1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as a client reporting analyst apprentice involves providing support in managing funds, creating and distributing valuations to clients and arranging internal/external transfers. A large part of my role is working with the fund managers, portfolio managers and Treasury to organise cash and asset transfers between our funds. We also have daily valuations to complete in the morning and send out to external clients as well as reviewing monthly reports on our funds which assist with accounting.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have greatly improved my excel skills as well as built my confidence. This has helped me to communicate with people in different areas of the business with clarity and ease. I have learnt many new processes and developed my industry knowledge through completing my IOC exams which has in turn helped my understanding of the tasks I do.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme. M&G is a great way to start my financial career as they are established, professional but also very friendly. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many different people and everyone has always been more than happy to help whenever I have had a question. HR are really supportive and run many different events for apprentices to help settle us in. these include networking events, social events as well as educational meetings.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is very well structured and was clarified right from the start. I have to sit three exams to achieve my IOC - for which I am given plenty of time off the desk to revise. In addition to this I have to spend three months putting together a portfolio of work which I then present to the examining body before I can roll off the scheme. We get 20% off our time allocated to apprenticeship work such as events and revision.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has been really supportive and is more than happy for me to take time away from the desk to revise as well as spending time explaining things to me when I have questions. HR also provide lots of support and regularly check in with me to see how everything is going. They are all aware that I have come in with no prior knowledge and so take the time to help me understand.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My trainer was really supportive throughout the process and I had monthly meetings with her to discuss my exams and well as the work included in my portfolio. She was always more than happy for me to call her if I had any questions and would keep track of my progress using their online system. It was handy to have someone on top of everything so that I knew what work I needed to do. They also arranged for meetings to help study the book and do a crash course before the exams which covered everything - these helped me feel much more confident. My only improvement would be that FWD were not very organised when it came to my final assessment and so there was not a clear plan about what was happening with the examiner. However I think this was largely to do with the fact that they are a new company and I am aware that they have been much more organised with more recent apprentices.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I feel that my qualification has provided me with the basic knowledge to understand a wide range of financial securities and networks. This has helped me to understand the roles that different teams play which allows me to work well with them. In addition to this, the final exam of the IOC is one you can choose which allowed me to tailor my qualification to my job role. This helped me gain a more detailed understanding of the assets I work with and made processes that I complete make much more sense.
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.)
There are plenty of extra curricular activities including sports teams as well as many social events. These social events range from professional networking meetings to social events after work. Recently, they have organised nights out to the golf place 'Swingers' and offer a ballot for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. In addition to organised social events, M&G as a company has a very friendly culture and my team will often go out for team building events, payday lunches etc.
9a. Would you recommend M&G to a friend?
M&G is a well respected company with a huge variety of roles, but it is also a really friendly and diverse place to work. Everyone is willing to help and I have had numerous opportunities to work with different teams on projects which has given me a broad network and increased my knowledge of financial services.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to M&G?
Just be yourself. In the interview they aren't looking to catch you out and they aren't looking for the person with the most financial knowledge. They just want to get to know you as a person and see that you are willing to learn. I would say do a little bit of research on the company before, ask any questions you might have and be as confident and friendly as you can.
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