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Blogs – Life after the Awards

After winning the ‘One to Watch’ award in April 2017, the following summer was incredibly fulfilling and acted as a welcome break from university exams.

My ten-week placement with award sponsor First Names Group saw me complete challenging project work that I ultimately presented to a select group of directors, and take an action-packed trip to Hong Kong to get a flavour of the company’s international exposure. It was a fantastic experience and showed me that I am able to hold my own in front of senior professionals. It also broadened my horizons to the very real possibility of boosting my career by working abroad.

The day after finishing my internship I drove my friends to Boomtown Festival for four days of celebrations, and throughout the rest of August I took a four-day trip to Prague, attended several more festivals and spent the rest of my time on the beach – so it’s fair to say it was an eventful summer!

One year on and I’ve continued with the busy theme. I’ve since learned to snowboard, graduated with a first class honours BSc economics degree, and have now returned to First Names Group to undertake a full-time graduate role within the financial services industry. I am part of the first iteration of the firm’s new graduate ‘rotation’ trainee scheme, which will see me working within four separate client service segments and across four separate jurisdictions over a two-year period. My first role is with the Corporate team in Jersey, and from there I hope to take on new roles across Europe and Asia.

My first six weeks back with First Names Group have been great fun! There has been so much inclusion from my team and people around the business that it really is a pleasure to work here, and I have been impressed by the strong emphasis on professional development and becoming your personal best.

During my second month I was invited to take part in the company’s award-winning career development programme, Explorer, which took place at Center Parcs in Woburn Forest. This engaging, high intensity leadership crash course is designed not only to build relationships between colleagues from multiple jurisdictions, but also to nurture the underlying potential of high performing employees. The course involved a large number of complex tasks that required analysis, solid teamwork and clear structure, all within a very restrictive time constraint – followed by a few drinks at dinner of course!

Undertaking the Explorer training alongside colleagues in senior management positions has certainly been fruitful; I have learned a lot about myself as a young professional and gained valuable first-hand knowledge of effective management styles and techniques. I believe that interacting with colleagues from multiple jurisdictions, as well as having the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities in front of department heads, has helped me cement myself firmly within the company, and has opened doorways for potential future roles.

I cannot wait to see what else First Names Group has in store for me. With their continued support I hope to prove myself a worthy winner, and indeed, ‘one to watch’.