Recent Carbon intern Anurag Rai reflects on his time with the team
I recall my first day at Carbon, three weeks ago, sitting in an elegant meeting room, custom-designed to reflect the brand and its core value: ‘To be the best we can be’. I had the same feeling as I did on Day One of university when I was filled with elation and nervousness at the same time. But the latter soon vanished as I was greeted by the Carbon team and treated as if I had been part of the firm from the beginning.
It was January 2017 when I received a Carbon award for ‘Best Performing Student in Personal Finance and Investment’ while studying Accountancy and Finance at The University of Aberdeen. This gave me the opportunity to meet the firm’s Investment Director, Barry O’Neill. In a very short conversation, Barry influenced me with his vision and philosophy about the future of wealth management and financial planning in a modern world; where the markets have never been more ‘reactive’, and ‘uncertainty’ is the only certain thing. I applied for an internship at Carbon and was delighted to be successful.
I found Carbon to be a firm which has an excellent eye for detail and a drive to create the best experience for its clients and employees. During my time at Carbon, I was invited to be involved in a number of meetings, including the Investment Team meeting and a platform due diligence. I also worked on two Investment Team projects, which involved updating some of Carbon’s client facing materials. Within a short time of only three weeks, I had also been given the opportunity to work on complex financial planning software such as FE Analytics and Dimensional Returns Program. I also spent a full day at one of Carbon’s administrative partners learning how to use their wrap platform.
By participating in the Investment Team meeting and project I was able to gain a wealth of information on how financial advisers help clients to live the kind of lifestyle they want for the rest of their lives. I like analysing data and solving problems, and I found there is plenty of scope for both in this field. I have run my own restaurant business in the past where I enjoyed customer interaction and building relationships. I want a career where I can do the same again, and where I can use the knowledge and expertise I will have acquired when I finish my degree. I believe a career as a Financial Planner would give me the ideal mix for what I’m looking for. I could not have made this decision without having an opportunity to gain some practical work experience at Carbon.
I really enjoyed the internship and I’m grateful to Carbon for providing me with the opportunity. Carbon has a great work culture and I could see that staff maintain a good work-life balance. Everyone seems to be happy working with the firm. The firm also invests a lot in planning and supporting staff. Directors have been extremely supportive, especially Barry, keeping me busy with interesting projects, and Shireen Fernie, the Operations Director, who helped me and supported my understanding in the meetings.
My advice to future interns would be to make full use of this excellent opportunity as Carbon is one of the leading financial advisory and planning firms in the UK. Ask questions – all staff are friendly and polite. Don’t be scared to make mistakes – you only learn by making them. And build networks – you will learn more from your peers than from any book.
Anurag spent a three-week internship in our Edinburgh Office in June. He is currently studying Accountancy and Finance. Thank you, Anurag, for being an excellent addition to the Carbon team.