1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an apprentice Change Analyst, the job role will include an appreciation of the Change operating model and strategic objectives; an ability to understand the organisational impact of change; identify and record risks and issues in accordance with project standards; processing of internal business instructions, resolution of queries and provision of advice to internal stakeholders under the guidance of line mangement; reconciliation and verification of data from a variety of sources, investigating and resolving anomalies across the relevant business area.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
So far in my apprenticeship, I'm slowly developing my existing skills related to the use of Microsoft Office software including Word, Excel and Project. I've learnt a new skill in minute taking having never done this before. Also, I'm learning the skills to do with project management and change management and recently participated in a course which was to do with the splitting the difference between a risk and an issue which i found quite interesting and worthwhile.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
So far, the workload has been inconsistent on a weekly basis. Some weeks have invovled me with a full schedule while other weeks have seen me with a light schedule and at times, having almost nothing to do which involves RBS work. The team I work and communicate with are all professional and sociable when they need to be. The culture here defeats the sterotypical doom and goom of working in an office. Initially, I didn't have any expectations because I'd never worked in the financial sector or in an office environment before but I thought the training would be more RBS-based, a better structure to my learning and development in the work place and the description in the advert for the apprenticeship was pretty vague to what I actually do.
4. How valued do you feel by RBS?
I feel valued by both my line manager and my assignment manager as they look to help me improve my understanding, knowledge and participation within the project and team I'm working with here at RBS. My involvement with my project team can range from feeling like a spectator in a meeting room to being shadowed by a more senior member of staff. Work which hasn't involved being shadowed has mainly been administrative based tasks. I think this area could be improved on.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship is tied up with BPP, a training company which will help me gain my qualification at the end of the apprenticeship. The induction and training was organised by BPP, but I felt this was far more than vague because of the apprenticeship I do. If I could make one improvement, it'd be for RBS to participate more in the training and focus more on themselves than standard competencies in your average office environment. The apprenticeship involves completing modules which can be repetitve and confusing due to no time scales or deadlines as well as a restriction in support from the BPP assessors and mentors. Other tasks sheets have to be completed but there was no guidance as to when, what and how it should be completed.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As previously said, there's a restriction to the support received from my training provider. My assessor visits me every 8-10 weeks which I feel at time is too long between each visit and i don't get enough out of the meetings either. Accessing support is also restrictive as the notes don't help to answer ALL the questions in the tasks book which we have to complete, external research is required at times from the internet which isn't ideal.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive plenty of support from my employer to complete my apprenticeship modules. My line manager and assignment give me enough time to study and complete the task books. I think that i can go to my line manager or supervisors whenever i need the help but i also wish there was something in place, like a formal meeting for us to go through my work as well as my personal targets for example. I would like to get the most out of my apprenticeship that i can.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I currently live at home with my parents and commute to work via train. So far, I'm more than capable of meeting the cost of paying digs to my parents, paying for travel and having enough for other necessities without any extra financial support from friends or family. I think the pay/wage would be stretched if i had a flat to pay for every month. This is what some of the apprentices are doing due to where they moved from for the apprenticeship.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
My apprenticeship gives me plenty of opportunities to work in another division within the bank, another department, another bank altogether, a different location (overseas included) or other companies in similar or different sectors. I feel as though this apprenticeship has opened a lot of doors for me and so far i am happy with my progression. Although there's still a long way to go, i know that I can further improve my skillset in a variety of different work.
9a. Would you recommend RBS to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
They are an institution to the financial sector and despite the criticism they have received over the last couple of years, they should be praised for giving people the opportunity like this and for them to build the career of many young people. Clearly, they want to mould the next generation of bright bankers in their organisation. It's a great opportunity to get your 'foot through the door' if you want to work in a bank but don't want to go through the trials and tribulations of university.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RBS? *
It's competitive so you've got to stand out in the online application, online testing, telephone and face-to-face interviews. They're only looking for the brightest talent with the biggest potential who show as much of an interest and passion wanting to work for RBS as those interviewers who already have it. Also ensure that if you were to look at your online profile (such as facebook, twitter etc.) there are no outstanding pictures which could hinder you from getting a job.
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