My job allows me to maximise my innate qualities. I enjoy developing relationships and working with people, so a role within distribution was ideal. I enjoy the variation in every working day, and the knowledge I develop from working with clients, observing what matters from their perspective, whilst also gaining exposure to the various investment trends within the industry. My job enables me to learn directly from Fund managers and prompts me to know our investment products in detail. Supporting client managers has shown me how to maintain relationships with clients and I also see how they articulate our product range in innovative ways.
The most challenging thing about sales is the requirement of being very versatile and also being able to cope with constant deadlines. Dealing with clients means that you must provide a high-level of service, which demands that you are able to adapt to any situation and also, that you are able to cope in a fast paced environment. The role requires you to facilitate the movement of various components to get a wider project completed – which usually means that you may depend on internal or external stakeholders to get a wider project completed. It is your job to ensure it is done within a specified date. When working to assist in the generation of revenue – you have to be willing to go above and beyond.
I graduated in Law and I was fortunate to have obtained two placements at the same magic circle firm, after which convinced me that corporate law was not for me. I felt out of place in all aspects, and I started to question whether my motivations for pursuing law would enable me to excel in such environment. I decided that I needed a new challenge and backed myself to find another industry. I discovered investment management through a friend who joined the Investment20/20 scheme and was excelling at his role within LGIM. Two other friends then obtained placements via the scheme and both were enjoying the experience. I was not convinced that finance was for me at that point (as I prejudged it to be for STEM students only) and chose to look at industries similar to the legal sector, but my job search was a frustrating experience.
I worked at Coral betting shop to sustain myself whilst applying for roles, but I kept failing at the final stage of interview stages. My confidence was taking a massive beating as a year and a half has passed. I then attended a Columbia Threadneedle open day, facilitated by Investment20/20. At the open day, I discovered the distribution avenue within Investment management and after speaking to the global head of sales– who put me forward for the role after speaking to me, I was convinced that this was the role for me. I applied and made the final stage – but again, I failed to make the final cut. I came across the Sales trainee role at GAM soon after and it felt that it was perfect. Using the lessons of the past interviews – I gave the process my all and my life changed when I was successful in my application. The scheme allowed me to come into the role at the perfect level – a junior, but given the necessary exposure to grow exponentially. I have been able to solidify my career in Sales and Distribution two years after the successful interview in March 2018.
My aspirations are limitless – I want to head a global sales division someday, dealing with important stakeholder relationships. After meeting inspirational figureheads like Gavin Lewis and Justin Onukwusi through the scheme, I also acknowledge the importance of giving back, not necessarily financially, but most importantly by sharing information and enlightening people of a similar background to me that their aspirations should also be limitless. I was shocked when I went to my old college to promote Investment20/20, and young people from similar backgrounds could not envision themselves being given the chance to prosper in industries like investment management. I hope to be a walking representation that they can follow, sometimes you need to see it to believe it.
It is without a doubt that I owe everything to this scheme. Without it, people like me would not make the initial screening at a typical investment manager. The scheme allows you to present yourself to elite institutions and display your talent. All biases that come from various things like education, experiences or even class are wiped away with this scheme. You are given invaluable exposure which if you take on, will give you the tools to thrive. This scheme is essential for all the unearthed and disregarded talent. You are not limited by your skin, gender, background, education, class or experience – you are given the spotlight to exhibit who you are and what you can do. My life has only elevated since finding Investment20/20.