Reading Time: 4 minutes Rory Dearden has completed his first year working for the Capital International Group after graduating from the University of Chester in 2016. We thought we would catch up with him to find out about his first year of work! What did you choose to study at University? Did you have any specific career in mind? I studied a Business degree at the University of Chester and received First Class Honours. I originally chose the course due to its variety of content in terms of how many aspects of business I could gain a knowledge in, which would leave me with not only insight into different areas, but open doors to plenty of career options within business after three years of study. When I graduated, I had gained a wide knowledge of business by studying modules including: Marketing; Accountancy; International Consumer Culture and Strategic Management. I chose to write my dissertation on the effects of unethical behaviour in regards to customer perception and loyalty, with a critical analysis referencing the Volkswagen emission crisis. In addition to the academic study, I spent my four summers at home gaining work experience at CSP’s, and I believe this really helped me to secure my role at Capital and know what kind of area I wanted to go into within the business. I would really recommend to any students to spend their summers doing the same. All this this prepared me to graduate with a clearer idea of which direction to take next. What attracted you to the Capital International Group, and how did you come to be employed by them? After graduating, I spent time looking for a job that offered variety in its role, as well as exposure to a fast-paced, ever-changing, exciting business environment. When Capital International Group then advertised for a University Graduate to work in the Dealing team, this met the criteria I had created for myself. On applying, I was invited to attend an interview. After that, I was fortunate enough to be offered the job to start in December 2016. From my first points of contact with the Group, it was made very clear to me that hard work would be rewarded, which appealed to me as I had a proven track record of hard work. Additionally, the company’s active promotion of personal self-development was appealing as I wanted to work for a company that invest in and nurture their staff, as I am interested in furthering my knowledge, qualifications and stepping up as I gain experience in the role. Since joining, I have learnt more about my colleagues and the steps they took to establish their careers. I have now chosen to begin sitting examinations with CISI and am currently studying for my Introduction to Securities exams. The initial examination process is applicable to many fields of work, and doing this will allow me the option to specialise further down the line in areas of personal interest, such as Wealth Management. What does a typical day consist of in your role as a Dealing Administrator? For me, no two days are ever the same as different days present different challenges. I would usually start a day working with the Equity Dealers to assess the reconciliations from the previous day’s trading. Then, I may move on to aiding the Settlements team with the final processes required to fully execute a client’s trade. Dependant on staff numbers, I may also work on the opening of the US Stock Exchange, executing trading orders in the live market. Throughout the year, my knowledge of the dealing environment has improved greatly through getting to know the industry as well as I can and observing the increase volume in trades concerning cryptocurrencies. This has continually expanded my interest in the factors affecting the rise and fall in price of equities. You have recently been appointed Chairman of the Social and Charity Committee. How did this come about, and what does the role entail? The Social and Charity Committee are responsible for the organising of events, in line with a yearly budget, for all the staff. I took on this role as I believe that to initiate positive change and refresh the culture, it is important to be actively involved in the process. Since becoming Chairman, we have led a fundraising day to raise awareness and aid research for the charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK. This was a great experience where we managed to raise over £270. The staff were all so brilliant in supporting the cause, which assures me that we can make positive change throughout the next year. In addition, we were able to arrange the annual Christmas party awards and nominations, which was an enjoyable experience that made me feel closer to the people of the Group rather than just in my own department, which is one of the Committee’s wider aims. We most recently arranged a Christmas Jumper day designed to support the Save the Children charity, which raised over £100. We have now designed the social calendar for 2018 to meet the preferable wants and needs of our range of employees. Our plans include the organisation of a variety of events including celebrating International Pizza Day, hosting a summer BBQ to cater for staff and their families, and getting the Group involved as teams in local sporting and charity events such as Tough Mann and the Viking Long Boat Races. I feel positive, from getting off to a great start at the end of 2017, that we will be able to meet the wants and needs of our staff successfully. What has been the hardest aspect about working at Capital International Group? Trying to avoid being part of the daily breakfast pilgrimage to Mr B’s. What have you learned about the world of full-time employment after your first year in the Financial Services industry? Over the year, I have experienced first-hand the vast active changes that have contributed to changing a company’s culture and brand, which have all helped create a greater working environment. All the changes appear to have motivated the Group as a whole and made us feel united in our wider goals. The most important thing I have learned, which is often overlooked in some organisations, is the importance of office culture. If departments lack a cultural cohesiveness, then any cross-departmental tasks are at risk of becoming unnecessarily harder to achieve, which may affect the company’s performance further down the line. The Group’s recent initiatives, such as the “Culture Club”, were designed to improve and maintain a positive culture in the workplace. This process was organised to involve as many company employees as possible, and we all took part in discussions such as idea seminars held by Dom and Alex Long in their summer internship projects. Additionally, the recently launched rebrand of the Group image and website has created refreshed and modernised environment within the office. Thanks to Rory for taking the time out to chat: Keep an eye on our blog and social media accounts for more Graduate/School Leaver experience blogs coming up throughout 2018!