August 20, 2020

    Ongoing learning and development is paramount to the success of JDX. We have an industry-leading Learning and Development team who provide a foundation for the development of employees from the day they join, ensuring individual learning needs are met through a broad range of learning opportunities. Our ability to resolve the most complex business challenge and yet also quickly provide skilled support for large-scale tactical operations is fuelled by the knowledge, energy, enthusiasm, and integrity of our staff.
    Managing the training of JDXers globally requires hard work, teamwork, dedication, and flexibility – it is a crucial function of JDX and a truly unique responsibility. So, what is it like to be a part of the JDX Learning and Development team? We asked Rachel Sedgwick, Connie Kay and Kate Batson about their experiences and responsibilities.

    What is your role on the Learning and Development team?

    [Rachel] I manage the L&D team and am responsible for delivering the learning strategy for the business.

    [Connie] I am a Learning and Development Partner and JDX’s Internal Events Manager. I design and deliver soft skills as part of our core syllabus as well as technical training, usually for pre-deployment of projects. I work with SMEs around the business to develop pre-deployment training or project-specific training. I also manage the global training calendar to ensure JDXers globally have access to training as well as the consulting services training programme. Most importantly, I HAVE FUN!

    [Kate] I am one of the L&D partners at JDX. I deliver both soft skill and technical training. I run and manage all our external management and leadership qualifications as well as managing our accreditation processes.

    How did you get to JDX?

    [Rachel] In my first job, I was a PA to the Global Head of HR at a leading property services company, and the L&D manager unfortunately fell sick… I was asked to step in, and I progressed from there!

    [Connie] After college, having grown up aspiring to be an ice cream man, I worked in accounts in a Japanese travel company for a year, when a friend of mine who worked at a Tier 1 investment bank messaged me about a receptionist job available near Liverpool Street – after 5 interviews I got the job! In the 5 years since then, I have had multiple roles around London HQ including, receptionist, office manager, PA and finally found my way to the L&D team. I have worked in L&D at JDX for nearly 4 years now and absolutely love it.

    [Kate] I left university in 2017 and had a couple of different jobs while trying to figure out what I wanted to do. In the January of 2019 I was made redundant and applied for a role as an Associate Consultant at JDX. I went through the entire recruitment process – the interviews, bootcamp and I got the job! I had clicked well with the L&D team who were leading the bootcamp and was asked to do a secondment to the learning and development team for my first 8 weeks at JDX. Almost 18months later, I’m still here!

    What kind of courses do you teach at JDX?

    [Rachel] I have 10 years’ experience in learning and development and specialise in Culture, Change Management and Leadership training. At JDX, I deliver any and all of our ‘soft-skills’

    [Connie] Mainly transferable skills that anyone, in any role, can utilise such as communication, resilience, management and leadership etc. We pride ourselves on running these sessions to really develop our people for the benefit of JDX, our clients and our staff

    [Kate] I deliver a huge range of courses. I started by delivering the majority of our technical training, Excel, financial services training, internal systems training but more recently I have started to deliver some more of our soft skill training as well, objective setting, resilience, emotional intelligence.

    Which is your favourite JDX course and why?

    [Rachel] I think either Leading Through Change, Unconscious Bias Training or Managing Mental Health. This is because I think having the understanding and the ability to navigate and lead through all these areas as a manager is so important, and yet I often find that managers have had very little in terms of training and support

    [Connie] Team Leadership! The sessions involve lots of discussion on how to form, build and grow high performing teams, teaching people the skills needed to be successful and inspirational team leads. I enjoy hearing people’s experiences with good and bad team leads, how they would handle difficult conversations or situations and helping people look at the bigger picture. I feel like in delivering this session, I can see people’s passion for helping others grow and feels like it really makes a difference to people’s working lives

    [Kate] I think I would have a choose Excel. It’s a skill that so many of our employees use every day and everyone always goes away having learnt something new which will ultimately makes their day to day roles easier. I also enjoy teaching emotional intelligence; for some of our newer JDXers it’s not something they have ever heard of and it’s is such an interesting course, people are always so engaged with it and really want to go away and develop their own emotional intelligence. Inspiring people to want to go away and do their own learning from something they have learnt from us is ultimately what we want to achieve

    How would you describe the L&D team?

    [Rachel] FUN! I’m the luckiest manager in the world to have a team who are so incredibly vibrant, energising and fun to be around, but also so dedicated to their work. They make me look much better than I am

    [Connie] In three words: Passionate, dedicated, and ever-changing. Passionate in our roles, each other, the company we work for and the development of JDXers. We want everyone to succeed in their roles and want to help them do just that. We are passionate about the importance of teaching others how to continuously develop themselves in crucial skills such as communication or emotional intelligence that can often be overlooked. We are truly dedicated to designing and delivering high quality content that is fit for purpose and we want to have fun while doing so. We are constantly growing and changing our approach to training, our content, our delivery methods etc and we truly value all feedback we receive. We work in a constantly ever-changing role and I believe that with training as the core of the business adaptability is key! My role is never the same day to day!

