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Schroders Graduate Scheme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

When did you start working for Schroders?

I joined the graduate scheme in September 2010.


Did you apply to lots of places when looking for a graduate scheme or were you more selective?

I applied to a few places, didn’t send off loads of applications. I actually got to the final round interview for another job interview but I got offered the job at Schroders so accepted that.


How many people did you take in on your year on the graduate schemes across all the divisions?

From what I remember they took on 14 overall in the following divisions: 2 in Fixed Income, 3 in Equities, 3 in Distribution, 2 on the China program, 2 in Finance and 2 in Infrastructure so not a vast amount of roles are offered.


Did you get close with others on the graduate scheme during your time there?

Yes, how it works is you spend the first 2 weeks in intensive catch up programs, which teach you about a wide variety of things, and those classes are taken as a group so you will be in contact right from the start. You then take the IMC (Investment Management Certificate) together and then everybody except for Finance and Infrastructure then go on to do their first level of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) as a group in December so for all of those exams you spend a few days a week with them in a classroom.


With regards to the CFA exams how many are there and when are they taken?

The CFA is three levels; level one in December, level two in June 2011 and then the third I actually have coming up in a couple of weeks (June 2012).


Do you get given significant support when it comes to taking these exams from Schroders?

Yes, they had teachers from 7 City to teach us for 8-9 days full time and we were supported beyond that as well so the help from Schroders was good.


What were your motivations for doing to CFA?

If you are in an investment role or working within certain parts of distribution it really helps you to gain a valuable knowledge in to the entire financial spectrum and if you want to go on to become a portfolio manager then it is essential. I think if you are working in any part of asset management then it is extremely useful.


What do you feel about their being only 14 people on the graduate scheme?

I personally really enjoyed it, not only do you get to know everybody really well and also it was far more interactive, because there was only a small group we would have investors from all over the company coming to talk to all of us. It is not too small that is not financially viable for them to bring in a teacher to teach us either.


How easy do you find Schroders as a whole whem it comes to socializing outside of your own department?

It is really open, I talk to and work with people across all different
divisions and also work with fund managers on projects from different
departments as well as senior management on occasion.


What affect has the recent economic downturn has on the graduate intake at Schroders?

Funnily enough our graduate intake has actually increased over the last 4 years, the year before I joined I understand there was only 1-2 people taken on then in my year there was 14, in the year after there was 1 or 2 more than my year and this year I think we are looking to take on the same numbers, if not a couple more. I wouldn’t expect it to be cut to be honest.


Being an asset management company that are smaller than some of your competitors what benefits do you think this can have?

We are a reasonably big firm with 3000 people so we can take advantages of scale and be able to invest in things that perhaps we wouldn’t be able to if we were a smaller firm. On the other hand we are small enough to have the flexibility to act on things efficiently if we have to which might be more difficult at a larger company.


Do you think there are any common misconceptions about any part of your job?

I think those outside of finance make the one common misconception that it is a very ‘city boy’ role. Roles tend to be fairly academic and you are required to do a lot of thinking and researching for yourself.


Did you every consider going in to something like trading before going to Schroders?

I think it was something I did consider a few years ago when I was at University but as I have considered it more I think that in a role like the one I am in now I gain a lot more in terms of transferable skills to help in the future. You learn about a wide variety of areas and develop a broad skill set.


Do you think that some of the things you learnt at University have helped
you in anything you have done since you have been at Schroders?

Yes definitely, having done Economics it has helped me considerably when it comes to my CFA, especially levels 1 and 2. A lot of my role will take in to account economics but it is possible to learn these skills on the job if you take an interest in it and are prepared to read about it. I think that the economics involved in my job now is a lot more practical economics as oppose to the theoretical economics that I learnt at University.


Finally, what do you think makes Schroders stand out from the crowd?

I think the wide array of experiences you get in such a short period of time.


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