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Making a career for himself: James Marchment’s DST story

19 Jul

DST Pensions Senior Associate James Marchment is driven, determined and ambitious. While he started university not knowing anything about DST, he quickly identified the company as his ideal place to work – and put the steps in place to make it happen. Here’s his story:

“In my first week of university I realised DST was an ideal fit”

James’ first few days at Anglia Ruskin University featured a welcome introduction, where he saw the DST brand featured as one of the companies the university works with. After researching DST and finding out more about its services, James thought it seemed like a great place to work. Four months on, the university opened applications for intern roles where participants are assigned business mentors. James quickly realised one of the mentors was from DST – and he jumped at the chance to apply.

“When I applied, I knew I liked DST, wanted to work there and wanted to be mentored by someone who worked for the company and could give me insight on all things DST,” James says.

“I signed up to the mentorship programme for the business opportunities”

James had spoken to participants in previous intern intakes who advised him to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by mentors. For James, the programme was a crucial step in his professional career, and he fully intended to make the most of the contact opportunities with someone entrenched not only within DST, but also within the business world. Much to his delight, Tara Simpson, Group Resourcing - Future Talent and DST Community Engagement, was appointed James’ mentor. James says he “probably bugged Tara with a constant stream of emails”, but his passion and enthusiasm soon paid off. Tara let James know about an upcoming twilight role, and while he still needed to go through the application process like any other candidate, James says that Tara’s support was key in helping him get his first role at DST.

“I officially started at DST in December and haven’t looked back”

While DST hadn’t previously considered a student for the twilight WMI role, James’ interview went so well that he was offered the position within hours. He quickly accepted, meaning he was working from 5pm-9pm whilst completing his second year of a BSc Banking and Finance degree. He has been so successful at the company that he’s now completing his Undergraduate Placement year at DST, working as Pensions Senior Associate. This sees him helping with everything from sending letters to clients to amending people’s direct debits, with ongoing training ensuring he picks up new tasks on a weekly basis. He’s come a long way from the first-year student who didn’t know the first thing about the business, and he’s now sharing his story with others, even representing DST at a careers fair.

“I can definitely see a future with DST”

When James was first interviewed to join DST, he made a point of asking about progression opportunities. He saw first-hand how people who started as graduates and apprentices had worked their way into more senior positions, and realised that progression was a real possibility for those who worked for it. As an ambitious hard worker, this appealed enormously to James.

“Everyone here is so supportive”

Despite technically no longer being his mentor, Tara remains a strong support for James, who says everyone within DST is quick to help. His Team Leader, Nicola Frost, has been integral in ensuring he’s comfortable in his work and receives the right training to take on more responsibility. James likes to be busy, putting his hand up for additional training where possible, and has found DST more than willing to expand his role and support his ambition. The ‘constant learning’ is one of his favourite things about working for the business, saying he’s never met anyone who hasn’t been willing to help him out.

“Persistence and determination were key to me in my career planning”

James’ career at DST was no accident. Once he identified finance as his industry of choice, he put a plan in plan to help him achieve it. He started a finance society at university to share knowledge and industry opportunities, saying that everything he did at university was aligned with his post-graduation plans. He knew he wanted to apply to work at DST after university, and having Tara as his mentor was a conscious part of this plan.

He says he’s been “quite dogged” in his pursuit of DST, a trait that has helped him all his life. Unhappy with his A-level grades, James set to work to write a stellar personal statement for his university applications, throwing himself into the interview process and ending up with an unconditional offer. It was this approach which saw him thrive in Anglia Ruskin’s mentorship programme, and eventually offered an interview at DST. He recommends an “all in” approach to career planning and job hunting, noting that many students don’t make the most of the opportunities in front of them.

“The sky’s the limit”

Before finishing his degree, James will continue his placement year, during which he says he’ll take every opportunity offered to him. Eventually he’d love to move into a leadership position within DST, passing on the support provided to him by Tara, Nicola and everyone else at DST. Join us James’ commitment and tenacity have seen him thrive at DST. If you’ve got a great attitude and want to be part of a brilliantly supportive company, we’d love to talk. Take a look at our latest vacancies to get started.
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