Meet Julia, Technology Industrial Placement student at Fidelity International

Julia started her industrial placement in technology at Fidelity last year, and wanted to share advice for anyone else looking for a career in tech...

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Julia

Technology Industrial Placement

Fidelity International

Hi! I’m Julia, and I’m a Technology Industrial Placement student at Fidelity International, which is an investment management company. I’m having a brilliant year and wanted to write about my experiences and key advice, for anyone who is looking to start a career in Tech and is unsure of where to start, which is how I felt!

When I am not on placement, I attend Canterbury Christ Church University, and I study Computer Forensics and Security. I found Fidelity International through an advertised placement on TargetJobs. I knew I wanted to do a year in industry placement, but I wasn’t sure exactly where my skills could be useful. Financial services wasn’t something I had considered, but there’s great opportunities here.

For example, I am currently working with the Information Security team. Essentially this means ensuring we are compliant across all critical areas of Information Security, which is a really important part of maintaining our operating environment. Not only could we face legal difficulties if we aren’t properly compliant, but we pride ourselves on conducting our business with integrity and trust. Our clients, partners, and customers, trust us to take Information Security seriously.

As part of my role, I’m tasked with producing a weekly compliance report to identify areas which need more assistance with compliance. I will then contact the relevant asset owners, working together on a plan to ensure these areas are well-supported. It requires me to be extremely pro-active, to ensure we are maintaining our high standards across the business. I also have a few self-learning hours across the week, working towards IT certificates which will help me later in my career. We are given lots of time to attend and complete trainings, which is one of the things that attracted me to this placement.

Apart from that, I really like the people here at Fidelity. The opportunity to learn from them, hear their experiences in their careers and be mentored by them is something I am very grateful for and really enjoy doing. It is not a hierarchical business at all, people are always very happy to have a conversation with you or help you out. I haven’t felt self-conscious about the fact that I’m still learning, and its clear that my team values my ideas. This isn’t just limited to being on the placement either. I can see how Fidelity values its employees and how appreciated they feel. I might be based in the UK, but from speaking to colleagues all around the world, I’m positive that that is also the case in the other 25+ locations we’re based in.

Speaking of different teams and locations, my favourite part of this programme is being able to move around different teams. It has been an amazing opportunity to find out exactly what I’m interested in and want to pursue later in my career. I’ve spent time with many teams so far, ranging from Threat Intelligence to Financial Crime, each one providing me with great insight into the different roles, how they support the business, and the different ways of working.

I am based out in the Kingswood office, in Surrey. It’s a really amazing campus, with loads of facilities - I wish I knew about all the services they provided much earlier! For example, there’s a free shuttle bus which takes you to the office from many train stations. Knowing this would have helped me plan my move for the year better, so my advice is to ask as many questions as possible when you are looking to join.

I’d also really emphasise that you shouldn’t stress about not being an expert programmer, not knowing all the policies straight away, or lacking some skills relevant to these jobs. You’re here to learn, gain experience, and come out with a little bit more knowledge of the Technology & Digital world than you had before. No one expects you know everything, so don’t have that expectation of yourself. In fact, you’ll make the most of your year if you stay curious and keep asking questions. One thing I’ve learned is that you never stop learning and improving yourself, no matter how far you are into your career. The people at Fidelity really embrace the value in learning and that’s what this programme is about. I feel much more prepared and confident about the career I want to make for myself, and it’s thanks to my year here.

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