1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a Contact Strategy Execution Analyst, my role involves running the automated Outbound Dialler and Interactive Text Message Campaigns for the Collections and Recoveries department in Santander. We cover all products (Secured, Loans, Banking, Cards, etc.) from our opening to closing hours and over the weekends. This involves analysing inbound and outbound contacts and trends, reviewing these against plans and adjusting our strategies depending on these trends.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I found the initial online spreadsheet software workshops pointless and didn't gain anything from them at all, however since we gave feedback on this the sessions are now contained over a couple of days rather than 2 hours every week, which is much more manageable within my role and schedule/shifts.
I found the sessions in which we learnt about "R" very useful and the trainer very knowledgeable and passionate.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
At first I didn't enjoy the program at all and thought about leaving it numerous times, however after speaking to the main Estio Coach/Manager [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] he was vey reassuring and explained in a lot of detail how the course works, and the requirements of the role which I don't think were communicated very well initially.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Initially I don't think it was very well thought out with the 2 hour weekly online sessions due to our business needs and requirements, however since feedback to Estio was given and taken on board, the new all-day sessions are much more suited to our needs. I also find them more useful and gain more knowledge from them in general as all the trainers so far have been very good and passionate and can answer any queries that we raised.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I personally receive as much support as I need. With the way my team's rota and shifts are worked out, we don't get "weekly" time for the coursework, however one week a month I usually get 3 solid days worth of off-the-job time done and then another week usually half of each day can be attributed to this - the only time we might struggle is when a member of the team is off, or if we have a particularly high workload etc.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My main skills coach [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyApprenticeship Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] is very supportive and approachable. If I send a message or email to him, he usually responds the same day and goes into great detail when answering my questions which I find very helpful. During the initial online sessions for Spreadsheet Software I didn't find the coach helpful at all, however this was probably due to the way the sessions were set out (2 hours per week) rather than the coach himself, however since then the daily block session trainers I have found very helpful and knowledgeable.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I don't think I'm even half-way through the qualification yet so it might be a bit too early to tell, however so far in the last few sessions I've learnt a couple of things that I took away and applied to my current role to improve the current way of working or methods that are currently in place. I'm hopeful that when I've completed the qualification there will be a lot more skills and knowledge that I can come away with.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are usually a couple of charity activities every few months where staff members go out into the community and either raise funds for our nominated charities or alternatively volunteer to help with community days (painting/decorating disabled peoples houses, going into schools and speaking to the children about finance, etc.) There aren't any sports teams that I'm aware of, or networking events outside the usual in-work conferences etc.
9a. Would you recommend Santander to a friend?
The office in Sheffield is a great place to work - friendly staff, in general the team managers across the floors are supportive and knowledgeable, and the room for progression is great if you truly want to succeed and invest the time in. The atmosphere is always professional but relaxed, and I think the managers make a good effort to keep everybody informed of the latest changes and news.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Santander?
Be honest in your abilities and always look to improve on them. Ask for feedback, good and bad, as this can give you an honest opinion of where you are and what areas you need to improve on. If you want to get ahead, work hard, take advantage of every opportunity available and try to make your own opportunities where possible.
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