Sam O’Neill – Senior Finance Broker at Clifton Private Finance

Hi, I’m Sam a Senior Adviser at Clifton Private Finance.

Through the Venture Graduate Scheme we appointed our first Graduate, Fergus as a Trainee Finance Broker. Fergus is now a Fully Qualified Broker, as well as a valued colleague and friend.

The Venture Graduate Scheme is “easy”

“If it aint broke, don’t fix it! More of the same please”

Business Name: Clifton Private Finance
Business Location: Cardiff
Business Contact: Senior Adviser, Sam O’Neill
Graduate Job Title(s): Trainee Finance Broker
Graduate Name: Fergus Allen

Have you used any other graduate schemes? (if so, how many)

“Just this one”

What were your thoughts/feelings around taking on employees/graduates for roles/schemes during a pandemic?

“Very keen to take on graduates as they are fresh talent you can teach as a “clean slate””

What attracted you to the Venture Graduate Scheme?

“They take the administration burden from us”

Why did you decide to get involved with the Venture Graduate Scheme?

“We were looking to start an in house grad scheme and this seemed to fit hand in hand”

How was your experience using the Venture Graduate Scheme, especially during a pandemic?

“Very good. Always on hand to help”

Is there anything you would say to other businesses thinking of taking on a graduate through the Venture Graduate Scheme?

“Nothing to lose, no commitment, time consuming tasks taken out of your hands and its free”

What would your advice be to graduates that are looking to secure their first job? Do you have any top tips?

“Be yourself. Much easier to spot someone who is pretending to be something they aren’t. If an employer doesn’t want you for you then it was never meant to be anyway. Don’t waste both of your time”

How did the recruiting support help your business? And, would you make any changes?

“We opted to sift our own CV’s as we know the nuances in applicants we are looking for but the info was put on a plate for us which was great”

Have you registered for the Global Welsh Mentoring Scheme? What are you hoping to achieve from the mentoring on offer?

“Not yet”

Tell us about your experience working with your graduate over the past 6 months? And, were you in the position to extend their contract and/or promote them?

“We offered Fergus a full time contract, he has now done his exams, his supervised cases and is now a fully qualified broker in his own regard.”

Do you have a special message for your graduate that you would like to share?

“Fergus was the first of many and has set the bar for everyone to follow. It was relatively sink or swim with Fergus being the first and we couldn’t have been luckier to find a great graduate, colleague and friend”

Would you recommend us to others? And would you use us again?

“We are on our 4th graduate through CCR scheme so we will let you answer than one!”

One sentence to sum up your Venture Graduate Scheme experience…

“If it aint broke, don’t fix it! More of the same please”

One word that sums up your Venture Graduate Scheme experience…


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