Work experience Q&As

Office chairs

Our Insight into Work programme provides members and their families the chance to do work experience at Royal London. Whatever stage of life you're at, our placements will give you a great insight into what we do, and offer you the chance to learn new skills, take on tasks and projects, join in on team meetings, events or workshops, and much more.

Opportunities are available every year in various departments and locations across the UK. And, with both shorter educational placements and four-week full-time work taster placements on offer, there's something to suit everyone.

Read on to hear from some of our work experience candidates about what they got up to on their placements with us. 

Janina Gleed, London Office, Property Asset Management

After finishing her first year studying economics at university, in July 2019 Janina, 20, completed a two-week placement with the Property Asset Management team.

How did you apply for your placement?

“My father’s a [Royal London] member, and through him I discovered that Royal London offers a brilliant opportunity for family members to gain work experience with them. The application process was very smooth and straightforward.”

Why did you want to do work experience with us?

“As the UK’s largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company, Royal London stood out to me. Their commitment to driving social and economic value for their members, customers and wider society is what particularly appealed. I considered the Insight into Work programme as an incredible opportunity to delve deeper into the behind-the-scenes work that’s ultimately lead to Royal London continually delivering its promise to influence lives in a positive way.”

What’s it been like?

“It’s been a great experience! The Property team have been extremely welcoming, and were always happy to tell me about their role and answer any questions. They evidently enjoy their work and the people they work with, so these two weeks have left me with a very good impression of the company culture and work ethic. The programme has been very varied, giving me insight into a number of aspects of property asset management. I’ve ended the two weeks more informed about not just property, but market trends, other departments, and an idea of how the world is changing – most interestingly, what we can do about it.”

What kinds of tasks were you given?

“My line manager was keen to allow me to experience as much as possible, so my days were very varied. I’ve shadowed people in weekly department meetings, or client meetings, and also taken part in site visits, which allowed me to see the broad scope of their work in person. This has been supported by participating in a ‘Property Masterclass’, as well as attending the Bloomberg Economic Outlook for the World Economy. Moreover, my insight hasn’t been limited to property, as I’ve been able to talk with employees in other departments, which has grown my appreciation for other asset classes too.”

Would you recommend doing work experience at Royal London?

“Absolutely, I’d highly recommend the Insight into Work programme for anyone, whether you have prior knowledge about the asset management industry or are looking to get your first insight. The length of the programme means that you get a more in-depth, nuanced and varied insight than you may get from other programmes out there. As a result, you may find you’re fascinated by something you’d never heard of before or even expected to like!”

What do you want to do in the future?

“I’m planning on gaining exposure to a few more key areas over the next couple of years to crystallise my career path; however, having done work experience at Royal London, I’d definitely consider property asset management as a good option. The skills and insight I’ve gained are also valuable as a base for me to build upon in the future.”

Bruce McCaig, Edinburgh Office, L&P First Line Risk

Bruce, 18, joined Royal London for a four-week placement with the First Line Risk team in June 2019 after completing his first year studying actuarial science at university.

Why did you want to do work experience with us?

"I wanted first-hand experience of the real world applications of my course, as well as gaining an insight into the day-to-day operations of the financial industry. With Royal London being the largest mutual insurer in the UK, they were the perfect company to gain experience with. As an actuarial science student, I love risk and uncertainty. Here I was able to see many different aspects of risk – everything from operational risks to financial and insurance risks."

How did you find working in your team?

"The team were fantastic. Nothing was too much for them. There’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere, which was a pleasant surprise, as I expected financial institutions to have a more clinical environment. The experience hugely surpassed my expectations – everything I saw and was involved in benefitted me and my future, and I’m truly amazed at the positive impact that it’s had on me."

What kinds of tasks were you given?

"I spent a large amount of time speaking with actuaries working within various parts of the business, as well as meeting staff from all across the company. One of my main jobs was to create a new management information report. Because I have an advanced knowledge of Excel, I was able to redesign how the reports are formed and presented. To see the team genuinely impressed and excited by what I’d created was an incredible boost, and on my last day I had the opportunity to sit in a meeting in which my report was presented to senior members of staff from other parts of the business."

What do you want to do in the future?

