1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is to assist the ARM team within the commercial coverage sector of the bank. Day-to-day roles include answering customer calls and resolving their queries regarding their accounts and directing them to other teams if appropriate. I also organise the dates for the reviews that the managers have with their customers and book in appointments for them. I send tasks over to the portfolio team regarding financial information and create profit tables from a set of accounts. In addition to this I occasionally attend customer meetings alongside the relationship managers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, I have learnt various new skills. These include how to operate the computer systems within the bank such as Back Office, CRM, RMPS, RM Desktop, Noris,VES and others. I have also learnt a lot about accounts. Before the apprenticeship I would not have been able to read a set of accounts and known what they meant. I can now look through accounts and understand terms such as turnover, assets & liabilities, drawings, depreciation & amortisation. In addition to this I can use the data in the accounts to work out how much money a business has available to cover their debt service costs etc. Working with accounts is probably the most significant new skill I have learnt, however over the first few months of the apprenticeship I have developed my commuication and teamwork skills through interacting with both customers and new colleagues from across the bank.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Initially the programme was a little slow to get going due to long periods of time taken for getting permission and access to systems and this was a little disappointing as I was ready to get stuck in. However, now that I am four months into the course I can say that I am thoroughly enjoying it. I enjoy the variation of the tasks I have to do as well as the new subject I am learning about for my exam. I enjoy that the course challenges me and I feel very satisfied that it is setting me up to have a successful career.
4. How valued do you feel by RBS?
I feel very valued by RBS. I felt very valued from the start as I was welcomed so kindly by everyone that I met and from the first day was told how important the new apprentices to the bank were. The fact that there are so many resources available to help me in my new role and that people from across the bank take their time and effort to put together learning sessions purely for the apprentices makes me feel like I am valued by everyone here and they want to see me succeed in the business.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is very well structured. I have an agenda which tells both me and the team I work with exactly what new skills I should be learning or tasks I should be fulfilling and when these need to be done by. For example the things that should be covered or completed within the first 3 months, or within 3-6 months or 6-9 months of my apprenticeship. In addition to this I have learning sessions each week that are internal as well as structured webinars with my learning provider building up to my exam.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from my training provider. I have my own assessor who has been allocated to me. Once a month I have a telephone call with him and my line manager to catch up on how I am doing and set targets for how I can progress. I can also email him at anytime for support on my workbooks. In addition to this I can contact my tutor for the exam by email if I have any questions regarding the topics I am studying. Finally there is a support line dedicated to any question or query I may have whether it is regarding the syllabus of the apprenticeship, the webinars or IT issues with the website. Everyone has been extremely helpful and eager to answer my questions.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I also receive a lot of support from my employer. From the beginning of the apprenticeship I had a two day induction where the apprentices were all gathered together and we were welcomed into the world of banking as well as having workshops that worked towards supported us in entering a new professional environment. Furthermore I have weekly learning sessions with RBS staff who teach me about different areas of the bank and different bank online systems and how to use these properly. My team in the office are always happy to help me if I am struggling with work and are constantly teaching me new things as they come up in day-to-day activities. Finally, I have an extremely supportive line manager and director who are very helpful, reassuring and keen to help me with any issues I may face.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary package meets my costs extremely well, I cannot complain at all. One of my biggest costs is petrol as I work a considerable distance from home, however my salary covers this and any other costs I have easily and still provides me with enough money to comfortably fulfill savings goals.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes, there are a lot of opportunities and things to get involved with outside work. There are a large selection of societies I can join. I have already been involved in a Women in Business group which involves members of the bank as well as other professional businesswomen from the local area. In addition to this there are many opportunities for charity fundraising events which are advertised on the intranet.
9a. Would you recommend RBS to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would reccommend RBS to a friend because I already feel that as a whole the bank has been extremely welcoming and supportive in helping me to settle in and progress in my apprenticeship. The staff are all very down to earth and helpful so it is a comfortable environment to work in. Helping customers provides you with real satisfaction and the day-to-day duties are very varied. In addition to this RBS is really invested in the future of its apprentices and is very keen on helping them to start up long term successful careers within the bank, whereas many other businesses may only take on an apprentice for a year and don't invest in long term career goals.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RBS? *
I would advise others applying to RBS to do their research before applying as it is very useful for the iterview process to know about the bank and its services already. I would also advise them to show their personality as a value of the bank is to treat customers well and so personality is really important when dealing with customers and building goof relationships with them so I believe it contributes a lot to the recruitment process. Finally I would suggest being as organised as possible as there is a lot of new things to learn and a lot of work to keep on top of.
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