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Alumni Stories - Peter Blackman

Hi Class of 2020

Congratulations on graduating. Commiserations it’s been an unprecedented (sic) end to your undergraduate studies. Nevertheless trust you have fantastic happy memories of Warwick. I know it was a major contribution to my philosophy of life and how I’ve lived it. Yes, 1975 was a long time ago. But as now it was a time of slump and really hard to find a job. It took me over 100 applications before I was selected to join the NatWest Graduate Management Programme. I had twelve great years with NatWest and when I left (on ethical principles despite being tiered for an excellent career had I stayed) I went on to have a varied and fruitful working life.

Now I’m semi-retired I’m busier than ever! And still using the skills and life-philosophy I gained at Warwick. The photo shows me as at present I’m an essential NHS volunteer and you can see I’m also a Guide Dog Puppy Walker – that’s also something my wife and I did for the first time whilst I was at Warwick – because we answered the regular advert in the Coventry Evening Telegraph for volunteers for Guide Dogs because of their centre in Leamington – all our pups still come from the National Breeding Centre there.

So for what it’s worth my suggestions for you are: Be Proud – you are Warwick graduates; persevere and be broad minded about the sort of future you seek; you may ‘fall’ into something unexpected and find it both satisfying and developmental. I learnt a great deal of skills for a wide range of work from those first years with NatWest and I was surprised to be a banker. Later it took me to the British Bankers’ Association where I had responsibility for agriculture, risk and lending management, small & medium businesses, charitable appeals and the environment – so I worked with the International Panel on Climate Change and went to the 1995 Berlin Climate Change Conference. You never know what life will bring. Enjoy!


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