1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Within the investment team, I work with investors to help them make informed decisions. My day-to-day role involves a number of tasks - including attending and taking minutes from meetings, using and maintaining software built by other team members, reading and interpreting data, and admin such as planning the annual team offsite.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Everybody hates presenting. However, we have had really good training in presentation skills, and I have (against my will!) presented to the team in the monthly team meeting. I also feel my IT skills are much better than when I started, since in the (paperless!) office IT is essential for what we do.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I very much enjoy working at Schroders, for a number of reasons. The company culture is great - it is collaborative, and there is a very healthy work-life balance. I also really like my team - they are like-minded, intelligent people who are great fun to be around. I enjoy going to work each day.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The traineeship and apprenticeship programs are both very well structured. Because the intake is large each year, you get a nice ready-made peer group of like-minded people. And, since the program has been running for a number of years, all those involved (HR, managers etc.) are all familiar with the ins-and-outs of everything.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Going into the scheme, I had heard that Schroders, as an employer, has developed a reputation for looking after its people. My experience does, indeed, align with this. We get regular training sessions on important topics such as effective business writing, and my manager is very good at making sure I am happy.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
So far, we have been given access to rich online content - videos and detailed notes - covering the whole course. However, we haven't (yet) had any face-to-face training (at least, not for the qualification we are going to do). However, I feel that the online material is detailed enough such that there is not really a need for face-to-face teaching.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The CFA Institute Investment Foundation certificate (formerly known as Claritas) is directly relevant to the asset management industry. I find the content is just right - it is broad (covering a wide range of areas) but not too deep. This is perfect as an introduction to the industry, allowing you to understand what your colleagues mean when they use the jargon!
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Yes. As part of the Investment 2020 program, there are regular drinks arranged for all members. This is nice, as you gain some context by meeting people from other firms. There are also: regular team drinks, opportunities to get involved with volunteering, sports teams, and a really awesome Christmas party!
9a. Would you recommend Schroders to a friend?
Overall, it is a really great way to get into the asset management industry. You get to do real work and gain real skills, and are paid a competitive salary. You get a nice cohort of trainees and apprentices. Most importantly, it is a chance to prove yourself to your manager and move into a permanent role afterwards.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Schroders?
Firstly, do it! But in terms of the application process (as this is probably where tips would be most helpful), I would say it is most important to have the right attitude - that means enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. In my experience so far, this seems to be more important than grades, extra-curricular activities or anything else.
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