Life as an apprentice with Thorntons Investments
Now in its fifth year, the Courier Business Awards is a highlight of the business calendar across Tayside, Angus and Fife.
The standard is high, so to be shortlisted is testimony to the commitment and hard work shown by Dylan, the support of Nadine Key as his manager, and the entire team at Thorntons Investments in promoting a supportive culture of learning and development.
Marketing and communications manager Karen Slupinski, took time out to ask Dylan about what this nomination means to him, and his manager Nadine on the impact Dylan makes to the business:
K: Congrats Dylan, we’re delighted that your greatness is being recognised! Can you tell me about your journey so far?
D: I joined the Admin team in September 2016 as part of my Learn Direct course in Providing Financial Services, level 3. My training is going better than I could have anticipated and I am learning new skills daily. As soon as I arrived at Thorntons Investments I was eager to learn as much as possible.
K: What have you learned?
D: My training is not only increasing my knowledge of financial services, but is also helping me to improve skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and dealing with clients and suppliers. Receiving client requests and communicating with clients is a huge stepping stone in my career. I love dealing with people, and regardless of what job I choose in future I am sure I will be dealing with people and providing a great service.
N: The admin team is our breeding ground for all future talent. Everyone joining the business in a development capacity would join this team to learn all administrative tasks, processes and systems from the ground up. Dylan has learned new skills in: IT, Process Improvement, Understanding Financial Services, Communication (face to face and over the phone with a wide range of clients), Data analysis and Improved numeracy skills. Dylan’s work is assessed through allocated tasks which are monitored against deadlines and for accuracy and he consistently produces a high standard of work. In the background Dylan has worked diligently towards his qualification which has helped him gain a better understanding of the wider financial services industry and consolidate what he is learning in the workplace through his day to day duties.
K: What impact has Dylan made on the rest of the team?
N: Dylan is extremely thoughtful and supportive towards his colleagues and has truly had a huge impact on them in a short space of time. If we could be lucky enough to replicate him, we would not hesitate to take on a new apprentice every year. Dylan has picked up more skills and knowledge in his first year than we ever anticipated and has become an invaluable member of the team.
Dylan has a great eye for detail and a fresh outlook on existing processes and procedures. He has been able to use his analytical and IT skills to frequently suggest improvements or new ways of working. His personality – particularly his confidence and enthusiasm have had a positive impact on staff morale. It has also given some long serving members of staff an opportunity to play a part in his development, taking on coaching and mentoring roles which has given them new responsibilities which they have particularly enjoyed.
K: What’s next?
D: The feedback I have received from the management team has been great and I feel like a reliable member of the administration team. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I have spent at Thorntons Investments and I will work hard to continue to learn and progress with the hope of a long and successful career ahead with the company. I will be completing my apprenticeship programme early next year and look forward to discussing what opportunities there are for me to progress in Thorntons Investments.
N: Whilst the administration team is the logical starting point for an apprentice, this also supports the Company’s growth where the workload in this area has increased notably and Dylan has been able to contribute to meeting these demands. Gaining experience across the different parts of the business will ultimately allow him to determine his long-term career aspirations whether this is financial planning or investment management, or indeed within one of the support functions within the business. We would fully expect that once Dylan has completed his apprenticeship, we will start on his professional exams whether that is to become a paraplanner, an investment analyst or whatever he chooses. Dylan’s future is bright – there is no doubt. We very much hope that it will be with us where his opportunities are unlimited.