Name: Jonathan Long
Degree and university: BSc in Banking, Finance and Management from Loughborough University. Graduated in 2009
Job title: Graduate trainee in the Customer Support Workstream – Wholesale Europe Integration in International Banking, Wealth & International division of Lloyds Banking Group
What do you actually do?
My first role of my two-year graduate scheme took me to Cardiff where I worked for six months in Community Banking. I was supporting the Regional Director responsible for managing the branch network across Wales. I’m now doing my second placement in Brussels working on the integration project. Lloyds TSB and HBOS merged in January 2009 triggering an integration process that is now being implemented overseas as well. I’m working in a team responsible for harmonising IT processes, websites, people policies and property. My next role, starting in September 2010, will take me to the Risk division.
What skills do you need to do your job?
In my job I deal with many stakeholders, so negotiation and communication skills are definitely crucial for me. I’ve also discovered that being flexible helps a lot. Project management is something I have to be good at, but things like accurate reporting and logging are also key to be successful.
How did you know you wanted a career in finance?
This area has always been of interest – that’s why I chose economics and business studies for my GCSEs. But it was my one-year industrial placement at Lloyds TSB that sealed the deal. I got to know the organisation and I was hooked!
Would you undertake further training to
further your career?
further your career?
Lloyds Banking Group encourages us to do as much relevant training as possible and I’m also very keen on this. I’m now studying for my CFA level 1 exam in December 2010. The CFA is a globally recognised qualification with a broad-based curriculum of investment principles and professional conduct requirements and by undertaking the qualification I hope to build on my understanding of the investment field and global markets. The great thing about the CFA is that, unlike many post graduate programmes, the study format allows you to continue working while you progress.
What are the high and low points of your job?
It might be challenging to work with a lot of stakeholders and things often take time, but it’s really rewarding to see something that has been completed and then share it with senior colleagues. The graduate scheme itself is brilliant and very exciting.
What advice would you give graduates who want a career in finance?
I’d definitely recommend doing an industrial placement or summer internship – it not only makes applying for a permanent position easier, but you can also test the water and find out if it is something you really want to do. A career in finance might not be for everyone, so it’s really important to be sure that you’ve tested it and found an organisation that will be right for you.