How does the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program work?
Today we caught up with Chloe to find out all about the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program and how she's getting along at Admiral.
She started on the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program in September 2015 and started her placement at Admiral in March 2017.Chloe graduated from UWE in Bristol in the summer of 2015 with a degree in Business Management.
How did you find out about the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program?
I found it while I was searching for graduate programmes online.
And what made you pick this particular programme?
I liked the fact that I’d be able to move around different companies and try different jobs. For example in my second placement I realized all the elements involved in Marketing – it was so different from what I was expecting. Although I decided that Marketing isn’t really for me, I took away loads of skills and knowledge that I never would have gained had I not had the opportunity to try it through this programme.
The other great benefit of the programme is that it offers a Masters degree.
Could you tell us a little about how the scheme works?
The scheme is 2 years long and made up of four 6 month modules. The first six months is comprised of workplace learning together with an assignment, to give you the experience of project management. You also do one core module and a chosen module. The 2nd and 3rd modules are the same and then in your final module you do your dissertation.
Where did you go for your first work placement?
I spent 1 year at Atradius doing account management in global Customer Services. I was managing accounts and dealing with a lot of money. I worked with others across the company, met customers, and did some really interesting project work. I was asked to extend my placement after the initial six months and I agreed because I really enjoyed it. It took a while to learn the system and staying on meant I could progress and become an accounts manager.
Did you find you could apply skills you’d learnt during your degree on your placements?
I definitely could apply skills that I was learning on the Masters, but not so much from my undergraduate degree, as your [undergraduate] degree doesn’t really matter. There are people on the programme, who’ve done English Lit, French, Aerospace Engineering, etc. so it's a really good mix.
Where did you go next?
After Atradius, I moved on to Finance Wales, where I did a project in the marketing department. I was doing market research, market segmentation, data analysis and Excel work. Although it wasn’t really what I expected, it was still really beneficial as I gained so many skills and experiences in the process.
What brought you to Admiral?
I was always interested in coming to Admiral and trying a different culture – one that is not so corporate and slow moving. I spoke to Emily and Aaron, who had done placements at Admiral via the Financial Services Program previously and they were really positive about it. I didn’t know what the role at Admiral would be, only that it would be a project. I started here in March 2017 in Claims.
So what are you working on in Claims?
I’m working on a connected home project and the Internet of Things (IoT). This involves market research and working with others in a team, as well as across departments. I sit out on the floor with everyone, which I really enjoy.
When I first came to Claims I did an induction with lots of Ports-of-Calls and am now doing a general Claims induction with other grads, who are on the Admiral Graduate Programme.
I’m learning everything about Claims to get a high level overview and to understand all the processes, before getting stuck into my project. I’m really enjoying it and the trainers are all really nice.
I’ll properly start working on my project at the start of May and it will then run until the end of August. Then I have to finish up my dissertation and will finish the programme!
What does the future hold?
I’m not really sure yet!
Do you have any tips for anyone who may be thinking about joining the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program?
Go for it, it’s a really good scheme! I definitely recommend it; I’ve made a lot of good friends and have learnt a lot.
Make the most of it, enjoy it, and get as much out of it as you can - grab opportunities for training whenever you can.
What do you like best about working at Admiral?
The culture and my project. I like that my project is so up to date and that it’s something that’s in the news a lot. Big data is going to be massive in the future and it’s really interesting to work on something so relevant. It’s also a really nice place to work – it’s a relaxed and happy environment and I like the benefits. It’s just a really good atmosphere. Admiral’s also a really flexible company that’s fluid and willing to change, which is great!