1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is SIPP Transfers In. I deal with transfers from the very beginning application right up until we receive the money. This means I process Self Invested Personal Pension transfers into Fidelity. Day to day involves lots of adjusting letters to be sent to clients/advisers/pension schemes and calling pension schemes. I interact with colleagues who may have dealt with a transfer at a previous stage and pass all my work through a verifier who makes sure all is in good order before anything is sent out. I interact externally with other pension providers, most commonly Aviva, Willis Towers Watson and Legal & General. I am responsible for the standard of communication that is sent out to clients or advisers or even other pension providers. I currently have no on going projects as I am part of a processing team so what I do is very hands on and never have nothing to do!
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a massive amount of knowledge in pensions and all the parts that make up a pension. As a school leaver, I entered the role with pretty much 0 knowledge of a pension as it isn't something that is taught well in schools so I have had to pick up a vast amount of information and I have absorbed all of it so far! I have developed my confidence and networking skills massively as I have been thrown into a massive team with people I have never met however I settled in very quickly and have built a great relationship with everyone.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy my apprenticeship. I struggle to find a fault in it as I have been treated so well and have been looked after by fellow colleagues and also have built relationships with much more senior staff. This makes me feel like a real member of the team and not just 'the apprentice' as my friends say they feel in their apprenticeships with other companies.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is structured very well to suit me and also my manager. Kaplan - my training provider - send me constant timetables and reminders of dates to keep available and give plenty of notice. They are also happy to reschedule events if need be so that it can suit me and my manager.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a huge amount of support from everyone within Fidelity. I feel comfortable approaching anyone within my team when I require assistance or have a question. I also am incredibly grateful that more senior staff so such interest in my programme and are always happy to give me guidance on anything whether it be career advice or help regarding my current role.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
So far I cannot fault what I have received. Kaplan have sent textbooks, dates for online courses, dates for physical lessons and also called me to detail my apprenticeship and what can be expected. I had a recent call with my talent coach and he sent me timetables and useful links which laid out my apprenticeship in clear detail and made me much more comfortable.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
It gives me wider knowledge around pensions and also extra information which I can add into my knowledge. As the qualification covers almost all of the financial services industry it helps me to understand a lot of the jargon which is used on a daily basis and makes me feel much more comfortable within my role.
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.)
I get calendar invites almost every day inviting staff to extra activities, from insight talks, to social events and even to extra training sessions. This keeps everything exciting as there is always something new pop up and always something for everything. There is an annual softball tournament which was excellent last year and was a great stress reliever for everyone and is just one example of the activities that take place.
9a. Would you recommend Fidelity International to a friend?
Fidelity is fantastic. Every staff member is treated as a valuable asset and is looked after very well, from covering travel expenses, pension contributions and to covering training costs. As an apprentice it is easy to feel 'bottom of the pile' as their is a general outlook on apprentices as being 'tea makers' however it is anything but that at Fidelity. I feel valued and come to work everyday knowing it is going to be a productive, enjoyable day and knowing I can have great chat and a laugh with colleagues whilst also being productive. 4 months into my role and I am yet to find a fault, so far so good.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Fidelity International?
Go into the interview with confidence, research the company as there is so much to it that not many people know about. Network with as many people as possible, everybody is friendly, everyone is happy to help and even managers are easily approachable and will find time for you. Finally do not worry about being labelled as just 'the apprentice'. Everyone will value you as a colleague and will forget you're even an apprentice! Be confident!
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