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Resettlement success

Mohamed C
Forces: Army

Mohamed C - Rfn

Mohamed Conteh served in the Rifles Regiment for over 6 years but decided to leave the Army in pursuit of achieving his career ambitions in the world of finance.

Mohamed's Military Service & transition

Mohamed served in the Rifles Regiment for over 6 years. He reflects on his military career as life affirming, but not without its challenges:

“My experience in the Army was challenging, but being in the Army has shaped me and better prepared me for the rest of my life. It really was a life changing experience and I wouldn't trade that for anything. The comradeship, the support, the welfare and the team work were the best.”

Before enlisting, Mohamed aspired to be a Chartered Accountant and worked as a Trainee Accountant for KPMG. After investing over 6 years in the Armed Forces, Mohamed decided to leave the Army in pursuit of achieving his career ambitions in the world of finance. In his transition from the Armed Forces, Mohamed had to overcome a considerable number of challenges. The first step was to complete a top up Finance and Accounting honours degree, to refresh his knowledge and catch up to the industry standard.

“My transition was hard! I wouldn't say it will be the same for everyone as all our circumstances are very different, but my transition was difficult”.

In addition to a tumultuous period of bereavement in his family, Mohamed encountered issues with housing whilst attempting to relocate to London for his studies - issues that were compounded by the challenge of adapting to university as a mature student having served in the Army for almost 7 years. Mohamed sought the emotional support he needed and persevered. He attributes his diligence and determination to succeed to the qualities instilled in the Armed Forces:

“I was able to overcome all these issues as I was taught in the Army to never give up. I was also attending counselling from the university Chaplain”.

The Project Fortis Experience

Having a clear objective kept Mohamed motivated.

“I have always wanted to become an Accountant, even before joining the Army. In my early twenties, I used to work for KPMG as a Trainee Accountant and I really enjoyed it. So I always said to myself that I would love to become a Chartered Accountant in the future”.

Towards the end of his Accounting and Finance degree, Mohamed was very proactive in his search for employment. He used all the elements of support available through the Project Fortis network. He got connected to 3 mentors who could provide the career support, feedback and introductions he needed.

One of his mentors, James, working in Corporate Banking, had the perfect professional knowledge and experience related to Mohamed’s career ambitions. James proved to be very influential in Mohamed’s transition.

“James offered me practical advice and has given me a invaluable insight into potential opportunities in the world of Finance”.

Mohamed supplemented his mentor’s advice by attending a NHS Step into Health Careers insight day hosted by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. A valuable part of the day was the opportunity to network with members of the recruitment team, which provided a gateway into the NHS.

Mohamed's Progress

Mohamed’s perseverance and resilience has paid off, and now he is working towards achieving his dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant. He was successful in his job application and has been working as a Finance Trainee for NEL CSU - a NHS organisation that provides expert support and advice to clinical commissioners. Mohamed has assumed his new role comfortably, and has been working in this position since July 2016.

Mohamed’s success can be attributed to his pro-activity. By connecting with several mentors and attending a Project Fortis employer event, Mohamed increased his chances of success – with very specific career support from his mentors, he gained valuable industry insights and identified what would otherwise have been hidden work opportunities.
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