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Preconceptions to Reality

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Friday, my final day of work experience, started with learning about Hartsfield Trustee, and more about the different products offered. Paul Verwoert explained SIPP’s (Self-Invested Personal Pensions) and SSAS’s (Small Self Administered Schemes), and how they could be used to help both individuals and businesses. Getting an insight into the work, Hartsfield does helping businesses was particularly useful as I am interested in working in business consultancy in the future.

Big & Small

I spoke more about this with Melanie Dolphin, who also talked about her background and how she got into finance. I had already discussed the planning, advice and investment parts of the business, so it was nice to get the final piece. I also talked with Joy West, which was very valuable given her great experience in the industry, and she talked me through the different companies she’s worked for, and the different roles she’s had within the industry over the years. She also gave me her perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of working for a big company or a smaller company, a question I’ve discussed with many of the people I’ve shadowed this week.

A week of learning

My attention then turned to summarising my week at Hartsfield, which included feeding back to Paul and George, and writing this blog, looking back on my first entry: ‘Preconceptions of the Financial Services Industry’. I wrote how many people, especially those my age, have a very limited understanding of all the inner workings of the industry, and all the wide range of roles inside of it. This week has given me a much, much greater understanding of both of these things; spending time shadowing and talking with almost a dozen different people in different roles has massively deepened my understanding of financial services as a whole, and shown me just how many different careers there are to pursue in the industry. Another preconception I wrote about was the issue of accessibility, which I partly put down to the usage of abbreviations and technical language, and whilst in my week here I have heard a wide range of new vocabulary which can be a little intimidating at times, everyone was really helpful in explaining it’s meaning, and I’ve learnt a whole host of new terminology, making the finance industry seem much more approachable.

Wrapping up

Overall, my work experience at Hartsfield has been both educational and enjoyable: I’ve gotten an insight into the industry I hope to work in one day, seen first-hand the wide range of careers in finance there are to pursue, and their different responsibilities, and I’ve been able to look at how a local business operates. I feel like I’m leaving with a massively improved appreciation of how the financial services industry works, and what it’s like to work inside it.

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