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A career in finance, a life in sport

Charlotte Lewis

Although sports and finance may seem very different, there are several similarities in the way you approach them. We discuss how you can utilise these similarities to help you succeed.

In this episode of our Learn Better Podcast, host Stuart Pedley Smith, Head of Learning at Kaplan, looks at parallels in sports and a career in finance.

Our guest for this episode is Kaplan’s very own, Charlotte Lewis. She has managed to combine a very successful career as a tax lecturer with her love for sport and competition and will be representing Great Britain in the World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Spain in April 2023.

Charlotte discusses how from a very early age she knew she was interested in maths and finance, which led her to a career in accountancy. However, although sport has always been a part of her life, she didn’t start her triathlon journey until she was in her thirties.

Speech marks

“It’s never too late to start something new and succeed.”

Key topics

Parallels in sport and finance

Charlotte explains that in her job she is lucky to have visibility of her timetable over the next 18 months, so she can make sure all the prep is in place to cover the relevant topics ahead of each course or exam.

It’s the same with her triathlon. Knowing the dates of key events allows her to plan week to week and know what each session is. In each of these aspects of her life, she stresses the importance of being organised and having a longer-term view of what your availability is like so you can best utilise your time.

Charlotte also highlights ‘chunking,’ which you may have heard as a Kaplan learner. This is the process of taking a large problem and splitting it into less daunting and more manageable chunks.

Once again, she takes this mindset into her training. On race day, you are looking at a 12-hour stint, so you have to break it down and think of it in parts, otherwise, it can be very overwhelming.

The final parallel Charlotte draws between the two is being in control of your own success but having an expert with you for support. Whether it is an exam or race you determine how hard you work, but in the build up you can gain a lot from your tutor or trainer to help you prepare.

Finding motivation

Charlotte admits it can be hard to find motivation and you may not always be raring to go, but that is when you need accountability. She has a coach to hold her accountable for missing a workout or not staying on track.

When studying or working, your accountability comes from knowing that if you don’t prepare then you will not have the knowledge or insight to do your exam or presentation.


You can also help yourself stay motivated by not getting overwhelmed. Here we come back to the idea of chunking. Break down a problem, understand what are the key areas and what is the best technique.


Speech marks

“Motivation is a mind game.”

Recovering from failure

When you fail or underperform, you need to look around. Understand that you often aren’t alone, a hard exam or a race in 38 degrees may hinder every examinee or competitor.

Not every exam or race is going to go well so you just have to do your best on the day and learn from it going forward.

All your revision or training isn’t lost on one bad exam or race. It is still there and you then have a solid foundation to build on in preparation for your next attempt.

Speech marks

“Don’t give up. You’ve come this far, now you may as well do what you can to finish”

Interested in hearing more?

Tune in now to listen to the full conversation (episode 25) and learn more about Charlotte's career and sporting journey and her tips on how to succeed in both.

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