1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role within LBG is a Project Assistant, in which I support the project manager covering a number of different activities to help deliver whatever needs delivering! This can range from new Mobile Banking Apps to new ways of saving money within the bank. I speak to a number of different stakeholders on a daily basis, increasing my network and developing my skills when dealing with different stakeholders. Within my role so far, I haven't had any interactions externally. I've been fortunate to travel around the UK with my role, whether this is to different offices across the UK or to help support an event! One example of my responsibilities is to ensure the Project stays compliant at all times, by making sure we are on top of all Risks and Issues that may cause hassle for the project.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've learnt a huge amount of skills since joining Lloyds. These include stakeholder management, time management, quality assurance and loads more! You develop a number of skills, a huge one in Project Management being the ability to communicate effectively. At the end of my two year apprenticeship, I'll gain a Level 4 Diploma in Project Management, which is equivalent to a Foundation Degree. I receive project management training (theory style) from an external company, as well as on the job experience everyday at Lloyds!
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I hugely enjoy my programme in terms of being able to learn on the job, gaining the experience I need rather than just sitting in lectures at University! My programme allows me to learn at a pace that suits me, with plenty of support along the way to ensure I am happy and receiving the right amount of work to become the best I can be. My team is hugely supportive an the company culture is excellent, it gives you the freedom you want, but the expectation to deliver the best results. The scheme in most places as exceeded my expectation, specifically due to the support I have been given!
4. How valued do you feel by Lloyds Banking Group?
My experience so far has been great, I feel valued as work is consistently given to me to help provide support to the project team. My manager gives up the time to ensure I am on track and know what I am doing, which makes me feel hugely valued. Internal recognition is given all the time, as long as you do enough to deserve it! I have a huge involvement in my project and the tasks it entails, supporting the delivery of the future of banking, it's really interesting!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured, with an induction period of 3 months, it allows you to settle in at your own pace, giving you the opportunity to get used to your new surroundings, which was especially useful for me as a school leaver. Training is provided to the best quality from an external third party provider, which is thorough and gives you a real insight into Project Management. Training is also given whilst on the job, which is priceless in my opinion! You are expected to study as your exam approaches (in order to pass obviously). But in my case, I've always been given time in work to do this also! The mentor system is brilliant, in my case I got a previous apprentice who gave me lots of support, making me comfortable at all times. The ways tasks are delegated are hugely dependant on the team you're based in and the stage of the project you're at, for me I've had times where tasks are being delegated and I'm busy, and times when I'm not...
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The support I've received in terms of learning and exam preparation was excellent. It was consistent, thorough and easy to follow which was perfect and worked for me. I was allowed to submit work at any time and would always receive feedback, allowing me to consistently improve. You feel valued as a student under the training provider and the guidance is top notch. I have a monthly meeting to make sure I am on track, and providing me with support if I'm not or if I'm struggling with certain criteria's.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Lloyds are hugely supportive, offering advice and support consistently throughout the two years. I currently have monthly 1 to 1 meetings, feedback / review meetings and apprenticeship meetings which make sure I am on track to complete my course on time. My manager provides support wherever required, ensuring I am pushing myself to become the best I can be. My mentor helps me with any experiences I am struggling with, offering their support from the experience of being a mentor and sharing their stories in terms of what happens next on my apprenticeship. Guidance with problems have been quick and resolved quickly, sometimes allowing me to work out the problem myself with a little bit of direction! Overall, everyone looks to support you as you develop into a full time role.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
At Lloyds, my salary and package has been incredible. You are offered one of the best and most competitive wages apprenticeships can offer, with all travel costs covered where required when travelling on Business. The apprenticeship is spread across the UK, allowing you to find the nearest location to you reducing the amount of travel costs you have. The salary meets more than my daily costs and social costs, allowing me to save a little too! In terms of location, people based in London receive a further grant due to the expense of living in London, which is a great added bonus. Packages at Lloyds include share schemes and all sorts, so if you make the most out of them, they're a brilliant way to manage your money.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In terms of my experience, the opportunities outside of work are yet to arise. However, the opportunities within the organisation are endless!
9a. Would you recommend Lloyds Banking Group to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Lloyds Banking Group allows the flexibility and offers a very competitive and fair wage for the role you do. The support is consistent and very thorough giving you the confidence to move forward and become the best you can be. I personally have the option of working from home, which is a great added bonus once you have shown trust to your line manager and a keen showing towards your role. As well as the support, the opportunity to move elsewhere in the bank and progress is endless, driving you forward to be a part of the future of banking, which is rapidly changing!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Lloyds Banking Group? *
The biggest tip I would give to others is to be yourself, remind yourself why you are applying and what you can give to the business that others can't. Always show your interest and make sure you read up on the bank before you apple, this will really show your interest! In terms of interviews, make sure you ask questions! Remember to show positive body language at all times and speak fluently and slowly, relax! In terms of assessment days, the biggest thing to be aware of is no matter where you are, remember someone is watching at all times. Don't be afraid to speak to people, ask questions and don't just sit there on your phone. Assessment days are there to get the best out of you, not mock you! The on boarding process for me consisted of online test, an online video interview and an assessment day. Make the most of your opportunities and go for it! The one thing I'd have loved to have known is to simply ask more questions! They're a great way of answering all your queries as well as showing your interest, it's a win win!
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