Support and inspire: How Gerald Edelman nurtures trainees
Meet Vicky! Assistant Manager in our Company Secretarial Department. For Vicky, joining GE was initially a daunting prospect. Feeling underqualified, she almost didn’t make it to her interview.
After meeting with the firm, she saw how GE invested in people and knew she would be given opportunities to build on her skills and grow in her career.
Read more below to learn about her journey from trainee to Assistant Manager in the department.
What is your current role?
My role is very varied – we never stop learning in our team. I am regularly involved in assisting clients with a range of company secretarial tasks, from incorporating new companies, making changes to boards, changing addresses, reviewing company records, share transfers, share reorganisations, Stamp Duty queries, striking companies off, administrative restorations, all sorts! As the assistant manager, I help Barbara Hughes to keep the department running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
What do you enjoy most about your role/GE?
My team! I work in a very tight-knit team. There are four of us and we work so well together. I can’t imagine my time at GE without them.
Have you always wanted to work in Company Secretarial?
I fell into my role very much by accident. I studied Biology at Imperial College and had in my mind that I would become the next David Attenborough (although never say never!). I intended to carry on and study for a Master’s in biology but at the last minute decided to try an office role. I was waiting for the marmite moment and thought that it might not be for me, but I actually really enjoyed it! I took a very general office admin job in a small accountancy firm, with PA duties, filing, working on reception, and basic company secretarial work – from here, I knew I wanted to take my company secretarial skills further, which is when I found GE!
Why did you choose GE?
A recruiter first told me about an opening at a Mid-Tier firm called Gerald Edelman. At first, I was a bit worried that I didn’t meet the requirements that were listed on the job description. That said, I knew that this was something I wanted to progress in so went to the interview and really liked the atmosphere, the people were really friendly and I got the feeling that I could learn a lot if I were to take the job. Despite being underqualified for the position, Barbara and Howard offered me the job, along with a training contract that wasn’t originally part of the job description, meaning my formal training was paid for by the firm. This is what GE is all about, finding people who are keen to learn and supporting them in the journey.
What does your average day look like?
I’m sure you hear this a lot, but no two days are the same for me! But if I were to pinpoint the structure of my day, I would say that every day starts with checking any emails for queries that came through overnight. It’s then generally a matter of prioritising as the day goes on – anything from incorporations to strike-off applications and everything in between. It’s just a case of seeing what the day brings – which I love.
What have been your biggest achievement/challenge so far?
I would say my biggest achievement was definitely getting qualified as a Chartered Company Secretary. I was really lucky to have the support of GE both financially and the encouragement from my team and manager. My biggest challenge was the switch from in-person to online learning, it was a big adjustment but it made getting qualified all the more rewarding!
Tell me your goals for the future
I would say to continue to assist with the smooth running of the department, and longer term to become a Fellow Member of the Chartered Governance Institute. I’m currently an associate member but moving up the ladder would be great.
What advice would you give others that are seeking to pursue a career in Company Secretarial?
Don’t be intimidated by job descriptions! It’s great to tick a lot of the boxes on there but don’t let that dissuade you from applying. At GE, if you’re eager to learn and have the right attitude, we want to support you in your development as much as possible. But if you are looking to become a chartered company secretary, the Qualifying Program is great – there’s a new foundation paper that gives quite a broad background to get you started.