"My work experience has confirmed that I want to become an actuary, in particular working within a life and pensions company like Royal London. I’ve had a great insight into the work that the company’s actuaries do on a daily basis, and I hope to join them in the near future."

Do you think this experience will help you? 

"It’ll prove to be very beneficial in the future, as I’ll be able to use the skills I’ve developed and the knowledge I’ve gained. It’s a fantastic piece of experience to put on my CV and will help to distinguish me from other candidates for jobs and opportunities."

Would you recommend doing work experience at Royal London?

"With the opportunities for work experience limited for students at the start of their degrees, I’d highly recommend that others take the opportunity provided by Royal London to help develop their industry knowledge and experience. Not only are the opportunities provided invaluable, but also thoroughly enjoyable."

Preena Shah, London Office, Distribution

School student Preena, 16, completed a two-week placement with the Distribution team in July 2019 after finishing her GCSEs.

Why did you want to do work experience with us?

"I have an interest in finance, and although I’m still unsure about what I want to do in the future, finance is definitely a potential career path. I thought Royal London, being a large, well-established firm, would offer me a good insight into this sector, especially as I could experience a multitude of different departments. In addition to this, I’ve never done any office work experience before, so it was interesting to see what office life is really like."

What’s it been like?

"Everyone's so friendly and helpful. I’ve definitely learnt so much during my time at Royal London, and have had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of departments. The people working with me have always taken the time to explain their role, often one to one, and are always more than happy to answer my queries."

Was it what you expected?

"When thinking of office work and large financial firms, a very sterile, competitive environment springs to mind. But Royal London has far exceeded my expectations – there’s a pleasant atmosphere and everyone is very approachable."

What did you enjoy most?

"Constantly having the opportunity to learn new things. A lot of the concepts and key terms used were unfamiliar to me when I started, but now I have a much better understanding of what they mean and how they’re applied. However, it wasn’t only the actual content and financial language I managed to get to grips with, I also learnt about the operations within an office, such as how meetings are conducted and generally what roles people have."

Did you learn any new skills?

"I’ve developed my teamwork, self-management and interpersonal skills. I gained new computer skills when working on Excel. Furthermore, I learnt how to deliver successful presentations as I attended a meeting where we discussed the importance of content, body language and pace. I also realised that, coupled with teamwork, taking initiative and thinking independently is an equally valuable skill."

Would you recommend doing work experience at Royal London?

"Yes, I would strongly recommend doing work experience at Royal London. All the people are very welcoming and I had an organised programme so I knew what I was meant to be doing or who I was meant to be meeting at what time."

Joe Richardson, London Office, RLAM Global Equities

Joe, 19, came to work with the Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) team for two weeks in July 2019 after finishing his first year studying MMORSE at Warwick University.

Why did you want to do work experience with us?

"I’m interested in a career in finance, however I’m unsure as to which area of the industry in particular. I had done placements in actuarial and risk management previously so I wanted to experience a different sector of finance, but one that still appealed to my statistical background."

What's it been like?

"My experience at RLAM was primarily a comprehensive insight into what asset managers do on a day-to-day basis, mostly in the global equities department – but also in other departments like fixed income and sustainable investing – through meetings set up by my line manager and workshops I attended. Through these, I also learnt about the technical aspects of investing and bettered my understanding of how some areas of finance work."

Was it what you expected?

"I got out of my experience exactly what I intended to when I applied – a better understanding of a career path I could possibly pursue in the future. I really enjoyed the internship masterclasses I was allowed to come along to, as they gave a detailed introduction into different areas of asset management that I wasn't familiar with at all. I feel I gained a lot from these sessions."

What kinds of tasks were you given?

"The tasks I was given were research based, where my line manager would set me a group of companies or a specific area of investment to look into and I produced a short report on my findings. I did so in a range of ways, from online research to computer tools used by asset managers, to discussions with other team members."

Did you learn any new skills?

"I’m now more familiar with Microsoft Excel after using it multiple times during my placement. I also think I improved my research skills, as I learnt how to lift key information from financial reports and summarise it into my own reports that could be presented to team members."

Would you recommend doing work experience at Royal London?

"I’d definitely recommend Royal London work experience to anyone who’s interested in asset management, or who is keen to pursue a career in finance but isn’t sure which area in particular."

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Discover more about the Insight into Work programme, who can apply and the work experience placements we've got on offer. 

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