Working in pensions

Pensions! When you hear the word, you often dismiss the thought. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t fully aware of what a pension was let alone have any experience. 

So, how have I gone from recently graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a photography degree to becoming a governance support assistant at Vidett (formerly PSGS)? I must admit going from a course that was heavily practical to a pensions industry was a big jump. You hear most people going the other way!

At the time, I chose photography because it was something I was good at and the course taught me a lot more than the subject itself. However, when completing my degree, I felt as if I were at a crossroads. I wanted to do something that was more challenging and stimulating. I could either go down the photography route or try something completely different, which is what I did! 

I came across the Vidett graduate trainee scheme and, at first, I was hesitant as I had zero experience in the pensions industry. However, looking at the specification, I saw it as a good opportunity to work towards a progressive career especially in a structured environment where I would be constantly learning.  

Pensions is always going to be in demand – so it is good to have an understanding about future stability. When researching the company, I noticed they heavily emphasised being proud of their team and collaboration, the main attributes being professionalism and personality. This really stood out to me as I wanted to work for a company that thrived on this.  

To my surprise I was contacted back! It was a two-stage interview, which entailed a short presentation and written assessment. My nerves were through the roof coming in as I hadn’t experienced an interview process like this before, but the nerves disappeared as soon as I stepped into the building. I was made to feel comfortable from being in the reception right to the end of the interview, which really helped me envision working there. It confirmed what they stated about personality and professionalism and, luckily, I was offered the job!  

From the day I started I was eased into pensions alongside a set training plan focusing on what the next couple of weeks would entail. Each day brought something new. From week one I was introduced to four schemes, where I would help assist the day to day running of pension schemes by providing administrative support and drafting vital governance documents for client meetings, as well as building my pensions knowledge. Being involved from the start made me feel more confident as I am trusted with certain responsibilities. It has enabled me to engage with the work I’m doing further helping my understanding of pensions and how different elements work within a pension. 

I have been working at Vidett for 3 months now and have found pensions quite intriguing as there is a lot around it. The team have been very supportive and friendly and do their best to support me alongside teaching me. I have catch ups with my line manager as well as other members of the team to help guide me through and see how I am getting along. The graduate scheme has been a great experience so far as I feel very supported and focused.  

Simi Uppal


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