Apprentice: Opportunity ahead

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When the graduates and apprentices were offered the opportunity for one of each of them to shadow the Chairman Elect, David, I submitted my entry in hopes of winning the opportunity.

I remember feeling thrilled when I found out my submission had won me the opportunity. I knew my response was strong but I wasn’t too sure if I would win given the amount of apprentices I would have been competing against.

It took quite a while to get a day booked in David’s diary due to his hectic schedule but it was most definitely worth the wait.

When the day finally came around, all meetings were held at our London office – 1 Threadneedle Street. I remember meeting David for the first time and I immediately got the impression that he was very polite, attentive, and relaxed.

I expected the day to be exciting and busy and it certainly lived up to this! We had back to back meetings throughout the day and I remember initially feeling nervous as I didn’t know what to expect or how the day would pan out, however David’s personality and friendly nature created a very relaxed environment.

He kept me involved in all meetings by asking whoever we were meeting to provide me with some background on the purpose/topic of the meeting. I became more of a participant than an observer, which was great as it gave me an opportunity to get the most I could out of the day.

We had a chance to chat in-between meetings and extensively at Lunch. We talked about key takeaways from our meetings and he’d ask for my thoughts on specific topics. I learnt many things about David’s personal and work life and it was quite nice to just talk to him on a personal level.

We also talked a lot about personal development and David gave me several tips on how to develop myself going forward.

Although our day was really busy, David’s relaxed approach really stood out to me. You would think having back to back meetings would drain you out but David remained buoyant and energetic throughout the whole day. This personality trait of his definitely rubbed off on me during the day!

By the end of the day, I was able to go home with a lot of new knowledge and a better insight into what goes on at board level. I now have a clearer understanding about some of the different departments that the chairman and CEO have to deal with and how difficult it could become.

David asked me to keep in touch and suggested I come back and see him in 3 months’ time for a catch-up. I followed this request up and I’m glad to say I’ve booked myself another date with him for June!

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