Ella Stonier-Watson began her Caulfield Grammar School experience at Malvern Campus as a four-year old ‘preppie’.
“I was very lucky in that I had an amazing school experience, which speaks not only to Caulfield as a school, but also to my cohort”.
Key moments of her schooling life included receiving her pen license, gaining leadership roles and early experiences of being away from family on camps, and in particular, the Year 2 sleepover at the Malvern Mansion!
Ella graduated in 2018 from Caulfield Grammar as Co-Captain of Caulfield Campus. After school Ella jumped straight into university and work to pursue her passions. She found this transition straightforward and enjoyable, particularly having the liberty to decide how to use her time.
“The lack of structure after being in school is quite a shift so I find I can keep myself accountable to have productive periods and rest periods, whereas during school this was modelled for us.”
Ella’s journey has reinforced to her just how critical it is to ‘put yourself out there’. At university Ella joined a society which enabled her to develop her network and gain an internship at a hedge fund, VP Capital, where she still works today. Stepping into her first corporate job was a critical turning point for her career. While Ella fully intended on becoming a lawyer after school, her internship experience in finance opened her world to new possibilities.
“This realisation probably took me three years; it did not happen after one conversation or one day of work!”
As a woman in finance, Ella has been tenacious in making her way through the industry. Having a broad range of mentors has aided her in pursuing opportunities, making difficult decisions and inspiring her to keep at it. Although there are many challenges in the finance field due to its fast-paced nature and the significant amount of time and dedication required, Ella loves the evolving nature and challenge of her workplace. In the future, Ella would love to see more women having amazing careers in finance, whilst also having a family.
“I was lucky enough to see this modelled by some amazing women during both of my investment banking internships and I hope to see more of it.”
Ella is about to embark on an incredible journey overseas to study at the University of Cambridge. One last piece of advice she imparts on future cohorts is to: “try anything and everything – the easiest way to make a decision is to start ruling out options.”