T.Rowe Price Apprenticeships 2018: City jobs for local talent
Above photo: Successful candidates (clockwise from top left) Tyler, Gabriel, Dwayne, Amath and Aurelie, and a group shot of the day
Last month,Tyler Leon, Gabriel Osamor, Dwayne Griffiths, and Amath Mbaye began their career journeys with T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm based in central London, after securing apprenticeship positions via a rigorous recruitment process. The four new employees have been placed in various departments including Facilities, Client Operations, Technology, and Compliance.
As a specialist social mobility charity with an award-winning employment programme, ELBA partnered with T. Rowe Price for a third year to source local talent that might have otherwise been overlooked via traditional recruitment approaches.
We caught up with our new starters to hear about how they were able to secure their roles and what they are looking forward to in the future.
What made you apply for an apprenticeship at T. Rowe Price?
Dwayne: I decided to apply for the T. Rowe Price apprenticeship after a lengthy period of unemployment due to illness and when the information came through about the different roles, I saw aspects that were similar to previous roles. I knew that while I may not be as impressive as many others on paper, if I could get in front of someone to show what I am capable of I could mitigate that. T. Rowe Price gave me that opportunity.
Gabriel: I applied for an apprenticeship at T. Rowe Price as a way to further develop the knowledge of finance that I had developed in my previous work experience within the operations department, which I now think I can bring into my current client operations role.
Tyler: In the past couple of years, I’ve been working in zero hour contract jobs and more casual work, which is fine for a while but not when you’re trying to start a career. I looked at the skills required for the apprenticeship, and felt like I had them.
Amath: I’ve been a self-taught front-end web developer for a few years, working for T. Rowe Price was an opportunity to learn and further develop my knowledge within a sector I am interested in.
Had you ever considered an apprenticeship before this opportunity?
Dwayne: No, but after reading into the specifications, that’s when I considered it.
Gabriel: No, my degree is in Law and I always presumed that would be the route I’d go down. So it was only when this opportunity was presented to me that I considered it.
Tyler: Yes, because I identified it as a way to get into an industry.
Amath: Yes, I had considered an apprenticeship before however, I was put off by the low salaries I had come across. The apprenticeship at T.Rowe Price offered me an ideal environment to learn and develop while providing a significantly better financial incentive than the vast majority of apprenticeships.
What did you find most challenging about the recruitment process?
Dwayne: To be honest, I didn’t find anything challenging about it because it was perfectly suited to me.
Gabriel: I found the recruitment process very accessible.
Tyler: The three interviews back-to-back were slightly challenging and tiring.
Amath: The number of interviews and the additional group assessments were the most difficult parts for me.
What was your first day like?
Dwayne: My first day was great and it was good spending the first week with all the other apprentices. Everyone was welcoming, from reception to the top floor – when walking around everyone says hello, which reinforced the idea that this would be a good place to make a career.
Gabriel: I had an amazing first day at T. Rowe Price because the culture is very inclusive and I had the opportunity to meet different people, such as the previous apprentices. I enjoyed being able to learn about the career progression of these apprentices and learning that if you want to consider future study, there is funding available. All of these things made me even more passionate about the firm.
Tyler: I really enjoyed the first day, I feel like they did a good job of putting you at ease. For some people, perhaps similar to myself, who haven’t had much experience in a corporate environment, it can be quite daunting. Meeting people at very senior levels and realising that they are really down to earth just makes you feel more at home.
Amath: Surprisingly settling. The fact that I met so many members of staff during the interview process made my first day a lot more settling and made the environment a lot less intimidating on my first and following days.
What do you enjoy most about your current role and what are you most looking forward to?
Dwayne: I would say the thing I enjoy most about my current role is that there’s a lot of variety, lots of things to learn and the days go quite quickly. The thing I am most looking forward to within the Facilities apprenticeship is that there are lots of different things to try and then see if I’m drawn to any particular one.
Gabriel: So far, that I have been able to develop my writing skills by writing about the different events here at T. Rowe Price and chasing people up for different responses. I am looking forward to joining my team in Client Operations, producing financial reports and marketing materials and I believe this role will make me a well-rounded person in finance, particularly asset management.
Tyler: I feel like I’ve learnt a lot already after only a week and I am looking forward to collaborative projects with other teams to see how my department affects other departments.
Amath: The opportunity to learn and grow both in my professional and also personal life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dwayne: I would hope to be settled into a career that I wouldn’t mind carrying on with, or finding something I would like to go into and perhaps getting the education I need to be able to do that job.
Gabriel: I am considering multiple paths within T. Rowe Price; specialising to become an analyst within my current position or an analyst for investments, or equities trading or a path to qualify as a solicitor in the firm.
Tyler: I think I would still like to be working here and continuing to better myself in the field of Compliance.
Amath: In five years I would like to see myself as a senior software developer who specialises in security. As someone with sales and customer service experience, there is an opportunity to combine my technology skill sets and sales experience to develop in a new way that may be of interest to T. Rowe Price.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Dwayne: That even when things seem hopeless, and for a while they seemed hopeless, that it’s still worth trying.
Gabriel: If I could travel back in time, I would advise myself to start attending insight sessions and start going to different corporate events sooner than when I did to start building professional relationships and become more well-rounded in my knowledge of business.
Tyler: I think I would tell myself to have more confidence in myself because clearly you can do a lot more than you think you can, just believe more in your own abilities.
Amath: As someone who is his worst critic, someone who has dealt with depression and low self-esteem, if I could give advice to my younger self, it would be to allow the people closest to me into my life and be more social than I have the tendency to be.
What top tips would you give to applicants looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Focus on your own improvement instead of comparing yourself to other people. There’s always going to somebody with more qualifications or someone who’s a better talker, don’t worry about that – just try and be the best you that you can be.
- Furthermore, do your research – I always say to myself “if you care, prepare”, so prepare by doing your research.
- My advice is for people to be their true self at interview instead of answering questions robotically, as this will make you shine. Talk about what you genuinely enjoy doing and don’t be afraid to tell them about personal things.
- I encourage people to network, as I’ve heard, “your network is your net worth”. Networking will boost your knowledge and give you an ability to strike up conversations with senior people.
- Don’t give up. That one ‘yes’ can change your life.
“Don’t give up. That one yes can change your life.”
- Do your research on the specific firm as you’re likely to be asked a variety of questions regarding the firm. Get an idea of what they do, what they believe in and things they’re involved in to show you have an interest.
- Be confident in yourself and your abilities. It’s important not to compare yourself to other people and know that you’re there for a reason and that you can bring things to the company that maybe other people can’t.
- Follow your interests: nothing drives learning more than one’s own interest; do things that interest you.
- If you’re going through difficulties, you can be certain that other people are going through similar challenges. The corporate environment has become more aware of the social challenges people face and organisations like the Parity project and ELBA can offer you a chance to network with people aware of these issues.
The calibre of candidates was particularly high this year, and alongside the successes of our apprentices, we were also able to celebrate Aurelie Camala, one of the candidates who did not get onto the apprenticeship programme but secured a role at T. Rowe Price.
Many of the T. Rowe Price associates who met her during the recruitment days were extremely impressed. After further interviews, Aurelie was offered a 6 month contract at T.Rowe Price within the HR team. This has been a wonderful outcome all round and we know how excited Aurelie is to have started her role.
We are proud to be the recruiting partner for T. Rowe Price apprenticeships and look forward to securing more positive employment outcomes for a diverse pool of local talent.