Nurturing young talent - An intern's view31 Aug 2018
Applying for a job fresh out of university can be an overwhelming experience. Competition is fierce, entry requirements high and interview procedures increasingly rigorous.
It is often those graduates who show initiative and gain relevant experience through completing internships and placement years who are successful with their applications. This helps to put them at the front of the queue of the 21% of new graduates that enter the finance industry (circa. Sept 2017). In recognition of this, and as part of our commitment to supporting bright young talent, Ocorian offers a paid one year marketing placement to an undergraduate wishing to gain exposure to both marketing and financial services.
Over the last year, George Wingrove, a third year Business Management & Marketing student at Nottingham Trent, has been employed as our Temporary Marketing Assistant in the London office. He hands over his position to Brooke Kelly at the end of August, who will fulfil her year placement from Brunel University.
Ahead of George's departure date, he lets us know how he found his year at Ocorian…
George, with your year-long tenure coming to an end, how are you feeling?
Perhaps the main emotion at the moment is disappointment at leaving. This year has been a fantastic experience both professionally and personally, giving me insights into the working environment and exposure to an industry that could be a platform for my future career.
Having made some great friends in my time here, I will certainly miss my colleagues and the office environment I have become accustomed to.
In a nutshell, how have you found the experience?
It has been a brilliant experience, even better than I had first hoped. I had wanted to get exposure to how marketing operates in a practical sense so I could apply that knowledge to my final year studies. However, I have gained so much more than this.
This exposure has come from being entrusted with a variety of responsibilities across large projects, including our recent acquisitions. Learning how the business departments operate both individually and collectively has also provided me with an invaluable insight into business operations.
You joined at an exciting time for Ocorian, and as you say, you have been involved in assimilating several global acquisitions into the Ocorian brand. In many ways you have grown alongside the brand itself. What would you say are the key things you have learnt from the placement?
As you touched on, Ocorian is going through a phase of significant growth, and so perhaps the biggest learnings have been how a company adapts during this time. There is a whole list of things that need to be considered during a growth phase, including what compromises need to be made and what improvements are required in order to meet the ever-growing demands from stakeholders.
That being said, the more day-to-day aspects of my job have also given me great oversight as to how marketing can play an integral role in driving a company forward, both internally and externally.
How have you come to view the financial services industry, did you have any preconceptions and have they changed at all?
The financial services industry is extremely vast, and I have always had an inclination to work in it without necessarily knowing what I specifically wanted to do. Ocorian's niche and client-focussed services have opened up a new area of interest for me however, helping me to refine my career outlook even further.
Granted my frame of reference is limited to very few companies however, I have found the industry to be more sociable and engaging than perhaps it is perceived to be. For me, working with positive, approachable and sociable colleagues acts as a significant motivator, further incentivising me to focus on financial services in the future.
On that note, has the internship influenced you regarding where to take your career post-university?
My degree is quite broad in terms of business so I don’t want to narrow my options just yet; however I am really intrigued by the corporate services and alternative investment spheres. I am hoping to speak with a few colleagues before leaving to obtain some guidance on what my options may be if I were to move in this direction.
What has been the biggest aid for you during the year and do you any advice for Brooke as she begins life as the new Marketing Assistant?
My biggest aid has been the variety of work I have been able to participate in. Kate (Head of Communications) and Claudia (Chief Commercial Officer) have shown plenty of confidence in me to partake in numerous projects, but I have also worked with HR, IT, Business Development and Finance.
In turn, this would be my advice for Brooke as her placement year takes shape; make the most of every opportunity regardless of how far-fetched it may seem. Each little bit of exposure acts as a unique learning opportunity as well as giving you the chance to experience new areas that you may develop an interest in or passion for.
Ocorian's Head of Communications, Kate Martin commented:
"George has surpassed all our expectations and will be sorely missed from our team.
This has been a landmark year for Ocorian: completing four significant business acquisitions and rolling out an ambitious global expansion plan. There has been a lot of work to be done and George has been at the heart of it all.
He has contributed fully across a range of projects and has become the 'go-to' person for many of our Senior Executive team. The level and breadth of work he has undertaken has been impressive - and always completed with confidence, positivity and a wonderful sense of humour.
I'm very sad to see him go but wish him every success in his final year studies. I'm sure this won't be the last we hear of him!"
At Ocorian we currently have a number of open vacancies across several of our global offices including London, Jersey and Mauritius. View those job opportunities here.