Role : Apprentice Research assistant to Chief Economist
Business area : Investment Research & Strategy
Nationality : French
Location : Paris
Jean Alexandre tells us about his apprenticeship at AXA Investment Managers. Why he chose our company to perform his work placement, what he likes in his missions, the interview process, his typical day and his key learnings: he says it all!
Why AXA IM?
What was key in my decision was that AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) strongly values economic research and puts it at the heart of its expertise and business. The exposure to financial markets and the current issues and challenges faced by asset management also provide me with a new and exciting viewpoint about economics, completing my theoretical knowledge. Finally, working within a subsidiary of AXA Group is a great opportunity to see how a world-class group operates.
The interview process?
I had two interviews, first with an HR representative and the executive assistant of the team, and then with the Chief Economist. The main advice I would have is to have a true interest in the company and get informed as much as possible about it, in order to take part in a genuine and specific discussion during the interviews. This definitely helps the company find out whether you are a good fit for the job and the company, and as importantly, if these are for you as well… And one last piece of advice : just be yourself !
My first mission is to assist the Chief Economist in the making of its main publication, the Blue Book. It involves updating the models and adapting them to the economic events. Then, my work can vary a lot, depending on hot topics and how the financial markets evolve. For example, I've recently been following closely the intense debates and demonstrations in Hong Kong in opposition to Beijing political power.
Teamwork and support at AXA IM?
We are a small yet highly international team, with a lot of interaction that fuels passionate debates. Indeed, 50% of the team comes from various countries around the world : it fosters different points of view that contribute to the quality of our research. On a personal point of view, this is really pleasant and challenging in the same time, and really makes me progress and learn at a great pace !
The great thing about financial markets is that we constantly have new challenges to cope with and have to deal with multi-dimensions : economics and finance obviously but politics as well. And research work also implies putting things into perspective and the ability to take a step back to analyze and understand what is going on.
I'm fond of photography, both digital and film. I have never been to La Défense before working at AXA Investment Managers, so this gives me the opportunity of taking wonderful pictures I never thought of!!
Interview led in 2014.