Why do you enjoy your job?
My time spent on the Investment20/20 scheme has been split between the fixed income, product development and marketing teams. Within these teams, I have been responsible for a variety of tasks such as our weekly, monthly and annual deliverables (e.g. fund commentaries, investor reports and investment outlooks), fund performance analysis and developing reports for clients and senior management. Due to the nature of my roles, I have been able to learn, interact and work with several areas of the business, which has contributed towards my knowledge and understanding of the wider asset management industry. The broad range of skills that my role requires, ranging from teamwork and communication skills, to data management and technical analysis has made the experience extremely enjoyable, as they are well-suited to my skills and interests.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
For me the most challenging part of the role, as with any job, has been getting used to an environment where there are many facts and assumptions that are taken for granted, for example skills, concepts, words or acronyms. However, the Investment20/20 scheme and its alignment with the culture in Columbia Threadneedle has provided an environment in which I can comfortably learn from both seniors and juniors as they willingly take time to teach me.
How did you get into your job?
I graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Business Management. During my studies, I took part in a number of spring, summer and off-cycle internships at Goldman Sachs and Deal Globe, as I pursued my goal of a career in investment banking. These roles drew on and helped develop the foundation of my technical, analytical and problem-solving skills - but above all, confirmed my interest in the investments industry. The Investment20/20 scheme then gave me the opportunity to apply these skills over a longer time-horizon and opened my eyes to the sheer breadth of career opportunities available beyond those I was exposed to within investment banking.
What are your future aspirations?
From my previous and ongoing experience at Columbia Threadneedle, I have learnt that this is an industry I enjoy and one which is well-suited to my skills and personality. Through the Investment20/20 scheme, I have been able to work with and learn from professionals with experience ranging from a few years to decades at various roles. My short-term plan involves gaining a professional qualification, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), which can enhance my knowledge and opportunities available in the sector as a financial analyst. My long-term plan is to be a fund manager and ultimately a key decision maker in determining the company’s future strategy.
How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?
“Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage”: In life, in work and indeed on this scheme, you can always expect to make mistakes, despite your best effort to avoid them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and you cannot let them hold you back from doing something you have set your sights on. When things don’t go your way, it’s a rare and lucky opportunity for you to step back, analyse your decision-making process and carry on the ‘key to success’ towards the next opportunity. This scheme has provided a safe and comfortable environment to explore new things and develop both as a person and a professional.