- Name: Vanya Jain
- Track: Investments
- Studied: MSc. Finance and Investments
- Trainee year: 2021
Starting during corona times
As a finance student, I always imagined my first day of my first job in the financial industry to be extremely glamourous, like what you see in movies. Walking into a tall, shiny building at 8:00 am, with a rush of crowd running to start their days, while you cannot stop smiling thinking about how cool it is to be here and all that lies ahead of you. Fortunately or unfortunately, for me it was a little different from what I had imagined. My official first day of work was a Monday, where I started at home in sweatpants, on my kitchen counter (as I recently moved to a new apartment and still lacked office furniture), with my laptop in front of me (which had been parceled to my home the week before). Feeling a little disappointed, I logged in for my first weekly Monday morning team meeting. These are meetings which we have with my team every week, to catch up and share what we are working on with each other. In that first meeting, I met all my colleagues for the first time, and they were very patient with explaining what they do and their current projects to me. That first meeting totally changed the disappointment I previously felt as it highlighted how the team is still very interactive and easy to work with. Over the next two days, each of them took out the time to welcome me individually, and have meetings to talk more in depth. I have to say, that even though I was not at the office, the transition to the working life was made very easy for me.
It takes time along with trust in yourself and your team
For my first rotation, I was assigned to the Liquid Alternatives team within the Adaptive Investing department. It is a relatively small team with two portfolio managers and two data scientists. Our department is mainly responsible for a portfolio of different quant strategies. I do not come from a quant background myself. Therefore, during the first few days, I felt quite overwhelmed by the expertise of the entire team and was not sure that I would be able to contribute anything of value towards the work. After going through a stack of readings on the department, the strategies and background on my own assignments, I still felt quite lost. But then again, my team came quickly to my rescue. Sometimes it can be intimidating to express your own shortcomings, especially when the people around you seem to be brilliant at what they are doing. But I soon realised that I cannot shy away from expressing what I do not know if I want this to be a success, especially when it came to technical skills. Efficiency is key, and in my experience, the quickest way to learn was to ask and observe. My colleagues did a wonderful job at explaining relevant aspects and pushing me to explore where necessary. One of the team members was my personal “buddy” who was invaluably helpful in onboarding me to the team and supported me throughout. So even though it was a heavy start, and honestly, it took more than a month to get into the ease, starting as a trainee, you need to trust yourself and your team to make it a success in the end. Good things take time!
If you have any questions about the traineeship or need advice on your place in the investment world as a starter, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
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