4 September 2019

Investment strategies, risk analysis and bacon rolls

Coming to the end of my internship with Carbon, I reflect on three weeks at its Edinburgh office, where my initial nerves were soon replaced with great enthusiasm for the engaging task I was set.

A large proportion of my time at Carbon was spent on a project set by the Investment Team. I was tasked with looking at the potential risks of post-retirement withdrawals from portfolios with differing investment strategies. This project tied in well with my current studies, I’m currently studying Actuarial Science BSc (Hons) at Heriot Watt and with the flexibility of the assignment I was able to apply my skillset in excel to create a model simulating ‘volatility drag’ and sequencing risk on pension portfolios. I also created an adjoining report and presented my findings to one of Carbon’s financial planners. For the entire duration of this project, my colleagues were always happy to discuss issues and solutions with me, resulting in a finalised piece which greatly exceeded my initial ambition.

Throughout the internship I was fortunate enough to spend time with all the different teams within the company. Each of them walked me through their role and explained how it linked and cooperated with other functions to create the award-winning service that Carbon provides.

Whilst learning about the different aspects of Carbon’s business, I found its investment philosophy and principles particularly interesting; how it takes leading research literature on investment strategies and implements it into its business model.

Thanks to Carbon’s flexibility and commitment to providing a meaningful internship I also spent a day in the Aberdeen office where I was welcomed warmly – with a bacon roll – as per Carbon’s Friday morning tradition! Whilst I was there, the Carbon team members assisted me on projects, and I got to sit in on my first meeting with a client.

I was also given the opportunity to spend a day at Standard Life Aberdeen, Carbon’s administrative platform, where I was guided through its market-leading Wrap Platform and we discussed the issues and solutions facing the financial industry today. This serves as another example of the value Carbon places on its internship programme and its openness towards how the business operates.

This placement has reinforced my interests and drive towards a career in investment strategies and risk analysis. I would like to thank everyone in the Carbon team for making my time here enjoyable, interesting and informative. For anyone starting the internship programme in the near future my advice is to seize the opportunities, utilise the resources and enjoy the experience.

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