What was your background before joining Altus?
Before joining Altus, I spent 6 years working at Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest D2C investment platform, in a number of different roles. I started there as a temporary trading support administrator and specialised in that area of the business for around 3 years placing and administering trades, particularly for financially advised clients, before moving through to work as a co-ordinator within their financial advice practice supporting financial advisors with the operational execution of the advice given. My final role at HL was as an operations manager in their operational pensions team managing colleagues executing pension transfers for clients joining the platform day to day alongside working with other areas of the business to grow both the SIPP and workplace pension propositions. Working across various areas of the business gave me a great grounding to understand BAU operations and the challenges platforms see on a day to day basis which I can then bring into my consulting to help our clients.
What attracted you to Altus?
I became aware of Altus a few years before joining when a colleague joined the first year of the Aspire program (or the academy as it was known back then!) and at the time it sounded like a great opportunity to learn. Then last year, this same colleague contacted me and explained an opportunity to join the academy program as a academy consultant. I was hesitant at first as leaving a settled job and company where I’ve been for 6 years is a big step, but firstly, from speaking to my colleague, I was incredibly excited by the sound of a career in consulting and the opportunities available to grow as an individual as well as helping multiple clients in the industry. The flexibility and work/life balance, the type of work and the opportunity to feel like I’m making a larger difference for clients was for me an opportunity I felt I needed to explore. I could have applied for any consulting role, but what specifically attracted me to Altus was both the program and the feeling I got from the people I spoke to at Altus during the process. The program was a great opportunity for someone with my experience to continue to grow and have support from great people who have been in the industry for many many years, as well as experiencing all parts of the business and have a great grounding before graduating as a full time consultant. Making a career change is always tough but this felt like a great step to take where I would be fully supported throughout and this came through when speaking to the people at Altus. The personable, interactive , supportive nature of the team members I met made it very easy decision to join and fast forward almost a year, I have almost finished my program and I haven’t regretted my decision to join once!
What do you do in your role?
Throughout the time in the Aspire program, there are so many opportunities to get involved in different projects the challenge is sometimes making sure you don’t take on too much! Day to day, I am typically working on a couple of client projects whilst being supported by other members of the team (either in my ‘home’ domain or in another domain within the consultancy). This could involve conducting or contributing within workshops with clients, conducting research to support client’s propositions or strategy, or using Altus methodology to build out frameworks for clients to support their needs. Outside of client engagements, there are opportunities to get involved in internal projects to help build Altus propositions for example, or writing blogs/papers on what is happening in the market or your thoughts on a prevalent topic. Within the program I also spend time with each domain within the consultancy to build my knowledge of the areas of financial services we work in and be able to contribute to work within their space alongside having regular catch ups with members of the team to ensure I am supported throughout the program.
What do you enjoy about working here?
For me there are 2 main things I enjoy (alongside many others!)…. The variety of work and opportunities, and the people. As mentioned above, the opportunities to get involved in various projects for both clients and internally is great and Altus give you the freedom to create, explore and propose new ideas daily. Secondly as mentioned is the people. The supportive nature of everyone at Altus really comes through – particularly as someone newer to the industry compared to some of the other consultants on the team whilst your learning about the other domains in the business, it can often be information overload! So this support is vital and it comes in spades from all over the business. There are lots of people with different personalities and experiences but everyone is always on hand to help and for me that’s the sign of a brilliant culture within a business.
How has your role changed since being here?
After joining Altus as an Academy Consultant we had a plan of how my time would be spent throughout the time on the program but what has been great is the flexibility from the team. At times I have worked with clients where projects have been longer than the time planned in that domain for example but they were eager to be flexible and ensure my development was the most important thing. I have had opportunities to support the team on engagements at the start but then also take the lead on elements of projects as I have progressed throughout the year and step up within the team as my confidence and knowledge of Altus has grown.
What has made you stay?
The potential opportunities to continue to develop not only in the next 6 months until the end of the program, but after once I graduate, is something I can clearly see and gives me a path to aim for. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed working with people at the business and building relationships with them. The team and group have embraced me right from day one and the business is continuing to grow at scale so I want to continue to be able to contribute towards that over the next 6 months and beyond once I graduate.