Jennifer Le Marinel
Field: Actuarial Student
I studied maths at Durham and spent an Erasmus year in France. I didn't plan to work in Wealth Management but I was looking for an interesting actuarial role. I looked into a number of firms but St. James's Place appealed in quite a few ways: the location for starters, as I wasn't keen on working in the big city. The idea of being able to live in town and walk to work was very appealing. The small size but the high growth of the company was also very attractive as I felt like I would be a member of a "family" rather than just another employee, yet still have the chance to grow within my role.
It's really friendly and supportive and feels like everyone is working towards the same goal. I genuinely enjoy seeing them every day. They always seem cheerful, pleasant and happy to help. I also feel that the directors are interested in what goes on and have a visible presence. And, despite joining at a relatively junior level, I have direct contact with all members of the team, including the senior managers. I'm challenged regularly yet I'm supported, which encourages me to stretch myself.
I'm very much a team-player with a sense of confidence and independence, all of which you need to get on well in a small but busy team. Being cheerful and friendly helped me to get to know people quickly and to fit into the team. And being willing to learn meant I picked up a lot of new skills and tasks very quickly. I'm learning every day from more experienced colleagues and my IT skills have drastically improved. My confidence has increased and I'm also more aware of the impact my work has on the rest of my team and the company as a whole. It's hugely satisfying to be able to liaise with people from another team and work on a project together by combining your relevant skills.
I'm in control of my own personal development, supported by my manager. If I feel that there is an area I would like to work on, we'll discuss how we might go about addressing it. My manager has also often suggested opportunities that she feels will benefit my development, such as putting my name forward for the Finance Development Group.
There are many exciting opportunities ahead and I believe that I will be able to have a say in the projects I get involved in. Longer term, I'm looking forward to qualifying, which is several years away but getting ever closer.