Client Reporting Apprentice Poppy Lillington
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I came into this apprenticeship straight from Sixth Form where I studied A level Maths, Geography and Art and AS Level Physics. I chose to go into financial services as there’s such a wide variety of job roles and felt I couldn’t miss out on that kind of opportunity. I also live fairly close to London and so the commute is quite easy. I was also excited to get a job but study as well and an apprenticeship provides the best of both.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
There were many different types and levels that you could apply for meaning there were plenty of options available for me to find one that was suitable and excited me. To gain qualifications but also get experience and the opportunity to get into financial services really stood out to me. There are also so many other benefits to doing an apprenticeship i.e. getting to meet so many new people and making my own money. M&G as a company offers so many incredible opportunities too such as attending events and volunteering. I was lucky enough to receive tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 which included hospitality and the chance to ring the bell on Saturday to begin the selling of the plants. It was an incredible day and something I never thought I would get to do so I felt very honoured to attend on their behalf.
Did you always know you wanted to do an apprenticeship?
When I was at school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, go to university or become an apprentice. We had a careers fair at my school where there was lots of information about apprenticeships, and I also received useful advice from my parents and my teachers. In the end I decided to apply for several apprenticeships that I really liked the look of, as well as to university to keep my options open. It wasn’t until I started looking into more detail about apprenticeships that I realised they were more suitable for me, I really liked the idea of a hands on approach to work and learning.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I work in the Client Reporting team in Investment Operations and my day is quite structured. In the mornings I help compile regular reports for our various internal clients that change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This could be a valuation where I’m inputting data into an excel spreadsheet for example and then reconciling it with our data systems. In the afternoons I spend more time dealing with colleagues from other parts of the business, like Finance and accounting, responding to queries and confirming payments for example. It’s also part of my team’s role to move cash and other assets between funds and we do this on a regular basis which is a challenging but exciting part of my role.
What’s the best thing about your job?
It’s a really well-respected company with a very friendly and supportive atmosphere and so to get an apprenticeship with them has given me a great start to my career. I’ve been made to feel very welcome and part of the team and there are so many networking events I have made friends all over the company. Not only am I learning new things about the business each day as I am given enough responsibility to help with my understanding but I get plenty of time to study for my qualification – which is also great as it will help me in the future! My favourite thing about my role is that I get to work with a wide variety of teams from all over the business which has put me in a fantastic position to learn plenty about each department and how the business as a whole works.
Do you have any tips for any students considering an apprenticeship?
My advice would be to go in with an open mind and just be yourself in interviews. I didn’t think everyone would be so friendly as I thought being in an office environment, everyone would be very serious. Of course, my colleagues are professional but we still have time for a laugh and a joke. They’re also very understanding that I have to study for my qualifications as well. I also thought that financial services would be limited in the range of jobs they do but there are so many different areas doing a range of activities – all of which seem interesting. Just be yourself in interviews but do your research, you don’t need to have lots of knowledge but just enough understanding of the role you’re applying for that its clear you have taken an interest and it gives you things to talk about in the interview. Also ask questions! I always asked how the interviewer got into their role/what their day consists of.
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