Sean is our office junior and a valuable member of our client support team.
Sean has now settled in really well at the firm and is now coming to the end of his apprenticeship as a financial services administrator. Sean has now completed both of his exams to achieve the award in financial administration and is keen to now progress to a trainee paraplanner role. Sean is aiming to go on to complete his full diploma in financial services to eventually become a successful financial adviser in the future.
Hi Sean, so how have you found your first year as an apprentice at SMC Financial?
I have found it great and have really enjoyed my first year in an office, and also found out how much depth there is in the industry I am now a part of. I have taken and passed 2 exams which is good and am looking towards taking the rest of the exams over time to achieve my diploma.
Tell me a bit about your background, where did you grow up and what schools, colleges and/or Universities did you attend?
Before financial services, I used to work in Rapid Discount Outlet until it unfortunately shut in 2017 and then moved onto Tony Almond in Waterloo, which I worked in up until I started working at SMC. I grew up in Crosby and attended Ursuline Catholic Primary School, then going onto Sacred Heart Catholic College. I was glad to get out of school and start working as it gave me more of a feeling of purpose and definitely increased my motivation. I didn’t choose to go to university after completing my A Levels and went straight into work.
What does a typical day in the office for you at SMC entail?
In the morning I start at 9am, come in and make a start on a variety of jobs which need doing such as chasing information and transfers, which saves a lot of time for Sean so he can continue to give his clients a high level of service. I also tend to book his annual reviews in – so if your reading this and you’re a client of Sean’s there’s a good chance you’ll be speaking to me when booking your review!
After the essential jobs are done, I am now starting to use any free time to go through and learn the paraplanning role with our paraplanner, Jon.
How have you found your exams so far? Difficult or easy?
I found the first exam I took, which entailed a lot of regulation and rules, quite difficult as being new to the role this was all completely new and unheard of to me. I failed the exam a couple of times but got there after a few attempts. The second exam I took however, was by no means easy, but after doing the first exam it really became easier for me as I approached revising different this time, and already had a lot of knowledge compared to before revising for the first one. The second exam resulted in me passing first time.
What’s one thing that surprised you about working at SMC Financial?
Well I’m definitely surprised at how office life is compared to how I used to think of it. When I was younger I always thought id never be able to work at an office, and this great opportunity came along which I thought I could make a good career of. After being in an office for over a year now, I have really enjoyed it and in fact enjoy the environment a lot more than any other I have been in.
Outside of work, what are your interests?
Outside of work I enjoy fishing which I have been doing since a young age now. I have been to some beautiful places and caught some great fish over that time. I used to enjoy carp fishing mainly but am now moving onto fly fishing and pike fishing as I find it more involving. I used to play a lot of football but only play on occasions now and just tend to go the gym to maintain my fitness.
I also enjoy music events and festivals with my friends and visited Ibiza this year, which was unbelievable. Jon and Sean, who are Ibiza gurus, give me loads of tips and tips on places to go before I went.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
My favourite place in the world, although I have never visited there, has got to be New York. The pace and energy, along with the uniqueness of the place, makes me really want to visit. The different variety of people that you can meet seems endless and how friendly the people seem is great too.
If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
First app would have to be YouTube, as I seem to endlessly watch this in my spare time at home, so would probably be a bit lost without it now. Secondly, probably Snapchat as all the group chats with the lads are on there – and I can’t be out of that loop can I! Finally, I’d say the last app would have to be google maps as without it I wouldn’t be able to travel properly round to the places I have in the country without it, whether that be for fishing, to stay at places with friends / family or even easily find my way to places on my own.
Finally, we’ve had Sean and Vicki’s allegiances to football in the city (so far it’s split 50/50)... what’s your allegiance Red or Blue? Or are your rogue and supporter of one of the more successful Manchester teams?
I’m a blue along with Vicki, of course... Supporting Everton isn’t easy, but I find it well more rewarding when things are going well for us (currently not…). I’ve had a season ticket for the past 3 seasons at Everton now and seen a few ups and downs, had a good cheer/moan at the game, more so moaning over recent years, haha, but I wouldn’t be a supporter if I didn’t care!