Lots to cover. I am now officially employed at a well established mutual fund transfer agency. I will be joining a recently formed outbound call team, supporting the overall investor services division of the company. My training group or “bullpen” as they call us, is about to complete the second of eight or so weeks of training. In talking to some current associates, the company seems to take special care to bring in new people not well acclimated to the financial industry to really have the ability to mold the bullpen to its own corporate standards.* It has been a very strange experience so far, as the other jobs I’ve held in the past have not been so, I think the word is permanent. ID badges, 2 weeks vacation, 401(k), dental(!) the whole works. It is both terribly exciting and terribly frightening. My other jobs have not been without responsibility, but this promises to be something much more.
*I think that this is not altogether a terrible idea. While it would be easier to incorporate industry professionals into these positions, old habits are hard to erase. If a company takes particular pride in its particular training program, why not find motivated individuals not inside the industry and invest in growth. Not only does the company get to train the associates as it sees fit, it creates a good bond for the new associate as he or she has kind of a social obligation as they are getting some new skills as well as treated very well throughout the process.
So far the process has been meticulously planned even though not well executed. Standards and booklets are in place as well as a number of training logins, test systems, and a well defined script. Oh and the copies! Tons and tons of paper printed out for a relatively small class size. The trainers joke, “For a computer company, we sure do love paper/hate trees”. (Not a great joke, per se, but draws a wry smile from more than one of our little group every time.) (Okay maybe not wry but rather polite ). As you would imagine a bureaucratic two month training program would be paced, that is the rate it goes. I’m not terribly surprised but I am a bit nervous when it comes to the actual performance of my duties. There is a significant amount of time dedicated to “drive share” towards the latter part of the schedule in which the new associate performs the job duties under the watchful eye of an established team member. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this part, wish I could test it out sooner than later, I find that I learn a little better on a “sink or swim” basis. Good on the company to make sure that new associates are very comfortable before putting them in the game.* In the meantime, I’m going to bask in what is the unadulterated corporate pleasures of hour long lunches and unlimited hot chocolate.