Norman Dalgleish

Norman completed his doctorate in maths and geology. His first position after this was as a statistical analyst at Safeway. He then took a role as a trainee fund manager at Scottish Widows in Edinburgh, and he is now a financial adviser at Turcan Connell.

The following text is a transcription of a career story collected by interview.

"My name is Norman Dalgleish, I am a financial planner at a legal firm called Turcan Connell. It's predominantly giving financial advice to individuals, trusts and smaller charities.

"When I decided to go to university, it seemed natural to go and do maths, that was the thing that I was best at and enjoyed most, so that was an easy decision really at that time. Through my undergraduate I changed from maths and physics to maths alone, so then I ultimately graduated with maths and statistics.

"I was going to get a reasonably good degree and felt I had a lot of options, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do. And then literally I can remember one day, wandering along the corridor, on a pin board was a piece of white A4 paper advertising if you want a PhD that was coming up that summer in statistical analysis of long-term climate change.

"Doing my PhD, really, I mean it's one of the key things that I've achieved in my life, it sort of gave me a lot of opportunity, through necessity also, but to work on my own, to become a researcher if you want, to become inquisitive.

"When I was coming towards the end of my PhD, I certainly was, I had no preconceptions, I, I did look for a quite a few research jobs. The honest answer about why I didn't end up doing that kind of thing is that actually, at that point in my life, I actually wanted a bit more structure in my working environment.

"The position with my PhD of where I was relatively unsupervised has changed a lot today, and would not be the same today. I saw myself as being sort of a numerate, computer literate person, who at least on paper was good at research, had good research skills, and I just went out looking for an interesting application of those skills. And a friend was studying down south and he sent me an advert for a job with Safeway, and I had a couple of trips to London and some interviews and they offered me the job as a statistical analyst. I stayed with Safeway for two years and then after a combination of things – predominately meeting a girl who lived in Scotland – I got a job with Scottish Widows in Edinburgh and that enabled me to come back to Scotland.

"So that job was as a trainee fund manager, so working in the investment part of Scottish Widows. What you might term as a, a stock market analyst, an equity analyst. I loved that job, I did it nearly for nearly five years at Scottish Widows and then I got the chance to move to another company in Edinburgh to do the same job essentially for, and I was there for two years.

"I then got made redundant. It was quite a good test for me being made redundant because for the previous years to that I had developed a feeling that actually I'd seen a lot of people be made redundant and it, virtually all of them, a year later were happier than the day before they lost their job. The investment world's a strange world where you deal with large sums of money, but you are very, very divorced from the person whose money it is. What I wanted was to be closer to that individual person and really that was when I decided to become a financial advisor, the job I do today.

"I think the postgraduate research world has evolved a lot for the better in terms of the sort of structures in place to provide support, and the awareness of the need for support for assistance for genetic skills training, but also making sure that people fit to the timescale that's allotted to them because, time is money."