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  • Zoe Upson


    I truly owe a lot to St Bernard’s

    I was quite a handful in my younger years at St Bernard’s and, if it was not for the strength and care of certain teachers and for the fantastic friends I made (who are still my good friends), I would not be where I am today.

    In the Sixth Form I was made a member of the Head Student Team and enjoyed getting to know the senior staff through holding this post.

    I went to Reading University and graduated with a 2:1 Honours degree in Philosophy.
    I ran a small promotions business during my second year at university  -  a weekly student night which was great fun -  and kept funds flowing nicely. 

    After graduation, I came back home and secured a position in a shipping recruitment agency which led me to my present job.  I am currently working for a company called Freight Investor Services in the City of London.  I work as a Fuel Derivatives Broker.  I was trained from scratch and started my employment working on a desk broking forward freight agreements before moving over in October 2012 to my current position.  I work in an office full of men!  (There are two girls on the broking floor – and a few more in the office and research.)  The hours are long (7.25 am to past 6.00 pm); you have to be thick-skinned and hungry to succeed.

    I feel this is an industry that still lacks women (similar to the shipping industry, the oil market and the broking / finance sector in general).  It would be great to have more St Bernard’s students choosing to work in these areas.

    “When you are at school you do not realise what an impact your education will have on your life and the places it will take you.  St Bernard’s was a big part of my foundations.  If you have strong solid foundations, you can build anything you want, knock it down and re-build something new if you desire.  However, without good foundations, you will not build anything at all.”

    "St Bernard's is a welcoming, friendly and inclusive school. The lessons are engaging and the teachers are supportive. I've really enjoyed my time at St Bernard's so far!"

    — Year 10 Student