Isio - Lauren Kane - Pensions Administration Team

2nd August 2023

Lauren Kane

Company: Isio
Job Title: Pensions Administration Team
Job Location: Belfast
University: Ulster University
University Course: Social Policy

Why did you choose this profession?
After graduating university, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something that gave me stability and to feel like I was helping people. Pensions administration has given me the ability to be a part of important events in people's lives such as marriages, deaths and more. I help to ensure my part runs smoothly for them and answer any queries they may have during these times. This enables me to have a positive impact on people's financial wellbeing. Additionally, within pensions, there is a great demand for professionals and there are many opportunities for career growth.

What attracted you to your role?
I wanted a job that would allow me to develop my technical skills and also my personal skills. At Isio, there is a different learning opportunity every day. You begin with your basic admin duties, but soon you develop to learning how to perform calculations using Excel and being able to answer member's concerns. Every scheme is different which makes your day varied.

How did it tie in with your overall career plans?
After seeing the Isio Pension Administration graduate opportunity, I knew it would be a step in the right direction. It has taught me many essential skills that can be transferred to different careers, so it enables you to keep your options open. I have felt very comfortable from the moment I started, knowing that anything I am struggling with, there is always someone available to walk me through it.

How did you get your job at Isio?
I found the graduate role at Isio on LinkedIn and after I applied, a recruiter contacted me to arrange an in-person interview. The interview was formal but at the same time, I was made to feel at ease. The interviewers were very engaging, and the questions were clear. They expanded on their own questions to help tailor it around my specific experiences, which made the interview feel more personal. After the interview, I conducted an online test which involved writing letters and correcting spelling and grammar. I received word of being offered the job which involved a three-day induction in Manchester with various other new starters. This induction was a great welcome into the company as immediately I was with people in the same situation as myself. We were taught about Isio, its values, how they conduct business, and we were welcomed by many senior staff.

What are your main duties?
My typical day involves responding to correspondences from members, answering any queries they have and updating any personal information they may provide. No scheme is the same so there is a lot of learning involved - taking plenty of notes is definitely helpful. Additionally, I perform calculations for member's retirement benefits, I keep track of bank transactions and there are always different training sessions to join. This allows my weeks to be varied, which keeps the job interesting and provides many different learning opportunities. 

Is it a 9-5 job?
My typical day at work is 9-5 but at Isio there are many social opportunities after 5. My office has a social committee that organises nights out, walks, there has even been a candle-making class. This gives the opportunity to speak to your colleagues outside of your typical working day, boosts team morale and gives us something to look forward to at the end of the day. 

What skills are useful in this profession?
Excel is something I have gone from never really using to being a staple in my everyday work life. Excel skills would be very useful but if you are like me and did not have to use it too much, you will be trained up and guided through anything you don't know. Additionally, organisational and time management skills are essential as the workflow is continuous and staying on top of deadlines is a very important aspect of pensions administration. Communication skills are very important as pensions can be complicated when you first look at them, so being able to effectively communicate to members and answer their queries clearly is a key skill.

What would you like to achieve in the future?
Within pensions, there are various qualifications that you can gain that can help enhance your career whilst working. I would
like to try to achieve some of these certificates and hopefully move up in my role.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
You will learn so much from the moment you start. Take lots of notes and if you need help, just ask for it!

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