Alumnus of the Month
Sacha Mahoor is our Westminster City School Alumnus of the Month for April 2021. Sacha left Westminster City School in 2006. He is now the director of his own recruitment agency.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get to this role?
Currently I am the director of a recruitment agency which I co-founded in February 2015 – our niche is in the accounting industry and I predominantly cover openings in the United States, on behalf of large or mid-sized practice firms and corporations.
I kind of fell into recruitment if I’m honest – my aim was initially to make it as a reporter, after graduating in journalism in 2010, but the economic climate had a negative impact on the job market at the time, so it gave me an opportunity to reassess my career path. I considered giving recruitment a try because it aligned with a lot of transferrable skills that I had attained in sales and communication. My first proper stint as a recruiter was with a boutique agency in Regent’s Street who serviced clients in the media and digital advertising space – it gave me the necessary foundation and skills to land my second full-time job. This was at a larger agency in London, where I was tasked with sourcing new clients – mostly financial services companies in banking and investment management – and connecting them with candidates in the accounting industry – those would mainly be tax professionals from large practice firms.
My next challenge was to replicate what I learned and apply it as I would if I was my own boss, so I took the plunge and set up my own agency in 2015 – I wanted to continue specialising in the accounting sector but connect with the US market instead. Six years later, our agency has shown continued growth and now represents some of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the US.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Westminster City School?
I’d say the somewhat successful navigation of a journey riddled with uncertainty – I left school looking forward to joining a university and graduating in a field that I felt was right for me, until lack of opportunities made me conscious that I had to do something else, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. A career path isn’t always straightforward, and I had to try my hands at many things, but these experiences served me well and offered me the skills to continue running my own business today.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
The good news is that there are no shortage of opportunities for graduates to get into recruitment – they are always hiring. But the most important thing would be to gain experience somewhere that offers a proper training structure, somewhere you learn how to be a good recruiter and a consultant who clients want to work with. Also, try to pick a niche – you’re far more likely to be successful in the field if you pick a sector to specialise in – there are great industries out there besides accounting such as law, IT, finance and tech. And, last but not least, there are some key skills to bear in mind: you must be driven, organised and focused on meeting targets – the job can be hard and rejections are common, so you need to be resilient and confident. It’s a very rewarding career path for the right people.
How have your experiences at Westminster City School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
I think my time at Westminster City School was interesting, to say the least. You’re spending many years in the same setting and growing a little more and, subconsciously, I think that period of time was when I began to plant the seeds of the kind of personality and person I wanted to grow into as an adult. I didn’t really know what I was good at but I was drawn to particular subjects – English and Art specifically, and I began to base my future self with thoughts about a career related to those subjects.
Can you describe one of your fondest memories from your time at Westminster City School?
My fondest memory was certainly being part of the Japan exchange trip back in 2002 – going to Japan as a 15-year-old was an amazing experience that I still remember well today. I’ve also met some very good people at school – some I have kept in touch with after all these years and who are doing amazingly well in their respective careers, which is always good to see. I met my best friend there – he was in the same class as me – Form W. We went from hating each other’s guts, the moment we first met, to having him as my best man at my wedding and godfather to my son. Life is funny like that!
More growth! I do a lot of things on the side of my day job that keep me motivated – I’ve written my first novel, for instance, and I do a lot of art and comic books too. I’m a young adult now and I want to make the most out of my youth to take advantage of life’s opportunities and give back to people. The rest? I’d prefer not to plan too far ahead, life would be boring if I didn’t get to experience things and if I knew all the answers!
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Westminster City School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Palace Street. If you’re an alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.