Last week, FPWM were kindly invited by Bournemouth University to attend their annual two-day careers fair, representing the Future of Advice initiative.
The Future of Advice scheme is an initiative that brings together Bournemouth University, the Personal Finance Society (our largest industry professional body) and is designed to increase awareness of careers in financial services, specifically financial advice.
The scheme will provide centralised resources for participating firms, such as employment contracts, training materials and ongoing support, to reduce input required from individual firms in an attempt to encourage more companies to get involved.
Having had a positive experience as a business engaging with Bournemouth University and taking placement students for the last 4 years, FPWM were very happy to get involved as we are keen to encourage other firms to consider student placements as an option. There is a clear need to increase professionalism within the sector; whilst also tackling the issue of ageing adviser demographics within the industry and succession planning. Financial advice has and continues to be highly sought after and we strongly feel that introducing young, intelligent and motivated individuals to the advice world can only be beneficial for all involved.
The careers fair was a well-attended event by students from a range of different degree courses, many of which could provide useful skills to our industry. We were impressed by the calibre of the students we spoke to and we hope that we have planted the seed and that some of them will consider a placement, or possibly even a career, in financial advice.
Talking to the students led me to reflect on my own placement experience, which began at FPWM in 2014. I studied Accounting and Taxation and, unsurprisingly, the vast majority of my course mates found positions in accounting or audit roles. Although this was the common route for undergraduates on the Accounting and Finance framework, these were not careers that left me feeling particularly inspired. I was therefore excited to have discovered wealth management (albeit by good fortune) as it was not an area that I had much awareness of.
Having had a successful 15-month placement that massively exceeded my expectations, I returned to university brimming with knowledge I had acquired during my time at FPWM, which really enhanced my final year grades (especially useful for an exam on personal taxation!). I was delighted to be asked to return to FPWM upon graduating.
Two years on, I continue to feel extremely grateful to be in a career that challenges and motivates me every day. Without having completed my placement year at FPWM, I’m unsure if I would have found this career; which is all the more reason to support the Future of Advice initiative and hope that my experience will serve to encourage others to follow this path.