We know that entering the workplace as a young person can be challenging at first – and the financial services industry is no exception. Here to share their experience and their top tips for young people joining the finance world are some of our very own staff.
James Hardie- Business development manager
I joined Siemens Financial Services (SFS) straight out of university, as part of a Graduate Scheme. This was great as it gave me the chance to work in different departments and get as much exposure as possible to the overall business.
I had previously done some work experience at accountancy firms, but I had little understanding of leasing or asset finance - so it was all a huge learning curve. Luckily, I found everyone at SFS extremely welcoming and prepared to put in the time to help and support my development.
My top three tips for any young newcomers entering the finance industry are:
- Ask questions! It is OK not to know it all, so don’t be afraid of asking lots of questions. It’s the only way you’ll learn.
- Get a mentor. Once I knew where I wanted to end up, I got a mentor from that part of the business to advise on all the different aspects of my development and learning.
- Try to move around. Getting experience and gaining an understanding of how the different functions work really helps your own personal journey.
Jess Davies- Marketing intern
To be honest, I never really planned on joining the financial services industry. But when I did, I expected it to be full of men in suits with a strong hierarchal culture. My time at SFS proved completely different and everyone I met in the company couldn’t have been nicer and more eager to hear about my goals and career development.
I came to SFS as a marketing Intern, but I was treated no differently to any other employee. I worked on a variety of tasks, from creating new sections of the website, to working on corporate videos and our first virtual event. It was a great way to gain experience in a vast array of activities including traditional and digital marketing and I have left with a range of new skills.
My biggest tip to anyone starting out in finance would be to:
- Bring a pen and notebook and write down everything! There are so many concepts, abbreviations and phrases that I had never heard before. I ended up making a little Siemens dictionary, that I was still adding to right up to the end of my internship.
Italia Campanella- Business Graduate
I planned to join SFS as part of the Business Graduate programme, but the pandemic changed the course of events. I later joined as an Intern and have had an invaluable experience since.
When joining there was a lot of information and training to take in and doing this in a virtual environment was a whole experience of its own. However, not being afraid or shy to ask questions is what really helped me get into the routine of the role. The position provided me with a lot of responsibility and exposure to different people and projects.
Coming straight from university, it can be hard to select a company and/or role, but everyone at SFS has made my journey really enjoyable and I truly value the advice, support and mentorship from my network. This industry is full of growth opportunities, career progression and is fast-paced, making it an exciting industry to be part of.
My advice to others joining the finance world as a young person is:
- Fail forward. It may not work out as you planned, but it will work out in the end!
- Through experience you learn what you like and what you are good at, so give every opportunity the best effort you can.
- No question is a silly question and ask for help if needed.
- Seek a mentor/ coach to help guide and learn from their experiences.
- Get involved in activities that fall outside your usual day to day job activities/ duties, i.e. being a buddy or part of the D&I group.
Lauren Thorn- Assistant Asset Manager
My personal experience of getting into finance as a young person started when I joined the SFS Apprentice Scheme. Leaving school, I didn’t really have any idea as to what I wanted to do and had never actually planned on getting into financial services, but I thought the scheme sounded like a great opportunity. Within the scheme, we rotated around various departments and within 9 months, I had managed to gain a permanent role within the business – which I was so pleased about!
Since the day I started as an Apprentice (nearly 5 years ago!) I have always been treated the same as every other employee around the business. Everyone made me feel so welcome, comfortable and always told me ‘no question is a stupid question!’.
My advice to any young person starting their journey within finance would be to:
- Make sure you make the most of all opportunities and get stuck in from the get-go.
- Try and spend time across various departments (whether this be through working within the department or through overviews) as you will quickly learn which type of work is best for you.
- By doing both of these things, you will end up creating great relationships with people all around the business, which is invaluable and will assist your development within SFS.