First Year as an Analyst in a Financial Services Outsource Provider
Starting any new job can be daunting at the beginning. Starting a new job in an outsourcing company can be more challenging than others. My first year at FinTrU has been wonderful and definitely an eye-opener to what is expected of fresh graduates straight out of university with no real office experience. After finishing my first year of working with near-shore clients, I have reflected on my experiences and have a few tips for any new graduate about to embark on their first steps of developing their own career.
The first thing I quickly learnt from working for an outsourcing company is that communication is key. Working remotely for clients, rather than on site can have its challenges. Learning any new task/procedure remotely, such as over the phone or by sharing your screen can be a new and unexperienced process but this is the perfect chance for you to hone your communication skills and show the client that you are up for the task. At the start of any new job it is important to constantly ask questions to ensure what you are doing is correct and it is even more important when working for a client in a different site as they can’t look over your shoulder and directly provide feedback. Quickly establish how each of your stakeholders likes to be communicated with and evidence this in a consistent manner, with regular calls and emails, prompt responses and managed expectations. Always keep commination channels with your client open; whether that is updates at certain intervals or an end of the day break down of tasks completed, items outstanding and ongoing focus. This will help keep you and your working methods structured and also put the client at ease as they know exactly what you have worked on and that their priorities are being maintained, so ensuring you will meet those tight deadlines.
The next thing I quickly learnt is to embrace your team. Joining a new team can be daunting at the start but these colleagues will be the ones who will train you and support you in the future. They may already know your role and have insight to your client, giving you a head start in relationship building. Invest time in getting to know your team and let them get to know you, join in the team building events, suggest a new event, go for lunch together, and you will soon be enjoying the support and camaraderie a closely knitted team brings. This support helps to ensure that you have the best foundation to build your new career path and progress within the company. Another key point is the importance of your relationship with your client. Although in effect an extension of your team, you should always bear in mind the client relationship and your role within it. The client’s priorities may be very different from your own, but meeting these priorities, managing and then exceeding expectations, all contribute to excellent working relationships and hopefully strong client feedback, which should always be welcomed.
As an analyst starting out on their first role, there are explicit pieces of information companies will share with you to help you in both choosing the right company and aligning your own behaviours and expectations with that company. The company’s values are key in helping you make decisions. If you don’t share the same values as your new work place, then it could be a sign that you won’t "fit in" or progress up the company ladder as quickly as you would like to. It is a worthwhile exercise to take time to understand what the values are and what behaviour they encourage or you may have a very short career in your new workplace. At FinTrU our values reflect the quality of who we employ and the quality of work we provide to clients, both of which were important to me when deciding which path to take.
The last vital tip I have learnt in my first year is to always ask for feedback to ensure that you are constantly learning from your mistakes, build on your success and sharpening all the tools at your disposal. Take the initiative and set up regular meetings with your team leader or ask your team-mates to critique your work. By doing this you will ensure that you learn from your mistakes and send the impression that you are eager to learn and grow your skills. This will get you noticed by your team leader or manager and will create a good first impression when joining the team.
In my short experience at FinTrU, I have already identified several benefits of being an analyst in smaller company. Working in a smaller/start-up company you have more opportunity to make an impact of what direction the company is headed in, what training/exams are offered to analysts and even help identify and cement the company values. Another perk is the exposure you gain to different projects. Now that projects have been established and are BAU, this allows analysts to move to different projects and hone new skills which will without a doubt help them grow professionally.
Hopefully after reading this article you will be able to kick start your career and gain the best possible start to progressing up that career ladder!
Sean joined FinTrU in 2014. He was engaged on a Legal Document Digitisation Remediation project for a Tier 1 Investment Bank before working on the Non-Market Risk Team for another Tier 1 Investment Bank.
Sean is a graduate of the University of Ulster where he gained a Bsc in Business Economics. Always having a strong interest in financial services, Sean joined FinTrU through our original graduate Academy intake. The FinTrU Financial Services Academy is a bespoke programme comprising intensive training in financial markets, and financial regulation with a focus on data analysis and management.
As a member of the FinTrU Non-Market Risk Team, Sean’s key focus is in the Risk Control Group where he is responsible for compiling attestation packs globally which identify key risks and highlights the performance of different departments within the investment bank.
In addition to this, Sean is also responsible for carrying out several recons to ensure risks are mitigated within the banks population.