One of the standout elements of the Financial Services Graduate Programme is the opportunity to rotate between some of Wales’s leading employers, for 3, eight-month work placements.
With such a diverse range of placements on offer including Risk & Compliance, Retail Mortgages, Retail Operations, Digital Project Coordinator, Finance Shared Services, ALM – Treasury, Marketing & Product Services to name a few, they provide a fantastic opportunity to try out different job types, experience different workplace cultures and get a better understanding of what your ideal career might look like.
Each rotation offers a unique opportunity to make a great impression within an organisation, developing your employability skills and improving your chances of securing a permanent position within the consortium.
Although the Programme runs for 2 years, our graduate alumni tell us that the time flies and so we’ve put together some tips to help you make the most of each placement from your very first day.
- First impressions count
Making a good first impression with your colleagues, fellow graduates and the programme team is the best place to start, because all of these groups are going to help you in different ways over the next two years. The simple things really do make a difference so making sure you’re on time, dressed according to your workplace’s dress code, having a positive and can-do attitude and eagerness to learn will all set you in good stead for the rest of your time on the programme.
- There’s no such thing as a silly question
As you learn about new processes, projects, and people, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions shows your engaged and listening and no one is expected to know everything from the off so it’s important to reach out if you need clarity on something specific. In the first few weeks you’ll be like a sponge, taking everything in about your new environment and making as many notes as you can to ensure you have a reference point. Remember, it’s totally normal for your brain to feel overloaded in the early days!
- Take ownership of your development
Each work placement is an opportunity to learn new skills and you’ll work closely with your manager and the Programme team on your personal development programme. However, you control your own destiny so if there’s a specific skill you’d like to sharpen or aspect of the industry you want to gain experience in, don’t be afraid to look for opportunities that will help with this along the way. Some of our employers will offer additional training opportunities and there will also be employability and skills workshops hosted by the Programme team so make the most of these sessions to further your development.
- Widen your network
One of the major benefits of the programme is the scope it offers for you to widen your network. With 17 employers involved in the consortium, each having valuable connections across the global financial services industry, the opportunities really are endless. A number of past graduates have gone on to work internationally for our employers and this is because they’ve made a good impression in the wider business. Getting to know people, networking and building friendships will not only benefit you professionally but will be good for your wellbeing too.
- Be Organised
The world of work is a big jump from university and combine it with studying for a MSc, there will be lots to adapt to and get your head around. Being organised is key. Knowing when your deadlines are and plotting them out in advance is a great way to stay on top of things. You’ll have experience of working to deadlines from university so know what works for you and draw on these things. Remember, there’s a team here to support you if you’re feeling overwhelmed and your fellow graduates are all going through the same thing so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Our Graduate Programmes have a fantastic track record of employment, with over 98% of participants securing permanent positions so this is a fantastic stepping stone for your career into financial services.
Good luck, enjoy the next two years including the challenges and don’t forget to utilise the support available to you.