In 2018, IQ-EQ Jersey developed a trainee programme aimed at students leaving full time education. We wanted to give 17- to 18-year-olds the chance to learn about the finance sector from within the heart of the industry, while also giving them the opportunity to develop their own career aspirations.
“Our programme has been developed to recognise the fact that most 17 or 18 year old’s aren’t sure what they want to do when they finish school, nor do they have a really good understanding of the finance industry and the opportunities within it,” says Stuart Truscott, Director for Private Wealth in IQ-EQ Jersey. “Our programme enables them to learn about different areas of the business and get a thorough understanding of what each area does.”
IQ-EQ Jersey’s Trainee Discovery Programme is a perfect start to a career in finance. It allows our trainees to explore different areas of the business over a two-year period. Once they’ve graduated, we work together to find them the perfect role. Trainees also have the opportunity to take up to three months’ unpaid sabbatical once they’ve finished the programme. “Maybe you want to travel, learn a new skill or do something different before you settle into your new role,” says Stuart. “But you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be returning to settle into a role that suits you and your career aspirations.”
Over the two-year course, trainees can expect to take part in four placements, each lasting six months and covering Private Wealth, Funds, Corporate and Compliance sectors. Depending on the skillset of the individual placements, trainees can also have training in the areas of Marketing and Fund Accounting.
Since its conception, the programme has been a huge success with 86% staying with IQ-EQ after their graduation and moving into permanent roles. Carter Weekes, a graduate from the Discovery Programme, is now an Officer for the Private Wealth team in Jersey, having enjoyed his placement there as a trainee. “I enjoyed the ability to gain an understanding of a number of different parts of the Business and how they all came together to provide a service to the client,” says Carter, now in his third year with IQ-EQ. “My favourite placement was Private Wealth, which is where I’ve stayed. I found I instantly gelled well with the team and their way of doing things, as well as their friendliness and fun nature.”
What would Carter say to those interested in the programme?
“I would encourage people to apply if they aren’t sure exactly what part of Finance and Business they want to pursue, and if people are looking to understand the process from start to finish. Anyone who wants to work and learn at the same time will find this programme a great way to experience all different types of Business, which has really helped me with my day-to-day tasks.”
Felicity Guerin graduated from the Discovery Programme in 2021 and has had great success in the Private Wealth team. Felicity was promoted to Trust Officer in January 2022, and beyond learning quickly ‘on the job’, she has successfully passed the CGI exams that she has sat so far.
“Similarly to my colleagues, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do apart from join a Finance company,” Felicity recalls. “My first role in IQ-EQ was with our compliance team and I really enjoyed my time there. Everyone was keen to help, and the last trainee left notes for me to refer to, which made me feel supported.”
What advice would Felicity give to someone considering a career in finance?
“Finance isn’t boring and it’s not all to do with maths! Have an open mind and remember you don’t have to be an accountant to be successful in finance. There is such a variety of career options which can suit anyone. Good luck!”
IQ-EQ Jersey will be welcoming its fifth cohort of trainees in September of this year. If you’re interested in applying, you can find out more information here.
Stuart is looking forward to what the next batch of trainees can bring to the Group. “We have four places available,” he says. “We’re looking for hardworking, energetic, creative and curious people – if that sounds like you or someone you know, we’d love to hear from you.”