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Payal Gurung

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Graduate Trainee, CEO Office and Investment Solutions

Graduate

Why do you enjoy your job?

My first rotation was in the CEO’s office and I spent eight months with the team. I consider it to be the most unique experience as not many graduates get to have a glimpse of a CEO’s day to day activities. Working within the CEO Office gave me a strong understanding of overall functions within the business in asset management; Finance, Distribution, Risks, Legal and Investment Solutions.

My role included preparing the CEO prior to any offsite meetings, board meetings, senior management meetings and any external client meetings. Additionally, I had been involved in various business strategies that included projects such as The Big Exchange, which focuses on impact investing.

In summary, my experience has been incredibly unique with a great learning curve and the support I received from Columbia Threadneedle Investment’s team had been amazing. Getting to work with one of the most inspiring and successful women in Finance and that too at a very early stage of my career is something I would cherish for the next coming years of my life. Additionally, I had the best support from the team, that included the supports from the most encouraging manager and equally supportive CEO’s Executive Assistant.

My current rotation is within the Investment Solutions team. It had been a great transition from CEO Office to Investment Solutions as it overlooks various areas as opposed to just one area. As it is a growing team, my day to day varies but most of my time involves around planning and organising to ensure we are achieving our target goals. As it is still my second week, I have a great learning curve ahead of me.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

My first rotation within the CEO office, I had to learn how to build a relationship and communicate effectively with the most senior people within the organisation. Coming right out of university, no one is prepared for the real business environment. However, I take the day as it comes, and I am nowhere near being an expert.

How did you get into your job?

I had finished university in the year 2017. Although a lot of university students have a set career path where everyone gets an internship and has an offer by the end of their internship, I, on the other hand, had a different story.

I had a gap year after university, where I had no set plan. All I knew was I wanted to work within the asset management industry and that’s how I stumbled upon the Investment20/20 scheme.

The asset management or buy side traditionally was a path you would join after gaining experience within investment banking. However, schemes like Investment20/20 have provided an opportunity to make the shift early on.

I also joined SEO London, a scheme for students from a diverse background like myself. Their incredible support has helped me prepare the best for the role I am in.

What are your future aspirations?

Now, I would like to focus on Investment Solutions and hopefully get a full-time offer.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

As cheesy as it sounds “……And miles to go before I go to sleep” by Robert Frost would best describe it.

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