and grounding that the school offers that I hugely valued when I started out in my career.

What has been your proudest achievements so far?
Advising Prime Ministers in 10 Downing Street was a particular highlight as was launching a new AI platform - using technology which will change all of our futures.

What was your fondest memory from being at John Lyon?
I look back at 6th form Maths and Economics lessons with close friends and excellent teachers,with great fondness. Alongside Wednesday afternoons spent playing football in the rain on Sudbury playing fields!

Are you still involved with the School and if so, in what way and why is it important for you to be involved in this way?
I was honoured to be invited back to the School last year to give a talk to 6th form students on career paths, especially in politics. I think that's such an important age - when you begin deciding what you want to do after leaving school. I found it invaluable hearing stories of people's career paths at a similar stage and I think it's important to pass those experiences on.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a current pupil?
To focus on learning skills and impact, and the rest will follow.





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