When Mohamed joined Aviva Investors he'd spent 10 years in academia so didn't have any experience in the finance sector.
I joined Aviva Investors in March 2015, having spent almost ten years in academia gaining a PhD and working towards a physics lectureship. I therefore lacked commercial experience in the finance sector but the systems manager gave me the opportunity to learn and develop the software used by the entire finance function at Aviva Investors. I thoroughly enjoyed the work, and the interaction with different teams meant that I built a network fast. I am a firm believer in the team being just as important as the work so having great colleagues and manager helped.
I am a firm believer in the team being just as important as the work.
I found people are generally very happy to provide career advice and after two years, I decided to look at other areas of the business where I could develop my career. I asked a senior Business Partner to be my career mentor and she connected me with several colleagues in front office. My background in academic research resonated well with researching and analysing markets and investment strategies. I also focused on developing my knowledge of the business as a whole and attended all the knowledge share sessions I could.
One of those sessions was run by the head of Global Investment Solutions business, which I found fascinating. I approached the People Function for any potential roles in that area and I was given great advice customised to my background, which then resulted in my application to the Strategy and Research team within Alternative Income Solutions. Despite not having the IMC/CFA or a background in alternatives, I was offered the role and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far. It has been a steep learning curve but it’s also been very rewarding and satisfying to expand my skills and collaborate with the asset teams. I have also attended several conferences and grown my industry connections.
My advice for career development at Aviva Investors? Be proactive and approach peers in areas you are interested in. Most colleagues are happy to discuss their work and the teams around them and will give you valuable insight to the rest of the business. I also think being honest with your manager or mentors regarding your ambitions and aspirations is helpful in opening doors and guiding your progress.