As an associate in the Authorisations department, I was involved in the registration of firms. Specifically, I helped with the processing of applications from crypto firms under 5MLD. In an effort to make the FCA more efficient, certain tasks that used to be outsourced have now been brought in-house. I was partly responsible for carrying out those tasks. The initial checks that I carried out were used to consider whether firms were fit and proper.
As part of our internship, we undertook an external training course. These sessions developed our presenting skills, time-management and data literacy. We were also tasked with completing a community project. This helped us develop our teamwork and leadership skills, as well as presentation. My analysis was highly developed through the responsibility of completing checks and deciding on the significance of results. Stakeholder management was key, i.e. managing expectations. Understanding of online tools like SharePoint
I was given the freedom by my line manager to use my free time to explore. This included taking on extra tasks and projects that ultimately helped my become a valued member of the team. In terms of my day-to-day, the processing of applications was not possible until my checks were done. This made me feel like I was contributing to the overall goal while also making the process efficient.
Our initial support network was vast. The team leading the internship offered support throughout the internship. The rest of the guidance was up to our specific teams, and in my experience they were as helpful and supportive as I could have hoped for. They ensured I understood the significance of my role in the first weeks, and offered time whenever I needed guidance.
Before joining, I was attracted by the approachable culture that the FCA advertises. It did not disappoint. They place a huge emphasis on work-life balance, and generally do not take their relationships with each other too seriously. This means teams get on well, which naturally makes them more productive. I was surprised by how charismatic it was. Not only are people open to conversations, they are very good at them too.
It has been the most significant professional and personal development arc of my career/education thus far. The ability to apply my learning practically has been huge, and the openness of the organisation makes it easy to learn from others as well. I enjoyed the responsibility I was given by my manager, and freedom to do other things. This is a place I could see myself working at for years on end.
Know their values and core skills (JEDS) like the back of your hand. They genuinely take it seriously and will not accept people who aren't the same. Do not be discouraged by the fact it says 'Financial' in the name. I have met more people from non-financial backgrounds than otherwise, including Law and Genetics. The only thing you need to be is curious and willing to improve, as well as sharing the values.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Banking/Finance, Financial Management
Central London and City
24th August 2021