Harry Edwards

19th April, 2024

DB News

An Intern’s View

Given the key to our business revolves around people, essentially our team and our clients, we are very keen to involve ourselves each year with the education and development of young people. We are very proud of our graduate development and our apprenticeship schemes, and to this end we are involved with local schools and universities. Presently we have two interns working with us, in addition we have a third coming during August. Our internships are designed to be challenging and mutually beneficial. They are paid internships, so whilst we love to get involved and help develop younger people, its very much a two-way street.

Our blog this week comes from one of our current interns Harry Edwards. We thought we would put some questions to Harry about his experiences on his journey so far, a fly on the wall you might say!

What is my background before joining DB Wood?

I am a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Bath, studying towards a Business (Bsc) degree, and I’m set to graduate in 2025. This is my second 6-month placement as part of my course. Previously I spent six months working for a sports consultancy firm, as part of their commercial team. During that placement I assisted on both buy-side and sell-side of sports related acquisitions and worked on consultancy projects across the industry, which helped develop my commercial understanding. I have a sporting background, spending most of my free time either in the gym or playing football/padel. I enjoy this alongside youth football coaching which I have done since sixteen and I truly believe this has stood me in good stead in terms of being able to handle myself in a confident manner as I enter the working world. 

What was my initial impression of DB Wood?

As soon as I stepped foot in the office here at DB Wood, it was strikingly obvious that this is a ‘people’s’ business- everyone was extremely welcoming and more than happy to help with my training. This principle of putting ‘people first’ is clear from the preparation that goes into client meetings. I quickly learnt that DB Wood’s new clients are essentially brought in via referrals! Other than that, I feel like I have been enabled to take quite a lot of responsibility in my early months, and the togetherness of the team has helped me settle really quickly to life here at DB Wood. 

What have I enjoyed most so far?

I’m about half way through my six months now, and I can quite confidently say that my favourite part of the role is attending client meetings and interacting with clients. I very much enjoy the relationship aspect of the role and whether that is speaking with the clients myself or watching Ashley, Dom, Oliver or Adam bring a plan to life in front of them, I would say that’s what I am enjoying most. Seeing the confidence that the advisers are able to give clients through their delivery of the plan is very impressive and I aspire to one day be able to have the same positive impact on clients.

As we are in an advice business, what is the best advice someone has ever given to you in your life so far?

There are two things which have really stuck with me and both happen to be Japanese frameworks on how to live life. The first is ‘ikigai’ which I was taught by a previous mentor and relates to a framework on how to choose your personalised ‘perfect’ and most fulfilling job. The framework says there are four components that matter in your career decision; what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, what you love and what impact you can have on the world. Following this framework has led me to this placement which fulfils all aspects of ‘ikigai’ for myself and I feel it’s important to find something that you enjoy doing at work given that we spend a large proportion of our lives at work.

The second bit of advice that I like to live by was something that I first saw online but has just stuck with me. It’s called ‘kaizen’ and means to improve by 1% every day. This is so useful for someone in my shoes who looks up to all these successful people, and as a student it can almost feel like you are a million miles away from reaching those heights. The task can honestly feel quite daunting. But if you break the bigger tasks down into just making sure that you’re trying to improve ‘1%’ everyday then suddenly reaching your goals can feel a lot more possible. This can apply to all walks of life- whether it’s trying to hit goals in the gym or trying to progress your career, if you just make sure you keep showing up each day to put in work and acquire skills that’ll help you towards your goals, then you’ve got a good chance of making it happen.

What do you plan to work on over the rest of your placement?

In the second half of my placement my broader goals are to keep improving my skillset and to contribute a greater amount to the outputs of the firm. I’d also like to spend some more time working with the Investment Committee after having worked a lot with the advisers to date. In fact, I am currently working on a Business Relief project for the Investment Committee which I am very much enjoying as I’m keen to broaden my knowledge on the investment side of the business. I also am scheduled to work within the Implementation Team (who are onboarding clients from acquired businesses) over the coming months which I am extremely excited about as it brings that additional incentive to deliver my best work knowing that it can help bring in new clients to the firm. 

Finally, what key lessons will you take from here and apply in your future career? 

The two key lessons from my time here so far that I’ll be sure to apply in the future are; the importance of attention to detail, and the ‘client centric’ approach. Attention to detail on the presentations that get delivered to clients is so key to ensure that our outputs are the highest quality that they can be, and the ‘client centric’ approach is important to keep in mind throughout the entire business process in order to keep clients pleased and in turn get recurring business as well as new clients through referrals. Throughout my time here I have seen how both are such key fundamentals in a successful business model that I will be sure to implement those lessons into my work whatever industry I end up in.