14 Feb Apprenticeship Blog – Week one
Introduction – “Welcome to the real world”
So I was going from 9-3 to 9-5, bring it on. No longer would I have all the freedom that a 7.5 hour supermarket contract alongside school had, but instead, full time work with 28 days holidays a year. This includes bank holidays of course. To think I thought the 14 weeks at school wasn’t long enough. But this was fine, I have now started a proper career path in the financial services industry.
I wanted to start it right so as you should on your first day I thought I would try to be friendly with everyone, and try to come across confidently. After I had got to the University Centre I quickly realised that you needed a FOB to get anywhere in this place, so I asked the janitor to let me through and show me where the Pentins office was. He showed me through to Pentins so I walked into the office and introduced myself loud and proud. “Hi guys, I’m Jack the new apprentice”. I wasn’t sure why they looked so confused, they knew I’d been due to start way before Christmas. It was hardly a warm welcome having everyone staring at me like I was some sort of numpty who’d misheard the number at bingo. But then I realised very quickly that I was actually a numpty, I had walked into the Pentins Accountants Office. Maybe I should’ve been more specific to the janitor. At least they explained to me straight away that Pentins Financial Planners was actually upstairs so I didn’t have to bare it for too long. They also contacted Oliver to let him know that I was waiting at the office to go through. I had a great start not even knowing where the office was. I guess it was probably best to show Oliver how clueless I am from the start so that there was no confusion about it going forward. So after all of the kafuffle Oliver came and got me from the reception, like a new teacher would come to collect to the new kid at primary school. Except despite acting like it I wasn’t actually an infant……and this wasn’t my first day at ‘big boy school’.
The first meeting I shadowed was with a client who had all of their money invested into property. I thought this was a great idea. You can’t go wrong with property can you, I mean it’s only going to go up in value and if you want the money you can just sell the house straight away. How wrong I was. This idea was quickly shut down when Sam began to explain how risky this type of investment was, as believe it or not the property market can also crash and the money is not always the easiest to access (you also have to sell the whole thing to access your money, not just sell a portion like with shares). It also takes time for the house to sell along with high entry and exit fees in and out of the market. Maybe just the one holiday home in the Bahamas will do for me, at least if I am tied into the mortgage for it I can enjoy a cocktail by the pool.
Financial fact from the week
Following on from the meeting I learnt that the example shown would be classed as gearing (having a high proportion of debt compared to equity). I don’t know if you already knew that, you might of, I’m just the apprentice. I was just glad to realise it before chucking all of my money into property like my dad suggested, it wouldn’t have been the ‘right move’.
Office Politics – Is it okay to drink your boss’s coffee?
From my first week here it was very clear that I was new to this office lark. It had took me a week to realise that everyone brought their own hot drink supplies in. I hadn’t done this to start with and thought that everything in the kitchen area was just supplied by the centre (I don’t know why, they even had the room numbers on the milk). This wasn’t the case though. But when I did realise this I can safely say that that my luxury week of drinking Sam’s 100% Costa Rican coffee would never be matched by my mums preferred choice of Douwe Egbert’s. Like two different drinks if you ask me.