Transitioning Ex-Forces Personnel

Date: Thursday August 6, 2015 at 10:55am

FDM Ex-Forces Consultant, Nicholas Insall, shares his personal journey which has led to his current exciting placement as an FDM Business Analyst at UBS located in central London. Nicholas is one of many ex-Forces personnel who have transferable skills enabling them to succeed in the commercial world.

“I initially joined FDM through the FDM Ex-Forces Programme, having spent over eight years in the Army and a further year running my own tech start-up company. The main focus of my start-up was around website development and the underpinning IT functions. This gave me sufficient experience to know that I could confidently apply my significant Project Management skills to the IT world.

Prior to joining the Army in 2006, I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester. Engineering made me aware of the logic behind processes that could be applied in all industries. This has helped me to succeed during my Army career and has had a direct benefit to my Tech Start-up and now as a Business Analyst.

After having been referred by my friend who was also in the Forces and successfully passing my assessment, within two weeks I began my training at the Academy in London Bridge, which was very professional and enjoyable. A good balance was achieved by the trainers combined with multiple interviews with clients. I learnt a lot about how to approach my interviews as well as undertaking PRINCE2 Project Management, ITIL and, last but not least, Excel. Additionally, the location was absolutely amazing with direct views of the Thames and Tower Bridge!

From my initial interview with UBS Wealth Management my mind was set on having my placement year with them. The biggest hurdle for me was entering the banking industry and the fear of not understanding everyone’s conversations. Currently my title at UBS is that of “Business Analyst” where I am working on developing a brand new offering by the bank to a new client segment involving a lot of project management. This involves researching into competitors’ actions, how UBS currently undertakes certain processes that could support this concept, and leading working groups of SMEs. In order to get the budget for the core project approved, there is lots of liaison with multiple functions of the UBS Wealth Management Bank including Operations, IT, Marketing and Compliance.

If this project proves successful in the UK, this will most likely be rolled out globally. In this situation, they would be looking to use the same Project Team to implement this, which would certainly see me through my two-year placement at FDM and beyond.

Taking everything into consideration, my time at FDM has given me amazing insight and experience into the Wealth Management sector, which would be applicable to many employers in this industry. FDM has given me an excellent opportunity within the banking sector, proving their ability to support ex-Forces personnel transitioning into a second career.”