Investment 20/20 school leavers programme

"Since joining, I now feel like I am truly starting my working career. It’s one I am enjoying and feel like I have a positive future." Matthew Sanderson, I20/20 Trainee

Invest in your future

We invest for a better future. We do this for our customers and clients. We also believe it’s just as important to invest in our employees’ future too.

Our Investment 20/20 school leaver programme will help you to grow your knowledge of the world of work, gain work experience within a professional environment and gain a better understanding of our industry.

Moving from school to the world of work is a unique experience. It is one we understand. It is one we support. We have award winning programmes that will see you learn as you earn giving you access to qualifications, a structured training programme and a network of new colleagues.

Read more about how the apprenticeship career path is adding up to great things for Shannon Macnamara.

You may not have any work experience or investments experience. You don’t need it for this programme. Our focus is on finding those with the right attitude and values who are willing to learn. This programme is a great opportunity for school and college leavers to kick start their career in the industry.

Read the below stories to hear from some of our Investment 20/20 Trainees and school leavers who have been in the same position as you.

Megan Headshot
Megan Bain
Investments Trainee

What were you doing before joining Aberdeen Standard Investments?

I left school at the beginning of my sixth year as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to university, but I did feel that getting some work experience would benefit me.

Whilst at school I was involved in a programme called Career Ready , which provided me with regular development opportunities, a mentor, masterclasses and four weeks of work experience at the Scottish Qualifications Authority during my summer break.

Why did you choose to start working instead of further education?

I felt the trainee programme would provide me with an excellent platform and experience to begin my career path. I also felt it would offer excellent opportunities due to the size and diversity of the company.

Right now I am working towards a digital marketing and leadership qualification called “Google Squared”. I think this is a great way to further my education whilst working full time too.

What was the biggest challenge adapting to work after leaving school?

Taking responsibility each and every day.

I feel this has helped me to grow and to become more confident in my own abilities. To begin with, I did find things difficult: adjusting and learning all of the business processes and things like that. But my team supported me and my manager puts time in with me each week to go over anything I need help with. My team have been great helping me adapt to the working world and helping me to develop and take on more responsibility.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of working at Aberdeen Standard Investments?

Grasp every opportunity provided to you on the traineeship. Go to all the development classes, meetings and networking events to better your communication skills and overall understanding of the company.

Be confident and willing to ask questions. Don’t shy away from problems, because that way you won’t learn and grow. Be enthusiastic and willing to learn every day when you come into work to get the best out of your traineeship.

Don’t feel because you don’t have a degree you are any of less value to your team, you can add value in your own way by feeding your personality into the team and bringing in new ideas. Not having a degree doesn’t make you any less smart, it just means you were keen to start your career early and to see all the opportunities available to you.

Overall, enjoy your experience with Aberdeen Standard Investments, because it can lead you onto a pathway to future career success.

Would you recommend working at Aberdeen Standard Investments to friends? Why?

I would recommend working here as I feel the company provides great opportunities for young people just out of school. There’s a whole network of help: buddies, mentors, networking events and development opportunities designed to make the jump to working life straightforward.

The team-based culture of the organisation provides an excellent social aspect and makes you feel more comfortable too.

Many young people don’t consider coming into a financial services company at a young age but I feel the opportunities I’ve had so far are amazing and can provide you with an excellent introduction to working life.

How did you feel in the lead up to joining compared to now?

Before joining, I felt very nervous to leave school and start my career at such a young age. I felt that I might not compare to other trainees coming into the programme with years of work experience and/or further education qualifications!

However I soon learnt that my enthusiasm and willingness to learn was just as valuable, and that I am more than capable to carry out a full-time role.

I feel enthusiastic and proud of my development in my role so far and also how my knowledge has grown. I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity as it has made me into the confident individual I am today.

Before joining I could never have imagined myself participating in meetings, attending events and talking to external clients but I have done all of these things and more! I now feel excited about what the future has to hold for me as I know with my experience and self-development within this organisation it’s going to be a bright one!

Darren Headshot
Darren Main
Digital Consultant

What were you doing before joining Standard Life Aberdeen?

I was at high school and working part-time at Poundworld. So the opportunity to work here gave me a pretty crazy career jump!

Why did you choose to work here instead of, say, further education?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left high school (all I knew was that I wanted to wear a suit!) and a close friend of mine told me about the Edinburgh Guarantee scheme. Through it, I successfully got a six-month paid internship at Standard Life Aberdeen working in their Marketing department.

What was the biggest challenge adapting to work after leaving school?

I was initially very nervous of starting work at a place where the majority of staff are over age 25. In school, I got used to being treated as a pupil by anyone older than me. But at Standard Life Aberdeen you quickly realise that everyone is treated as an equal. People take time to listen to your ideas, to encourage you and are keen to help you learn the ropes.

How has working here benefitted you personally?

Within the Marketing department I was able to flex my creative muscle in ways that I couldn’t have imagined for someone my age and experience. Within my first three months, I had successfully helped organise two internal launch events for a new Standard Life Savings product.

I have gained very valuable skills, including customer experience knowledge and coding & web design. I’ve also gained transferable skills like workload management too.

Getting paid the Living Wage has been a massive benefit to me as well, allowing me to buy and run my first car.

Lastly, being able to say “I’m a Digital Consultant” at age 18 also sounds pretty cool!

What are you most proud of since you started working at Standard Life

The creation and launch of the company’s new Intranet, “Stan”.

It took a lot of hard work and planning and we managed to launch it on time. The initial reception has been terrific, although we know there’s still plenty of work to be done to make it even better.

Life is good when we can be ourselves. It’s the energy that makes us a world class team. Will you join us on this journey?

There are no minimum education requirements for this role – what counts is your enthusiasm, a can-do attitude and a curiosity to learn and be the best you can be. If you believe you have the potential to help us achieve our ambitions and get your career started, look out for our next round of opportunities, available in May 2020.

“I feel excited about what the future has to hold for me as I know, with my experience and self development within this organisation, it's going to be a bright one!”
Megan Bain I20/20 Trainee
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