Risk

"From the start of my program I was given responsibility, and pushed to gain experience in areas I wanted to improve in." Fraser Harle, Risk Graduate

Our risk and compliance team works to protect and enhance our company’s value. The team provides support and guidance across our business globally – to help it understand and manage its risks, opportunities and regulatory requirements.

So it requires people with strong analytical skills, and a passion for problem solving. An ability to build relationships and communicate effectively, whatever the situation. And a desire to collaborate, so you can make the most of your strengths.

During your rotational placements, you’ll gain first-hand experience of the controls and corporate governance around business risk. This could be in roles relating to emerging regulations, operational risks, risk reporting or financial risks. You’ll also assist with a risk review into a key part of our operations. These placements will give you a great understanding of the big issues and challenges that our business faces.

There’s great support along the way too. You’ll have the chance to present to senior leaders, who’ll follow your progress closely. There’s support on offer to work towards a recognised industry qualification. And you’ll have a mentor based in your business area – as well as fellow graduates to connect with right across the company.

  • Duration: Two-year programme
  • Structure: Up to four rotational placements
  • Development: Option of support to work towards a recognised Risk qualification.
  • Entry requirements: 2:1 degree in any discipline.

Read the below stories to hear from some of Graduates who have been in the same position as you, along with one of their placement managers:

Kate McGrath

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What were you studying before joining Standard Life?

I currently study Physical Geography at Durham University and I will graduate in June 2018.

How would you describe our culture?

When I first joined I was really surprised how team-orientated the culture is at Standard Life, we produce reports as a team and everyone happily reviews each other’s work. My department certainly feels like a community and everyone is exceptionally inclusive, both in and out of the office. My colleagues have often invited me to meetings and forums to help me develop and broaden my knowledge. I’ve also been kindly invited to so many events outside of work, there’s always something to get involved with- the social life is great!

What do you think is the main benefit for an intern working at Standard Life?

As an intern, there are too many benefits to explain! The knowledge that I have gained about how an investment company operates is undoubtedly the highlight. I have been treated like a permanent member of staff and my colleagues are more than happy to arrange a meeting to talk about their role. This insight into an investment company is invaluable; I’ve never been sure of which career path to take and I now feel confident and excited to pursue a career in financial services.

Why did you decide to join Standard Life?

I knew that I wanted experience in a corporate environment and I was impressed with Standard Life’s reputation as a company which places a strong emphasis on providing development opportunities for young people. After doing some research I soon found that I had an ideal skill set to pursue an Internship in Risk, this seemed like a great entry point to financial services as the Risk department review all areas of business.

After the Assessment centre, I knew that I could see myself working at such a forward-looking company. Unlike other firms, Standard Life offered the opportunity to take on a 10 week long project that would have a real business impact. This was the kind of responsibility that I knew would be challenging, rewarding and a worthwhile use of my summer. Also, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be living in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival!

What support & career develop opportunities have you been given?

There is a huge support network at Standard Life. For example, I was assigned a ‘buddy’ who I was in contact with before I even started the role. There is a really strong Intern community which Standard Life have been instrumental in forming; we have regular Intern Workshops and HR are always suggesting development and social events that we may be interested in.

In terms of career development, my manager and I have weekly 1:1 meetings to discuss my work and progress. Moreover, I’ve been to numerous seminar sessions with speakers from members of other departments to understand how to progress my career. Standard Life place emphasis on a career ‘lattice’ and are keen to help employees move across the business.

What advice would you give to someone joining the programme?

Never stop being inquisitive. Everyone that I have met is more than happy to answer any questions, no matter how silly it may seem. As an intern, it’s expected that you won’t know everything and that a lot of jargon will need clarification- be enthusiastic and soak up all the advice and insights that you are given. By coming into work every day with a willingness to learn, I am confident that I’ve made the most of my internship.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying?

Go for it! For me, even the application process was a worthwhile experience. I had never been interviewed for a ‘proper job’ before and I received thorough feedback from Standard Life along the way. The Assessment Centre itself was such a learning curve, after a day of interviews and tasks I left feeling very accomplished and challenged. I remember thinking that I hope to leave work feeling like this every day; that experience alone gave me confidence that I can handle anything Standard Life throws at me!

Fraser Harle

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What were you studying before joining Standard Life?

Before joining I was studying Accountancy & Finance at the University of Glasgow, and volunteering for an international development charity as a research coordinator.

How would you describe our culture?

Standard Life has very welcoming and inclusive culture, where everyone has a part to play. The culture here engenders a workplace where everyone’s opinion and experiences are valued, making it a great place to work as a graduate.

What do you think is the main benefit for a graduate working at Standard Life?

For me it is the emphasis on your development and the investment Standard Life makes in you as a graduate. From the start of my program I was given responsibility, and pushed to gain experience in areas I wanted to improve in.

What advice would you give to someone joining the programme?

Don’t feel afraid to ask questions. If you would like to understand more about something, there is someone who will be willing to take the time to explain. You aren’t expected to be an expert on day one!

What advice would you give to someone considering applying?

Everyone is unique in some way and your application is a great way to highlight, and show how this would make you an asset to Standard Life. Most importantly though, it is essential to understand why you have chosen the role you are applying for. Ask yourself whether you can envisage building a career in that field.

Joe Reid

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What value do graduates bring to your department?

The key thing that graduates bring to the department is a fresh perspective. Identifying, measuring, monitoring and controlling risks is not an exact science and I’m continually impressed with the new ideas and viewpoints that graduates can bring.

Why should applicants choose to join your department & Standard Life?

The business is exposed to a varied set of risks, all of which need to be understood and managed appropriately. This variety translates itself into a diverse working environment with opportunities across each of our major business units. Working in Risk provides a great overview of all areas of SL’s strategy and can feel like being in an internal consultancy.

What projects can graduates expect to be involved in?

Graduates joining the Risk Scheme will secure 4 work rotations across 2 years, meaning the majority of their work will be project-based. This is particularly important in personal development as you will be able to see a piece of work right through from start to finish. Projects are likely to have either a regulatory risk focus, an operational risk focus, or a business risk focus.

What can a graduate gain from working in your area?

A big positive of working in the Risk Function is the exposure to senior leaders from across the rest of the business. The Boards and Committees rely heavily on the independent viewpoint of the Risk Function and it can be especially rewarding to present your views in these forums. This gives real insight into what Senior Executives value, and how they influence important business decisions, at an early stage in a career.

What career opportunities can they expect?

Opportunities could arise across the Risk Function, and will depend on business needs at the time. Opportunities may also arise in other areas within Standard Life, reflecting the broad overview of different areas that can be obtained working in within the Risk Funciton. Long-term, graduates should aspire to a variety of challenging and senior roles within or outwith the Risk Function as their career progresses.

What advice would you give to graduates joining your area?

In my experience it pays to be enthusiastic, curious and assured within the Risk Function. These three qualities will be advantageous as your role will likely involve independently reviewing and challenging what may be well-established practice within areas of the business. Also, be willing to challenge the status-quo; there is no such thing as a stupid question.

In order for us to reach our goal of becoming a world-class investment company, we require world-class talent. If you believe you have the potential to help us achieve our ambitions and start your career with a growing organisation, apply below.

Applications aren't open yet. Please check back on 25th September.


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