1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the valuations & pricing team in the Data Management team within M&G - here we price securities and analyse their prices so that they are the best for the client & the company. In my daily roles we have a checklist which I do all but one of the tasks - these tasks range from analysing different retail funds which hold equities (these are a range of companies, ranging from insurance companies to banks to retail companies), running variance checks to see which company's shares have moved over 10% and analysing the currency rates from GBP to another currency. As well as daily tasks I take on a numerous amount of projects that are done when I don't have tasks to do, with one being me creating a new spreadsheet and building it so that the FVC (Fair Value Committee) can assess the sources of particular securities. I interact with numerous different teams daily and occasionally we meet externally with different high profile suppliers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Although I haven't started my course yet I will be completing an Investment qualifcation that will give me a instituionally recgonized qualification that others such as graduates will not have yet. There are chances to go on numerous internal training courses to improve your skills, this rangihng from your abilties on Excel to your time management & speaking to others. I would say overall it's been well worth me coming into this company though but i would like to learn a lot more.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy the programme as it has allowed me to enter the world of finance without having to waste lots of money on university and has really put me in a better place. In three years time I won't have to look for a job and have a massive student debt like those coming out of university which is a massive advantage. I get on with all of my team as most of us seem to share similar interests, and we reguarly go out for team meals or outings that helps us bond together. The company culture is excellent and they look after us well, with a good pension scheme & share scheme as well as private health care. Although it's very hard, maybe harder than I expected, I am really enjoying my time at M&G.
4. How valued do you feel by M&G Investments?
I do feel quite valued at M&G as I'm sure everyone else does - without everyone we cannot perform to the best of our ability. I do get appreciation from my manager and am praised occaisonally by other team members for work on projects etc. but rarely am I praised externally, though I do not have much involvement with external clients. I am getting more reguarly involved now with different tasks and projects as time goes on and I become more experienced which is helping me feel more & more valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
M&G have so far structued the programme very well and have brought me in with a good induction and have given me numerous training. Everyone in the team from my manager down supports me and is easy to speak to if I have any problems with what I am doing, whilst my manager gives me time if I have nothing else to do to study which is really helpful. I also have a mentor as well which although I was very skeptical at first, has been really helpful as it has given me some time out where I can chat to someone about both work & personal issues. I am getting delegated more & more tasks as I progress as well.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The support I have received from Kaplan so far has been pretty poor - by the time I start the course for my qualification it will have been over 6 months since I joined, whilst I have already had a change of assessor, finding out that the old one completed some of my NVQ wrong so that we have to start some of it again. This has been frustrating as I have been desperate to start the course and for one reason or another I haven't been able to.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The whole team at M&G supports me excellently in anything I want to do or with any prolems I have - I have numerous meetings with my manager, my HR contact, my mentor and with others so that if I have any problems I always have someone to talk to. They don't have any problems with my talking to them which is reallt good. I think that overall it would be difficult for me to find a problem with the current system put in place internally at M&D since everyone is always friendly and helpful and i never feel left out or pushed aside.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I still live at home so don't have any huge costs apart from travel so it covers it well, and I have enough to buy what I want when I want. I can go out and have a good time without worrying how much money I'm spending and with travel around £150 a month (I have an apprentiecship oyster card that gets me 30% off) I don't have any problems. It's nice to know also that my wage can go up substantially if im lucky enough to be offered a full-time job once my apprenticeship is complete. i think it is unlikely that i won't get a job since the company have invested so much time and money in me and the other apprentices already.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have already done numerous activities outside of work that has benefited both me and M&G. I have already visited an apprenticeship fair recently that allowed me to speak to visitors and promote M&G, whilst I am also involved with a company that gather all the apprentices from the different financial companies and bring them together. I would like to see a few more events being advertised at work maybe but i think the ones i have been to so far have been really fun and it's nice to also see people outside of work in a casual and fun environment.
9a. Would you recommend M&G Investments to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend M&G to a friend as they are a company that gives lots of opportunities and looks after their people well. I feel valued as an employee and I am supported well, allowing me to grow both my work & personal skills whilst working within an excellent team and company. I think that an opportunity like this is too good to pass up for a young person as well and i think anyone who is unsure of what to do once they leave school should definitely look into the apprenticeship scheme they have here.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to M&G Investments? *
I'd tell applicants to stay calm throughout the process and remain confident in your ability but not cocky - it is important that you show you both good at working on your own and in a team. Try to be different from others as it shows you can bring some different to the team, but just really try to be yourself. I would definitely say also to make sure you know all about the company and you are able to also answer some simple questions about the company too which they may put to you in the interview, it also shows your willingness and effort you put into research before you applied.
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