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Get to know your old scholar community. Each month we'll introduce you to an old scholar so you can get better acquainted with your peers.

2 February 2024

Old scholar Emma Stone (2013) has just won a position as Innovation Manager with The Gunners, more formally known as Premier League Football Club Arsenal in North London. The Future Pathways team reconnected with Emma to ask her some questions about what she’s been up to since graduating from Pembroke.

What future pathway did you consider whilst you were in Year 12?

I thought that I would study Law and become a lawyer, mostly because English was my favourite subject and I really enjoyed persuasive writing. When I went to university, I studied a Double Degree in Law and Commerce (Accounting) as I wanted to try and keep as many options open as possible as I wasn’t 100% sure of what I wanted to do.

Were there any moments that you changed your mind about what you were studying?

Because of the way the double degrees are structured, after I had completed my accounting degree, I started working full time in a business advisory role at Deloitte, whilst finishing my Law degree. Getting real life work experience was probably the first time I fully understood how many opportunities are available for graduates and how adaptable various degrees can be. I had always believed that: Law Degree = Lawyer and Accounting Degree = Accountant but getting real-world experience at Deloitte taught me that my assumption absolutely wasn’t true. The work experience at Deloitte didn’t change my mind about what I was studying, but it did help me to understand the breadth of opportunities out there that I didn’t know existed before.

Emma Stone

Where are you working now and how did you get that role?

I am currently the Innovation Manager at Arsenal FC. After university, I tried Corporate Law and learnt very quickly that it wasn’t the right fit for me. I went back to Deloitte and started working for Deloitte’s Head of Innovation, focusing on strategies for building new offerings for the firm. After working there for a few more years, I decided I wanted a sea change and started looking for roles in London. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw Arsenal were establishing an innovation team! I applied and thankfully won the role.

What advice would you have for our students in how to navigate their future pathways?

I’d recommend talking to as many people as possible about their experiences, I rarely hear of anyone’s career path being perfectly linear. Try and get out of the mindset I had whereby if you study Engineering, you have to become an engineer: there are so many degrees that open up significant opportunities beyond just what the name of the degree would suggest. Be kind to yourselves! I remember putting so much pressure on myself in Year 12, and whilst it’s a significant time in your life, it’s also an extremely exciting time and you will work out what’s right for you in your own time.

Emma Stone 2