1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an apprentice within the front office of Global Markets. I have rotated to multiple different desks within my broader division. The main day to day tasks I have carried out since joining include collecting, analyzing and validating data, maintaining spreadsheets, looking at client metrics/data, having client conversations and creating content pieces. Content pieces could include information that shows other teams or clients the trends we are seeing within the division. I interact with my direct team as well as the broader teams around me on a daily basis. There is a lot of collaboration across Global Markets.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my confidence which has allowed me to become better at networking with internal staff/clients and build relationships. I have learnt to communicate through different channels such as Email and Skype, as well as had the chance to do public speaking. I have become more skilled using applications such as Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other internal data systems. I have learnt to be very organised and manage my diary effectively, which is a key skill needed when trying to balance study and work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy this program very much and it has given me a great start to my career in Financial Services. I receive a huge amount of support from my line manager, HR, the teams around me and also senior management. Because of the success of my Level 3 apprenticeship I will now be starting the degree level apprenticeship for 3 Years. UBS cares very much about it's apprentices and I look forward to continuing on the new Degree program.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure of the program is very good and I liked how UBS worked with Fitch Learning to provide us with the support needed to help us pass our exams. As I am part of the first group of apprentices within the Investment Bank there are still some areas that need to be developed, however senior management are very open to feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the program for us and and any new apprentices.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from a number of people across the bank. I have regular catch up with my line manager as well as people in my team. All apprentices are assigned a mentor. Our mentors are usually not in our direct area and are typically more junior which allows us to feel more comfortable to share our thoughts and feelings. Members of the Junior Talent team are also very supportive and will often check in on us to see how we are getting on.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I think that Fitch Learning was very good at teaching us the content for our exams. In particular, the content on the Fitch Learning website portal was extremely useful. It contained videos, power points and lots of practice questions. The practice questions were very similar to those that came up in the real exams. The two day courses were also useful as they gave a good overview of the course and allowed us to ask questions.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The content was very applicable to my role. As a junior who is new to financial services you do not have much context on the industry, and my exams were a key part of my understanding of this. I feel like the level 3 qualification Investment Operations Certificate is a great exam for Junior apprentices to take. It help to give enough knowledge to start your career within an Investment bank. It was challenging but also not too difficult that it took more than 20% of my week to study for. Only downside is that some of the content was a little dry, but it is still necessary to understand!
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.)
UBS gets involved in a lot of charity volunteering events which I have been involved in. One of the events hosted by my division involved employees and clients playing sports with children in local schools. I have attended large networking conferences which often have talks given by well known professionals within the industry. I have attended an employee/client work out session at a London Gym. All of these were great experiences and I hope to more of these in the future.
9a. Would you recommend UBS to a friend?
The culture is great. The people are so friendly, supportive and willing to help. It is such a huge firm with so many areas to learn about and explore, and a role for any skill set. There is such a vast amount of opportunities to help develop a great career in financial services. There are very few firms that allow for school leavers to join into such interesting roles. I see myself having a long term career at UBS.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to UBS?
Be yourself. UBS are looking for genuine people who are eager to learn. Having the right attitude is very important. Have a look at the UBS behaviors and try and think of some examples of when you have demonstrated these. Always research the area you are applying and don't be afraid to ask questions about it. If you are nervous about the thought of doing an interview, try practicing with someone first so you are used to answering questions on the spot.