The key aim of the Programme is to raise awareness of the career in Financial Advice and ensure there is enough fresh blood coming into the profession in order to fulfil future market demands.
2019 sees the second year of the Programme, helping advisers and paraplanners of the future get invaluable work experience in local businesses across the Dorset region.
Whilst we are actively planning for the academic year ahead, we talked to Yasmin Venturini, student of Economics at Bournemouth University, who is currently at the end of her placement year at PFM Associates about her experience and the messages she would like to give to other students and Financial Advisers.
Q: How did you find out about the student placement role and what attracted you to apply for it?
Yasmin: I found the posting on the Bournemouth University Career website. Initially, I was looking for the Finance/Accounting role as I genuinely thought that was the only option available for someone like me. Luckily, it turned out to be Financial Advice. The more I was getting to know about Financial Advice, the happier I became with the choice I made.
Q: What were the key factors when choosing the company for your placement?
Yasmin: The role was Finance related and that was the main reason I initially looked at it. The company was quite small and I like the idea of the small company. Even now, I have realised it is like a small family. I also liked the fact that the company would have already made the connection and had a good relationship with the Uni.
With finance being such a broad subject area, the financial advice route is not a popular choice when other career routes appear more ‘exciting’ for students.
With no, or very few courses related to the profession and also, the younger population not being exposed to this career through their parents or role models on day to day basis, the knowledge and hence the interest in the subject are limited.
It has been acknowledged that promotion and awareness of Financial Advice careers need to be increased and one of the roles of the Future of Advice is to do so.
Q: How much did you know about a career in Financial Advice before applying and what were your expectations of the role?
Yasmin: Not much to be fair. There is a unit in my final year of Uni, an optional unit, called Investment Management. Obviously, all the boys like that sort of thing as they think they will make lots of money! I was never really attracted to that side of it.
I was looking at it from different perspective, an advice perspective. I like helping people reach their goals, that’s what really attracted me to the role and what I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Initially, I thought I would be the quiet Intern who supports others, doesn’t get involved much, does odd job here and there. This wasn’t the case and I was able to get involved with lots of projects and attend client meetings.
This has been eye opening for me and I feel very lucky to have these opportunities and the experience I gained exceeded my expectations.
Financial Advice roles can be incredibly fulfilling, financially and morally. With variety of work types involved and career progression options, there is something for students of numerous courses, from Finance and Accounting to Economics, Tax and Law. It is certainly one of the most interesting options available for students providing them with real life experience before they finish University.
Q: What are the best and the most challenging parts of your role?
Yasmin: I really like hearing Adviser stories about how close they are with their clients, for example Advisers being invited to client wedding receptions. It is truly nice to hear and a testament to the relationship they have with their clients. It is an extremely rewarding aspect, being part of their life.
Challenging… [she laughs]. Initially, it was waking up so early [remember – we are talking to a student]. But seriously, it was getting used to the structured way of working.
Uni is different – I can have a project and work over it for however long I want to, I am my own leader and I choose what to do and when. Working with other people doesn’t give this flexibility. It does get hard at times but this is just a different life I have adapted to quickly and I’m used to it now.
These placements enable students to get real life work experience and are the best way to learn about the industry, the roles available to them and importantly, about themselves.
Not every role provides young person with such an exposure to financial services within such a short space of time. With tasks ranging from supporting everyday customer interaction through research and analysis to building high net worth investment portfolios, the role also provides students with the opportunity to learn where their strengths are, what they like and don’t like, helping them to make informed career decisions in the future.
Q: What advice would give to other students searching for a placement?
Yasmin: If you want to become a Financial Adviser ask to be included in various projects, different types of work. Don’t be afraid to attend Client meetings, go to events, conferences… Get involved! I have learned the most by actually doing the job, being there, reading lots and getting involved with all opportunities presented.
For anyone thinking of doing a placement, definitively go for it and explore this opportunity. It has been one of my most enjoyable years at Uni. I have learned so much. It will set up anyone well for the future, after they finish Uni.
Q: You are almost at the end of the placement, and back for the final year at Uni. Do you think this is a career you will pursue when you graduate?
I really enjoyed this year and will be staying in touch with my current employer. I am now about to take RO2 exam. Professional Qualifications is another aspect I got involved with. I was lucky to have been offered it and I enjoyed having something to work alongside my usual working hours. I could have said no but it wasn’t my preferred option.
Thank you to Yasmin for the discussion and sharing her thoughts and observations on the experience as student placement in Financial Advice.
Placements are still open for students if they wish to apply and firms to advertise their roles. All advisers that have advertised on Bournemouth University student placement hub now have either 1 or 2 students joining them in the next academic year.
Are you an IFA looking for a return on your investment? It’s not too late to join the programme. Don’t miss out the opportunity and contact us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Simplify Consulting, along with PFS, Strategic Solutions, FPWM and Bournemouth University supports the process of implementing the Future of Advice initiative.
The key aim of the programme is to raise awareness of the Future of Advice as a career and ensure there is enough fresh blood coming into the profession in order to address the theme of succession planning within the Dorset and Hampshire region of the Personal Finance Society (PFS).