Annmarie, Retirement Analyst
I started in the Retirement Service Centre (RSC) in January 2010. It’s been really, really challenging but great and it’s met all my expectations. In the Retirement Service Centre, what we do is provide the core technical work to our UK consulting offices so as a graduate it provided me with a unique opportunity that you may not be able to get elsewhere in industry. Working out of our office in Belfast, I’m able to gain exposure to all the companies across the UK that are clients of Mercer. So I get the learning experience of being able to work on some of the largest schemes and some schemes with more complex benefits so that accelerates my learning curve.
As a graduate coming into the RSC, we provide one month that is dedicated to training you, to help you to be able to take on your first piece of client work. So the training is specifically designed for people that might not have had exposure to the pensions industry before so after your first month you’ll feel comfortable that you have a sound knowledge of the pensions industry, the legal and regulatory environment which the pensions scheme works in and then, most importantly, that you’ll feel competent that you can start to perform the technical calculations for pensions schemes.
I’ve chosen to start the Actuarial qualification so I’ve sat and passed my first exam in April. They’ve been really challenging but it’s really rewarding as well. When you sit an exam that you’ve studied hard for, there’s a great sense of achievement having passed it. I would say that a great thing about it is that the information that you’re learning is relevant to the work that you’re doing and it’s interesting as well so it isn’t a chore to study it.
Looking five or ten years down the line, I think that I’ve made the right choice now because Mercer is a huge organisation and I think that the more challenge that I want as my career develops, that there’ll be the opportunities there to meet those challenges that I made. So ten years down the line, I don’t know what I’ll be doing but I do know where I’ll be.
Working at Mercer
The best thing that I like about working in Mercer in that everybody’s there to support you. There’s a great learning and knowledge sharing environment. I find that every day in work, I can feel myself developing and getting stronger so to me that’s a testament to a good company and an excellent team that really work with you and help you to meet all the goals that you’re setting for yourself.
Belfast is a great city. It’s quite cosmopolitan but yet it’s got a small vibe to it as well. Everybody knows each other and you get to know people very quickly and there’s always plenty going on.
The key to success
I think the key to success in the Retirement Service Centre is being driven, ambitious and being able to take responsibility and ownership of the work that you’re doing.
If I was to give a piece of advice to somebody that’s going through the application process at the moment, I would say try and be yourself, try and bring your skills and your personality to your application form, to your interview because that’s what it’s about. Really take the opportunity to find out as much as you can about the company and as much as you can about the role because you’ve worked so hard to get to here so it’s really important that this job’s right for you as well as you right for the job.
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