00:00:03 I’m, Melanie Leavold and I’m Senior Manager for the Institutional Client Services at Fidelity. I head up two teams within the Institutional Client Services area. And our primarily role is liaising with clients, and looking into queries that they might have.
00:00:19 At school I always wanted to go into banking. I actually got offered a job at NatWest, in one of the head offices, but then decided – I was 16, I should really try and further my education. I decided to go down the route of doing a BTech diploma in the Business and Finance.
00:00:34 I then applied to all of the big names – the Schroders, the BZWs at the time, James Capels, that were around – and got an interview at Schroders. At the time I think there was about a hundred of us being interviewed for two roles. But I got offered the job in the financial control area, and I was very pleased with that, and couldn’t believe it when it came through the door.
00:00:53 I wanted to go out and work and earn a living, just so that I could, you know, start saving towards a house and holidays. I was able to go out and then afford the nice things in life, go out and afford clothes without having to rely on my parents for the money. So it was – independence as well, was one of the key things.
00:01:10 My first day at work I was scared, I was absolutely petrified. You know, you’re in with people that have been working there for a few years, and you’re the junior person. I was 18, and I was surrounded by older people, and it was very daunting. And so now, when I have new people on the team, or when I see youngsters coming in to – 18 year-olds – come into the environment – I can now – you can understand how they felt.
00:01:36 I was at Schroders for about eight years in total. I left there because I felt I didn’t want to become institutionalised. They were a great company, a really good company, but I felt I wanted to see how other people do it. So after Schroders I went to Mellon Bank. I didn’t last there that long, I only stayed there a few months. I think it’s quite common, if you work in a company for quite a long period of time, you then go to another place, you don’t stay there that long straightaway, because I think you’re too busy comparing it to what your other company had.
00:02:04 And then I joined Hendersons Bank … Street in Moorgate, and within six months I was promised Manager there, of the team. Then in 2003 I got made redundant. It was quite a shock, it was almost like – you’re not wanted. And it sort of bruises your ego a bit. Because you think – what’s wrong with me? Why don’t you want me? I think I then went and sat in a wine bar with one or two of the other people and had a drink, and thought well actually this isn’t such a bad thing, you know, I’ve been made redundant, got a nice, you know, you get a redundancy package. That will see me through the summer, have summer off, and then start looking for jobs. Then, perfectly, this job at Fidelity came along.
00:02:42 Outside of work, my time is spent with my little one, she takes up all my weekend, which is great. So swimming, going out to farms, going on holiday, all my time is focused on her.
00:02:54 My biggest challenge is probably what I’m facing now. It’s the balancing of motherhood, with career, with home, and being a wife as well. And you almost feel a failure if you can’t give a hundred percent in one of those areas. But it’s identifying the fact that you can’t, that something has to give. And I didn’t actually realise how hard it would be, coming back and juggling everything.
00:03:15 This is something that I have pinned up on my board at work. And it’s of a beach and blue skies and sun, and it made me realise that I’m working for the reason of being able to have holidays. And a nice life. It is a key factor for me. I think it’s important in an environment where you’re working hard, that you can relax, and you can have holidays. Obviously I’ve got a little girl now, so my holidays are slightly different than they were a few years ago, but it’s great to be able to spend the time with her now, and see her develop on holidays.
00:03:46 I guess in ten years’ time, I would probably see myself here at Fidelity, with a good career behind me, and a good career ahead of me as well.