State Talking with Levenshulme High School

Castlefield co-owner and Chartered Financial Analyst, Pooja Shah, was recently invited to give a talk on behalf of Stretford Charity, State Talking to a group of Manchester schoolgirls.  

In this article she explains what motivated her when she was a young girl, and how she hopes her talk can inspire the next generation. 


I have always believed that no one is born with motivation in life, a person needs to gain it, via a process. At the tender age of 12, I attended a talk by a remarkable speaker at school about understanding the value of money. She truly left a mark on my future. Motivation plays a vital role in enabling children to effectively deal with the complicated and quickly changing environment at school and beyond. It is a defining factor that turns a good and creative thought into immediate action. Given these unprecedented times, children all over the globe have been lost in the pressure of virtual learning. At this moment, motivation and encouragement are of significant importance.

State Talking is a Stretford-based charity, with a mission of connecting Greater Manchester state school pupils to relatable role models. Local heroes, from Bury-born chef Mary Ellen McTague to Wilf Walsh, CEO of Carpetright who grew up in Salford, are amongst 90 speakers with a local connection who signed up to deliver exclusive talks. When I was presented the opportunity to talk to the next generation about my qualification as a chartered financial analyst and my work as a financial adviser, I was thrilled!  

My talk was programmed through a zoom call with Levenshulme High School for Girls. I talked about my career to date, how I got here and why I chose Manchester over London to further my goals in the financial services industry. Since Castlefield specialises in providing ethical advice, I also used this opportunity to introduce the girls to the world of ethical finance and how money can be used to make a positive difference. Millennial professionals are becoming choosier about the businesses and brands that they associate with, starting with employment and filtering down to everyday purchases, and I believe this trend is likely to follow with the future generations.  Clear generational demand for businesses to move towards more sustainable practices can prove to be a real turning point.  

This talk was an excellent experience for me. Somehow, by sharing my positive experiences of working within financial services as a woman it felt like I was giving something back to the community and making a difference. Maybe even inspiring some of the next generation to become female advisers in a traditionally male-dominated industry.  

The children in school today are the future of tomorrow, I sincerely hope my talk helped these young minds in some way. As Bamigboye Olurotimi quoted, 

“You can't go wrong by investing in the youths, youths are game changers, and creative thinkers”. 

 Written by Pooja Shah


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