Life on a graduate scheme: Chloe's story
Meet Chloe, 23, and find out about her job on a graduate scheme at St. James’s Place Wealth Management. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.
What is your job?
I'm on a rotational graduate scheme, which means I move around different departments learning about different parts of the business. I've completed three six-month rotations so far in HR, Private Clients and the Large and Medium Business Unit. I am currently working with some of the largest financial advice businesses at St James' Place.
My job is quite project-based. Some projects are long, others are short, which means they can often overlap.
Can you explain what skills you use day-to-day?
I use my communication skills every day. Because I work in teams who are working towards the same project, we need to be able to collaborate well too. I also need emotional intelligence because I’m working with people all the time.
I need to be organised because I travel a lot in this job. I studied Business Studies at A-level and I am able to put the theory into practice in this job.
Is this the job you always knew you wanted to do?
No! When I was at school and university, I thought I knew what I wanted to do. Then, after I did a hospitality and Business Management degree, I started applying for jobs, and I was less clear because I didn’t want to go into the industry my degree was in.
I always thought that you needed to be good at Maths to work in the financial sector, which is why I thought it wasn't for me. But in the job I do, I don't really use Maths at all. I didn’t realise the amount of opportunities in financial services.
- Be open to change. You might have an idea of what you want to do, but there might be another option you haven't thought about before
- Investigate all opportunities available to you.
What to expect if you want to be a financial advisor
In Chloe's graduate scheme, she works closely with financial advisors. This is a career option she can consider when she has finished her rotational programme. Financial advisers help people and organisations to choose investments, savings, pensions, mortgages, and insurance products.
- Financial advisor salary: £25,000 to £90,000 per year
- Financial advisor working hours: 35 to 40 hours per week
- Typical entry requirements: You could start by doing a degree in Financial Services, Business Management, or Accountancy. You'll usually need 2 or 3 A-levels (or equivalent). Once you finish your course you could apply to join a financial services company or bank as a trainee adviser. You could also do a financial adviser higher apprenticeship or a financial services professional degree apprenticeship. To work as a financial advisor, you'll need to be registered as an 'approved person' by the Financial Conduct Authority.
This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)