For 22-year-old Loughborough University graduate Alexander McCallum, working toward becoming a qualified accountant is the next step of his career since graduating last month with the highest academic achievement of his degree.
On July 13, after three years of studies, Mr. McCallum, from Red Bay, George Town, graduated with first class honors for his bachelor’s degree in economics with accounting, from the Leicestershire-based university.
Commenting on his graduation, Mr. McCallum said, “It’s bittersweet, as living in Cayman, I’ll miss the experience and friends that I’ve made. But I’m also excited to start the next chapter in life.” In his career, he is following in his parents’ footsteps. While his mother and father are now working in finance and business consulting, respectively, “both my parents are qualified accountants,” said Mr. McCallum, “so I am following them.”
He enjoyed mathematics throughout school and developed an interest in economics during his A-levels studies at Cayman Prep. Then it was clear to him what he should study.
Having received offers from Stirling, Birmingham, Edinburgh Napier and Heriot-Watt University. Mr. McCallum decided to accept Loughborough University’s offer.
Ranked fourth overall in the U.K. according to The Guardian’s 2017 League Tables, Loughborough was his choice mainly for its sporting facilities and business school.
For Mr. McCallum, who is also a swimmer, Loughborough was attractive because it has a 36-year winning streak at the British Universities and Colleges Sports nationals, and has one of the top swim teams in the U.K.
“I’ve been swimming since I was about 4 or 5,” he said, “but started swimming competitively at the Lions Pool around the age of 8 and have been swimming with the Stingray Swim Club since then,” he said.
Mr. McCallum has competed in a variety of meets, including Carifta, the Island Games and several Commonwealth Games.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Youth Games, Mr. McCallum, alongside Rio 2016 Olympic medal hopefuls Lara and Geoff Butler, competed with team Cayman.
At the 2015 Island Games in Bermuda, he won silver and bronze medals in the men’s 200m backstroke and 4x50m freestyle relay with teammates Geoff Butler and Brett and Shaune Fraser.
At university, Mr. McCallum competed in international meets such as the Amsterdam Swim Cup and the Edinburgh International Open with the Loughborough Swim Team, where he mainly competed in the 200m backstroke.
In June, at the 2016 Caribbean Island Swim Championships, he won silver in the 200m long course backstroke in the Bahamas.
“My first year [at university] was a good adjustment to a more individual study-based learning,” he said, “and whilst my grades were acceptable, I kept working harder and improving each year as the degree became more heavily weighted.”
Mr. McCallum, who was a recipient of EY and government scholarships, will be working for EY. He said he will be pursuing an ACCA accounting qualification and will possibly continue his swimming career on the side.