Name – Hannah Sanders
Age – 22
Degree and University – University of Birmingham: Money, Banking and Finance from the Department of Economics
Job Title – Corporate Graduate, Customer Service and Communications Specialist, Nationwide
What does the job involve? – It is a graduate scheme that lasts for two years. I am currently a year into the programme. As a Customer Service and Communications Specialist I spent 8 months in Nationwide’s Press Office and will return to the Press Office for my final 8 month placement. It was a very exciting placement where I was able to learn a lot about Nationwide’s wide range of products and how important brand messaging is. I also had the opportunity to meet many different Personal Finance journalists from all over the country who write for national and regional newspapers. During this middle 8 month placement I am working in a department called Member Proposition that works on special projects that stretch throughout Nationwide.
What was your motivation in choosing this career? I really wanted to work for a company that sees me as a person and not just a number on a payroll slip. To me that is very important and Nationwide really does look after its employees and treat them as people and not just a number. The Nationwide Management Development Programme (NMDP) offered me exactly what I was looking for: structure, a variety of courses to develop my skills, access to many different departments to increase my knowledge of business and a choice in where I could spend a portion of my two year placement.
What do you most like about your job and are there any downsides? The most enjoyable aspect about this job is the people! I am fortunate to have integrated into two fantastic teams in each of my placements. They make coming to work fun and full of laughter. I enjoy the variety of work I do but it is also getting to work with all the characters and personalities that makes my job truly enjoyable.
The most challenging part of my job is constantly having to adapt and respond to new environments. I thrive on this challenge but it can be testing at times. Often new issues emerge on a daily basis and your plans for the whole day get thrown completely out of the window. This is a challenge but an enjoyable one because it makes life more interesting and keeps me on my toes.
The worst part can be when I have less work to do – because I am a person who likes to be kept busy. Although, on these rare days it is a good chance to catch my breath and enjoy a more sedate pace.
What advice would you give to readers considering a job in your field? If you are considering a job within the financial services, do your research. There are many organisations in the UK and around the world so decide on what you want them to give you. It is as much about you as it is the company. Fully research the departments because one organisation can provide many opportunities due to the wide variety of work it has to do in order to function as a business, from auditing, marketing and communications to risk. Above all, apply to companies you really want to work for – it really makes a difference