We caught up with Franklin to discuss his internship with Schroders. We hear about the impact his work has on the wider business, the client exposure he gets and how supportive the firm have been with working from his home in Hackney. Franklin also gives advice on how to perfect your approach to the application process.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a student going into my final year at the University of Manchester where I study Economics. Throughout university I’ve made sure to expose myself to a lot of different experiences: I’ve been working part-time at Nandos, I play basketball for the men’s first team, a bit of football (although much more casually than basketball!) and spent first year as part of the Royal Air Force. I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial, so I run my own social enterprise (called London Ballers) based around basketball where last year I was able to hold an event sponsored by the university which was amazing. This year I’m looking for the funding to do something bigger and better.
What’s your role at Schroders?
So, my official title is Global Insurance Analyst intern. A lot of what I’ve been doing has been research based, which to some people might be boring, but to me it’s been really interesting. I’ve also been creating account plans - so looking at past dealings with clients and then thinking how we can create a strategy for them moving forward. What I’ve really liked is that even as an intern, I’m given the opportunity to use my research and knowledge to interpret where the company should go in the future. This isn’t just at a regional or national scale but at a global level. One thing I’ve done to avoid limiting myself to global insurance is interacting and bouncing ideas off of other teams to get an idea of what they do in comparison to me.
What stood out to you about Schroders?
If I’m being totally honest, I hadn’t heard about them until a scholarship programme I’m a part of took me to an event hosted by Schroders. I ended up speaking to the head of their UK Marketing and this was my first introduction to the company. I learnt a lot about their passion when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As well as that, a lot of senior individuals took the time to speak to us – it was clear they were very invested in the workforce of tomorrow.
What is the culture like at the firm?
A lot of people ask similar questions when it comes to culture. A lot of them doubt how well you can get a grasp on the company culture when everything is virtual - but I have to say, I completely disagree. When I speak to grads and other interns it feels like we all have something in common. It feels like all our goals align and we all want to learn from each other. Even when speaking to senior people it doesn’t feel like information is just passing one way, it feels like they are open to learning things from our different perspectives.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
One thing that really helped me was networking. As I said, I first came into contact with Schroders through an event they held and one thing I did was follow up with everyone I had a conversation with. I know it sounds cliché, but I guess I’m literally a testimony to it working!
It’s also really important to do your research. Having top tier knowledge of the company and commercial awareness is very clear in interviews and assessment centres. Take the time to read up on the industry and the role you are applying for.
A really useful strategy that helped me was to apply for opportunities at the same time as a friend. It wasn’t like we were colluding or anything - we were applying for different positions at different companies - but the moral support really helped us keep motivated and honestly made the whole process a lot less intimidating.
What’s your favourite aspect of your role at Schroders?
I enjoy the client facing aspects of the role. I really like how even as an intern, the research I’m doing is super important and a part of the larger project that’s then sent to clients. What’s inspiring about it is seeing my possible progression from an intern to a grad and getting to have my own phone calls with clients and then to a full professional.
Did Bright Network help you secure this role and, if so, how?
I found the interview prep and networking articles really helpful, and the job and industry summaries were great at giving me a good idea of what it would be like to work in the financial industry.
If you could go back and speak to your younger self, what advice would you give them when applying?
I’d be 100% real and say it is a long process and you will apply to a lot of places. While it’s important to cast your net far and wide, you need to have criteria of what you want a company to give you. There were times where I’d be preparing for an interview or assessment centre and I’d realise that I wasn’t excited about the company anymore.
Another would be, don’t get intimidated by other people who might have ten offers by October. I really let that get to my head. Not comparing yourselves to others and doing things that will directly help you is super important, rather than just doing what other people are doing.
Lastly, make sure you speak to people who have been through the process before. Make use of your university resources and find alumni’s who went into similar industries and talk to them. Had I made better use of this, I would have known what to expect from the assessment centres.
How did Schroders help set you up to work from home?
Weeks after I got the offer, they informed me that it was going to be virtual (due to the covid-19 pandemic) and I was a bit concerned about how my living situation was going to affect it. But they’ve been really considerate about all these different factors by supplying me with a headset, pens, sticky notes and all the office essentials I need. It’s made communication and working a lot easier. Schroders’ IT team also took the time to go through everything and make sure my computer was set up to efficiently work from home which was great.
Interested in finding out more about Schroders and their live opportunities? Visit their profile here.