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Jack Baines tells about his new role with Monmouthshire Building Society

Following his placements with Monmouthshire Building Society, Jack secured a permanent role as a Change & CI Analyst. He tells us more about his journey into the Financial Services sector and his new role.

Like most other business graduates, I found myself thoroughly enjoying a variety of different modules at university but not being able to settle on which I wanted to pursue as a career.

This scheme was so unique in that it gave the opportunity to get work experiences in a range of fields. I was able to experience 3 placements not only in different roles but also different organisations and cultures. The fully funded MSc offered alongside this was an added bonus. 

Being totally honest, I wasn’t really aware of Financial Services and all that it entails before I joined the programme. I had started to really enjoy Finance at University and knew it was something I’d like to pursue but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

By an off chance, my friend told me about the scheme, and I knew it was something I’d enjoy.

Tell us about your journey on the Programme…

I started the programme at Monmouthshire Building Society in their Change & Continuous Improvement department and have been lucky enough to stay on ever since.

This department is very new to the Society and has acted as their primary change function since its introduction.

I worked primarily on Continuous Improvement initiatives within my first 8-month rotation typically identifying, analysing & then subsequently re-engineering a variety of end to end business processes.

Within my 2nd 8-month rotation I moved into a more Business Analyst & Project orientated role by supporting and managing the delivery of many departmental and strategic level projects.

Towards the tail end of the 2nd placement while helping to facilitate the integration of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) across MBS, I was selected to form a part of the Society’s first centre of excellence (CoE) and tasked with progressing the automation of back office processes across the business.

I have since gained a Blue Prism – Automation Developer Qualification for creating and delivering RPA and will use this to enhance any strategic Projects or CI initiatives I complete within my 3rd and final 8-month placement.

Blue Prism are a UK multinational software corporation that pioneered and makes enterprise robotic process automation software that provides a digital workforce designed to automate complex, end-to-end operational activities.

 What has been your highlight on the Programme?

Moving into an almost hybrid role of CI & Projects has been very exciting.

Due to being in a small department I’ve been given an abundance of opportunities and responsibilities that many new starters are not usually aware of.

If I had to narrow down something in particular, I’d have to say being a project support and helping the facilitation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at Monmouthshire Building Society (MBS) to be my highlight so far.

Monmouthshire Building Society (MBS) are one of the first adopters of Intelligent Automation within their industry so to be a part of this has special significance to me.

Congratulations on your new role, tell us a bit more about it…

Thank you! I’m now a Change & CI Analyst.

Reporting directly to the Senior Change & CI Manager the role itself is multi-functional. It includes the support and management of external projects, the re-engineering and automation of internal business processes & most recently business analytics.

My key tasks and accountabilities include:

  • Working with 3rd party technology providers to support the Society’s ‘digital first’ strategy and deliver the channel of choice for our members.
  • Creating routine MI that gets reported to the board.
  • Re-engineering and automation of end to end processes.
  • Rolling out training to department heads once a process has been re-engineered and/or automated.
  • Ensuring a strong communication link with other MBS departments.
  • Directly presenting project progress updates to the Society’s Executive Team


How have you found working during the pandemic?

Adjusting to working from home was very difficult and a big culture shock for myself.

Being a social person, I struggled initially without having any in-person interactions. I found myself cooped up in my room and lacking any motivation to get work done. You tend to take the office environment for granted until it’s gone.

However, I’m very grateful with how I’ve been supported during this troubling time. Both MBS and the Scheme have been very helpful with constant check ins throughout. Not long after the first lockdown due to my struggles I was given the option to come back into the office every other week. I found this to be the perfect balance and was great for my mental wellbeing.

What is the culture like at Monmouthshire Building Society?

From my first day I felt welcomed at the Society with all colleagues being very friendly and accepting. I’ve found that everyone is willing to help everyone no matter the level of seniority, which as you can imagine makes it a great place for a new starter.

Being a mutual all colleagues are member-focused and strive to create a culture of continuous improvement to ensure maximum value is delivered to members.

What are your goals for the future?

In the short term I’d really like to develop my skills at delivering change initiatives both academically and professionally.

I’ve made some strides recently by sitting the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification, but before the end of the MSc I am very keen to also sit Six Sigma Green Belt & APM Project Management Qualification.

In the long term I want to develop my portfolio at delivering change initiatives while further helping to digitise the Society.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of applying for the Programme?

Go for it! Its perfect for any grad no matter what their background is. I think there is an assumption that the Financial Services sector is only for those who want to pursue finance as a career, but this isn’t the case at all. The MSc will give you a broad understanding of the sector while the 3 rotations will give you the chance to experience an array of departments and cultures. It’s a really unique and fun way to transition into a career.

Some great advice from Jack who has certainly made the most of the learning and development opportunities from both the programme and Monmouthshire Building Society. Best of luck in your new role!