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Business & Economy

Graduate Cristina relishing new opportunity in Wealth of Advice role

A business management graduate facing a return to her native Spain after missing out on a job has seen her career receive a new lease of life thanks to a financial advice firm.

Cristina Duran Alvarez has joined Wealth of Advice’s client administration team.

The move was particularly timely for 29-year-old Cristina, who had just 15 days left on her open-air ticket.

Had she not been successful, her time studying in the UK to seek employment would have come to an end and she would have been forced to return to Spain.

However, Chris Breward, managing director at the Durham family firm, was impressed with Cristina during her interview and believed her qualifications and commitment to making a better life for herself would be a real asset to his business.

Cristina started at the end of August and Chris has already put a training and development plan in place to equip her with key industry qualifications.

Cristina, who lives in Belmont, on the outskirts of Durham City, said: “Back in Spain, I studied business administration at St Charles College, which is connected to New College Durham.

“This connection gave me the opportunity to come over to England to complete a top-up degree in business management. I graduated with a 2:1 and I hoped this would lead to work for me.

“I had an interview lined up with a company in London, but the day before they cancelled it and told me they had filled the job.

“I knew the expiry date on my plane ticket home was close and didn’t know what I was going to do.

“But then I saw this job advertised and applied for it. Thank goodness I was successful.

“I am so grateful to Chris as he has given me this opportunity and I am already learning so much.

“I am keen to take as many opportunities as I can and really develop here. They’re such a nice team and have all helped me settle in.”

Wealth of Advice, which Chris set up in 2012, employs 13 people from its Belmont Business Park offices and manages a portfolio of more than £115,000,000 on behalf of clients.

The Wealth of Advice team includes experienced financial advisers and training paraplanners, as well as administrative and management personnel.

Chris, 40, who is from Peterlee, east Durham, added: “Cristina came to this country to better herself, because she thought it would give her the opportunity to develop, and I’m delighted that we have been able to help her with this.

“Our client portfolio is growing rapidly, and we needed someone with the right attitude and work ethic to come in to support the team.

“Cristina has been a welcome addition and we see real potential in her to grow with the company.”