1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work within the fixed income middle office. This involves monitoring and ensuring pre-match for all EMEA booked fixed income bond trades. my daily tasks involve responding and talking to clients / counterparties via phone or email to resolve discrepecies, affirm and match trades, and be a primary contact for any queries the client has regarding non BAU, for example account preferencing. Along side this, I am also the primary point of contact for the front office sales people that we cover, ensuring that their queries are answered. During the day to day role, I interact with many intermediaries, such as trading support teams, and sales assistant teams.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Throughout my time on the apprenticeship scheme, I developed many skills. Primarily - through my time in the role, I learnt skills such as time management, knowledge of the financial markets, and system usage within my role. this was further enhanced by my studies (CISI investment ops level 3), which built upon this knowledge, as well as giving me and understanding of the regulatory framework and IT usage within the FS industry. I also attend regular internal training courses within my role, constantly adding to my skills and understanding.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I definitely enjoyed the scheme, not only did it give me a way to gain first hand experience and a role within the FS industry at a young age, it also enabled me to fast track my career into a professional role by allowing me to study and gain relevant qualifications in the industry, while gaining work experience. The team which I joined gave me a great insight into company culture and I instantly felt part of the team, they helped me settle in and taught me all the relevant skills I would need to be competent within the role. Outside of BAU, there is a strong group culture within the apprenticeship group, enabling you to meet and make long term friends, and even to the extent of house sharing etc. enabling you to gain valuable life skills.
4. How valued do you feel by J.P. Morgan?
I feel valued within my team and within the firm. I am relied upon to complete my designated work and trusted with running with and thinking up new ideas. there is also recognition gained from intermediaries we speak to, gaining trust and recognition from the front office that we cover and receiving appraisal from clients for good work ethics. Recognition is also gained from completion of exams etc, and the apprenticeship team are quick to praise you on achievements.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
the programe is structured into an 18 month course, through out which you complete 3 CISI exams leading to your level 3 investment operations certificate, and then build on this with a portfolio which you create and submit in order to gain your final qualification. in order to study for the exams, you are given a 4 day working week with a day out of office to study. training is provided through a 3rd party and in the form of online lectures. however these are specific to the company and you maintain and build a relationship with the lecturer, so you are free to ask him questions and chat to him outside of the lecture hours.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
support is received from the training provider in the form of your designated apprentice manager. they will organize meetings in person and over the phone in order to catch up on your progress, and they are also heavily involved in the later portfolio and final submission stages of the scheme. although they are often the primary point of contact for the rest of the apprenticeship scheme, so sometimes getting time in to discuss issues can be difficult
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
With regards to the employer, they are there more to track progress and follow up on missed deadlines as supposed to supporting you with queries you may have about the actual content of the exams. but they are very active in ensuring you have settled into your BAU role and are enjoying and getting on with your new team. they are there to answer any questions and will even organize evens such as a mentoring session to ensure you are getting the relevant exposure and assistance.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
during the scheme, the salary just about covers your cost. I joined the scheme in Bournemouth and therefore had to relocate, like many do. I have house shared with other apprentices during my scheme and we managed to live comfortably on the given salary. it helps that the office is easy to get to as you don't have to pay too much for transport to and from the offices (they have their own bus scheme which covers the entire area of Bournemouth for a fixed monthly fee)
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
there are many opportunities for activities out side of work. firstly, there are activities organized by the apprentice team, these include trips to other office locations, volunteering events within the area outside of work and even a two week period of activities in order to get all the new apprentices to get to know each other and the area around the campus. there are also very good sports teams within the firm, which are easily accessible and well organized
9. Would you recommend J.P. Morgan to a friend?
good reputable firm, with great career path options and a friendly atmosphere. well organized apprenticeship scheme which enables you to gain first class qualifications.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to J.P. Morgan?
put yourself out there and don't be afraid to question things. you're there to make a difference within the team and your role. feel open about asking for help if you're under pressure, especially during exam times, your managers will be more than accommodating. say yes to all available opportunities given to you.
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