Joshua
Office location: Leeds
Joined Aon: September 2017
What attracted you to the Aon Apprenticeship Programme?

The Aon Apprenticeship Programme appeared to be a compelling alternative route to University, a view which I have proven to myself since I started working here. The idea of earning whilst learning and being placed at the start of a structured development programme was probably my biggest motivation for applying. Apprenticeships are on the rise in the UK as many people don’t see University as the automatic progression for them after their A-Levels, and I was that person last year. Aon also attracted me because of its unimaginable size, expertise and values; I have no doubt that I will continue to learn vast amounts of knowledge. Apprentices are seen as the same as any other member of the team and given real work to do on clients from day one in the office.

What have you learnt in your time at Aon?

Firstly, I have gained some understanding of just how big Aon is; it is around double the size of Tesco and employs close to 70,000 people in more than 120 different countries. I have learnt how the business operates on a fundamental 'Aon United' view which connects the key services lines together, making you feel part of something huge. In my specific role, I have started to understand some technical terms and processes in just 8 weeks. This includes how we create quarterly reports and deliver advice to our clients. I would also add that a key learning point so far is that making mistakes happens and it is not a problem, as long as you learn something from the mistakes.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My team, Trustee Advisory Investment, works with its clients to advise them on their investment strategy. So my typical day involves liaising with investment managers so that our Investment Consultants can shape their advice. Furthermore, I also work on a lot of quarterly reporting for our clients, helping them to understand the direction their business is taking every 3 months, which is quite remarkable after only 8 weeks in the business. Investment Consultants have asked me to prepare presentations for their client meetings. Although I am primarily based in an office, I have done different tasks nearly every day so my workload is quite varied.

What have you enjoyed most about your Apprenticeship Programme?

I have enjoyed the responsibility I have been given and the trust that comes with this. I am the first apprentice in Investment Consulting in my office, so having responsibility so soon is very fulfilling. I enjoy earning a competitive salary and working towards well-recognised industry qualifications at the same time. Such qualifications will set me up for my career in financial services. On a day-to-day basis, I have enjoyed settling in well with the team and the fact that I am treated like any other member of the team is a huge benefit. There is also constant support from my Buddy and my Manager; there is no such thing as a stupid question. Anything that I need help with there are always people willing to give up their time and help. One other enjoyable part is the range of work socials that I have been able to attend already, which helps with getting to know my team.

What’s next for you at Aon?

In the next year or so, I will be completing my apprenticeship in Investment Operations and achieving the Investment Management Certificate (IMC). The IMC is a benchmark qualification into investment consulting so I am working at the same level as graduates on this. Once achieving these qualifications, I will be an Investment Analyst. During this training process, I will be travelling around the country on training sessions. Further in the future, I am keen to work towards becoming an Investment Consultant. At this stage, my career will involve being at the forefront of providing client advice and meeting clients regularly.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the Aon apprenticeship programme?

Apply now! Work carefully on your application and make it stand out because Aon are looking for personality in their Apprentices, not technical knowledge. Whatever examples you have to show that you go above and beyond, be it work experience, extra-curricular responsibilities and personal hobbies, include them because they will definitely put you in a good position. Show that you are keen and willing to learn, and most importantly just be yourself!