The Power of Friends and Family Headshot

Stephen White

BCom 1993

Alumni 100
Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer at Yorkshire Building Society and Guest Lecturer with the University of Edinburgh

For Stephen White, the cultural experience of university and the friendships he made were just as formative as the business lessons he learned.

He remains close with nine of his Business School peers today; they taught him the value of collaboration and diversity of thought, and thus helped shape his choices in life. This served him well in a celebrated international banking career that has taken him from branch manager to COO in companies around the globe, including Australia, Asia, Ireland, and the UK.

Today, his family are his number one priority. He works from home every Friday so he can do the school run, and encourages the directors he manages to work one day a week from home too, to boost their family time and space to 'think differently'.

While his ultimate goal in business is to 'help people save and buy homes', it pays to keep these strong family values front and centre. They impact his business decisions daily, and have helped determine his career journey.

How does it feel to be selected for the Alumni 100 list?

"Mixed emotions, I was both surprised and honoured."

What made you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

"It was then and still is today the best business school in the UK."

What are your memories of studying at the Business School?

"It made me the person I am today. The Business School gave me the tools I needed and the friends I made shaped the values I still have today."

What key thing that you learnt at the Business School do you still rely on today?

"Never stop learning."

Proudest work-related achievement to date?

"Seeing people develop and realise things they never thought possible."

What's the one thing you think current students need to develop or learn before entering the modern workplace?

"Understand that change has never been this fast and will never be this slow again. When considering this, understand that life is a marathon, not a sprint, so it is essential to never stop learning."

Strong connections can educate and empower you. Take inspiration from those around you in both life and business—your friends and family could be the ones helping to shape your future.