Placement part 1 – the worries, the nerves, the relief

In the first of her blog posts, Codie Smith, BA (Hons) Financial Services, Planning and Management, provides an insight into her placement search and how she secured a job as a Financial Planning Administrator at Fiscal Engineers.

Placement student, Codie Smith

Whether you decided to come to University yourself, through a family member or the influence of a friend, it is still YOUR future that depends on the course and degree you’re willing to want and take.

I personally came to MMU because of the course: Financial Services, Planning and Management (and of course the awesome bars and restaurants here!). It offered me an outstanding opportunity of qualifications as well as being regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) which of course appealed to me as a Finance student.

However, I had a choice, a 3 or 4 year course period. Placement or not? Do I want a job sooner? Will I be graduating alone? Will it give me more job opportunities? After hours of looking into this and deciding where I wanted to be by the age of 22/23, I decided yes, a placement year is just what I needed and wanted. An extra year of education may sound fun for some, others thinking that’s just an excuse to do fresher’s again! Either way, that extra bit of effort, the experience, the people I’ll meet and the fact I will graduate (hopefully) with a full year of work experience will enhance my chance of getting a job even quicker than any other student who doesn’t have the experience and only the degree.

After a hard year of complete dedication, and I embarrassingly add, hangovers, it was time for me to choose my placement. I’m quite a work driven person so the working hours compared to ‘slobbing’ in bed with a cup of tea did not really bother me. It was just FINDING the placement.

The first bit of advice I can give to you, ASK. Ask people, your personal tutor, the business placement team, and 3rd year placement students (like myself); just ask for advice and guidance. People don’t bite and from personal experience at MMU, they definitely like to help! My personal tutor helped me find mine, an economics student had previously gone for the placement I have now. So I grabbed myself the contact details, gave the CEO of the company a call and got myself an interview.

Then I realised I had to take my CV with me…

My CV was not the greatest and although it had helped me get my waitress job, bar job, field representative job and so on, it was not up to the standard of a Financial Planning Administrator CV. I made my merry way to the placement team, and like I said before, they helped massively. It wasn’t long before I wanted to show my CV off to everyone and help my housemates with theirs. I lived with 9 girls, so you can imagine when I gave up!

I had my interview just before Christmas, I won’t lie, it was a hard interview, but like my personal tutor had advised me to do, I did my research so it went swimmingly. Here are a few things I had prepared:

  • An information pack of my three-year course, such as, a detailed explanation of each year at MMU and what I’d be studying
  • I researched the company, they want to know you’re interested, so get on their website!
  • I revised typical interview questions, “Tell me about yourself?”, “What are your strengths?”, “What can a firm like this do to you and what can you bring to us?”

1 week later I had the job, Financial Planning Administrator at Fiscal Engineers, what a relief! I quickly found myself a flat in Nottingham, luckily my boyfriend lived there so we got one together.

On my first day, I arrived half an hour early and was sweating with nerves! But as soon as I got in the office, everyone was so friendly. Like I said, people do not bite! Within the first week of being on placement, I just knew I had taken the right course and placement.

I have your typical office support and administration role, such as:

  • Sorting out workflow
  • Stationery orders
  • Collecting valuations, files notes etc.
  • Preparing packs for clients
  • Attending meetings
  • Learning about their investment methodology
  • Helping complete investment reports

At Fiscal Engineers every job is shared. Obviously some have bigger responsibilities than others, but there’s not one day where someone isn’t willing to help or guide me. We go out on socials, have team bonding days and with being in an open plan office everyone gets along and interacts with one another every day.


"The Fiscal Family"Fiscal Engineers wanted a Financial Services, Planning and Management student due to the course linking in with their firm so much. I cannot recommend them enough; they are a fantastic firm, they’re professional and build honest relationships with clients.


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