1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role within M&G is the ‘Internal Portfolio Services Apprentice’. This means I perform daily administration tasks for the Client Reporting team and Regulatory Reporting team for internal funds. I also help more senior members of the team on any projects they are involved with. My main role for the Client Reporting team is to process payments; verifying requests and setting up transactions of money in and out of the funds in our remit. My main task for the Regulatory Reporting team is to upload the previous business day’s trades to the FCA, after performing some high level checks on them.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My Excel skills have improved immeasurably and increase to do so daily, which is a brilliant asset for the future. I have also become more organised; you have to screen and manage hundreds of emails every week, and deal with ad hoc queries alongside your daily responsibilities. This has filtered down into other aspects of my life too.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I entered this programme unsure of what to expect, but it has been fantastic, and I would thoroughly recommend it! My work is varied and interesting, and the more I learn about the industry and instruments, the more I enjoy it. I really feel I benefit from the 'Investment2020' programme too, as it gives you opportunities to meet people from other firms on similar schemes, and to learn more about the industry as a whole.
4. How valued do you feel by M&G Investments?
Despite the common financial stereotypes I had heard about, everyone I have met have been warm and friendly, and I have never been made to feel like 'she's just the apprentice'. I don't know whether this is unique to M&G, but I have certainly got a feel that culture and people are very important to them, which makes the environment very enjoyable.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The M&G apprenticeship programme is one of the more established out of the financial apprenticeships, and you really appreciate that in the job. You know exactly what is expected of you, and are given an outline of how they expect your job to develop in the short/medium term. You also have regular meetings with both your manager (within your team) and someone from HR, so there is plenty of support if you need it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have monthly catch ups and can email with any queries I have in between those. There is though a very different level of support for exams if you have come from school and are used to that.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Throughout the application process M&G, in particular ::Lauren:::, were very supportive; staying in touch with you to give you updates and see how you felt various interviews had gone. This was a sign of how much support you would receive on the programme, as they appreciate what a big lifestyle change it is, and are there for any query or worry you may have. I have more support than I need, but appreciate it being there as it makes you feel very secure.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
It covers all my costs and leaves money for socialising too, but that being said I am lucky to live fairly close and live at home rent free. I think it would be difficult but manageable if you were living alone in London.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
People regularly go out after work, and there are summer and Christmas parties which are big events and lots of fun. My team also goes out for a meal together once a month, but I think it depends on your team dynamic. There is a 'Sports and Social' society and Softball team, which are great opportunities to meet people from around the business.
9a. Would you recommend M&G Investments to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Starting any job is challenging, but starting a job straight from school in The City is mildly terrifying. M&G have made me feel secure and confident from the first day, and I cannot imagine a better on boarding process. University is great for the right person, but it is not the only option, and I think if more people knew about these schemes, they would be far more popular. In the four months I have been here I have already grown so much as a person, as well as learning far more about the industry than you could grasp from a textbook. Above all, through learning about the different roles that are out there, I know exactly what I want to do and how to achieve it, of which I had no idea before.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to M&G Investments? *
Research the company thoroughly, be prepared to give evidence to support claims you make during your interviews, and (you're bored of hearing this but) be yourself, not who you think they want you to be.
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