    [Kate] The team has a passion and a great energy about what they do, and we all want to achieve the same thing. Everyone works hard and is supportive of one another. We all get on so well and we really care about the product we are delivering, and I think that is shown in our work.

    What’s been the highlight of your JDX career so far?

    [Rachel] Singing Sweet Home Alabama as part of a JDX rock band during the Learning Festival we ran last year is definitely up there!

    [Connie] Aside from 4 different strategy nights, many ski offsites and amazing memories, I think my JDX highlight of my career was travelling to Singapore with my manager Rachel and between us, delivering a full 4 day bootcamp plus 10 training sessions in just 5 days – and still managing to attend a Singapore townhall (with karaoke of course) – it was amazing to travel to a new country, experience the JDX culture over there and meet the JDX team

    [Kate] I would say our Learning Festival. (Unsurprisingly) something I am really passionate about is learning, so to see so many people engaging in something new, enjoying learning, it was just a real joy and really summed up who JDX are as a company.

    Sarah Brennan (Global Head of Learning and Development), Connie Kay, Kate Batson and Rachel Sedgwick at JDX Learning Festival 2019

    Why does JDX invest so much in the education and training of its workforce?

    [Rachel] JDX is a company dedicated to our people. Our unique selling point to clients is our people, so everything we do internally is about upskilling, developing, and supporting young talent in a dynamic atmosphere.

    [Connie] I think that JDX invests so heavily in the education and training of our staff for 2 main reasons:

    • Opportunities for our people – by educating our staff we can provide people with better opportunities in their career pathways, more confidence in themselves and widen their horizons to different sectors of financial services or potential avenues they hadn’t thought to explore
    • Opportunities to diversity our projects – the L&D team pride themselves on the ability to work with our SME’s from around the business to create pre-deployment training for any project or topic, whether we have worked in it previously or not. This therefore allows GCP to market new and ever-changing topics to our clients and continuously diversity our portfolio.

    [Kate] I think the answer to this would be the same whoever you asked – our people. JDXers are who set us apart from the rest of the market. From the way we hire people, to our Academy, we want to foster an environment to allow our people to grow and shine. Through educating and training our staff we give them the opportunity to do this.

    How would you describe the JDX bootcamp?

    [Rachel] Oh gosh… Intense. You are in for a hardcore four days of intensive training. We make sure that there are a lot of fun games and group exercises, and that you learn a lot and meet people throughout the business, but our bootcamp is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be excited to learn to be a JDXer!

    [Connie] I would describe bootcamp as intense, eye opening and a good laugh. We fit a lot into the 4 day period so it can be quite an intense few days, but we have worked out a schedule that fits in with how research shows people learn best including varying levels of intensity: a mixture of technical and soft skills and a number of different delivery styles to ensure we appeal to all learners. We ensure that attendees meet members of staff from all grades, locations, and business lines to give them an eye-opening introduction to the firm and all that we represent. We try to make the 4 days as enjoyable as possible, days out, group activities, light-hearted competition and a support system to make all feel comfortable

    [Kate] Different. I don’t think you would get the same experience anywhere else. I remember attending my bootcamp and I came away from my first day and felt so valued that somewhere like JDX was investing the time to teach me all about the industry I was potentially going in to. Don’t get me wrong it is hard work and it’s a lot of new information, but this is offset with a lot of fun. You get to meet lots of people from around the business and really get an insight in to what it means to be a JDXer. There are loads of fun group tasks that everyone enjoys. Over the 4 days you find that people relax in to the process and we really get to know who they are.

    What would be your advice to anyone interested in applying to the JDX Grad Scheme?

    [Rachel] If you love people, are excited to learn and have an entrepreneurial #CANDO attitude then JDX will be a great fit for you. The graduate scheme is two years of training, giving you a firm foundation in financial services, with rotations around top tier banks and investment firms. During the second year you are given the opportunity to do an industry recognised ICA qualification, and throughout you will have had exposure to the different parts of our business so that by your 3rd-4th year you will have your choice of where you would like to align yourself and specialise.

    Whatever you choose there will be a training plan in place to support you and a wealth of experience around you. I don’t think there’s a better place for a graduate eager to explore financial consulting.

    [Connie] I would suggest having an open mind and getting stuck in! We want you to relax, be yourself and enjoy the experience with us!

    [Kate] Do it! You will get exposure to so many different experiences, get to work for some fantastic clients, you will meet lots of interesting people and you will make great friends and most importantly you will learn A LOT.

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