Financial Careers Apprentice - Meet Haris

Haris Ellahi, 19, began an apprenticeship with Mercer in Liverpool last year and is working as an investment operations analyst.

Alongside A levels (geography, German, maths, economics) he studied for an A level 3 (AS equivalent) certificate for securities and investment with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment before beginning his apprenticeship.

“I’ve always thought I’d go into some financial role and I’ve always been interested in the investment side. I managed to get work experience in a few investment firms. It appealed to me – seeing how somethings in the news could affect a share price, or how the wider economy could have an impact.

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"It’s very rare I use what I learned in my A levels directly in my work"

“I work in a supporting role to investment consultants. Our clients vary and we advise them how their investment portfolios are performing, and where to invest depending on their needs and intentions.

“I started looking at accountancy and did some work experience but it didn’t really appeal. I also spent time weighing up whether to apply to uni or for an apprenticeship – would I miss out on the student experience, but then did I want the debt? Or should I work, get the qualifications I needed? This route has actually worked well for me. At the moment I’m loving working in investment.

“It’s very rare I use what I learned in my A levels directly in my work. People here are older – most of them went to university, and they understand that I’m straight out of school. Whenever I’m given something new they sit down with me and explain how it’s done. They teach you and then let you spread your wings and carry on. If you do make mistakes the show you how to correct them.

“To work in this sector, you do need people skills. You need to be able to socialise and communicate, to pick up the phone and speak to an investment manager. It’s also useful to know how investments work, how the economy works – general background knowledge, but they don’t expect you to know everything when you walk through the door.”

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