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Laura Johnstone

University of Aberdeen – Accountancy & Management 2015
Graduate Trainee, Investment Operations

Exploring the business

I wasn’t at all sure what I wanted to do after graduation, and didn’t fully appreciate what Investment Operations is. Because it’s so broad, and covers so many different disciplines, the idea of a rotational programme appealed to me as it would allow me to experience different areas of this investment business.  It’s an amazing opportunity and I haven’t seen anything like this offered elsewhere. 

A personal approach

On day one I was nervous but you soon meet up with the other new graduates and your manager and it doesn’t feel like a big firm (although there are nearly 1,000 people).  There are lots of opportunities to meet colleagues throughout the business including senior partners who are genuinely interested in you and your development.

Responsibililty from the start

My first placement was in the Client Administration department, and I was given my own funds to look after for three months.  You’re given responsibility right away, and I particularly enjoyed contributing at meetings, and having my ideas taken seriously.

Ongoing learning

Right now I’m finishing my placement in Finance and I’ve presented back on what I’ve learnt here.  The focus on learning is important. Although I had an understanding of the basics from my degree, I’m gaining even more knowledge through studying for external industry qualifications too.  It’s still early days – and I’m planning to take as much as I can from each rotation.  It’s about discovering what you enjoy, what skills you want to develop and where you can make a positive impact.

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