1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role changes every 6/9 months due to the nature of the scheme, however currently I act as a mixture between a project manager and business anaylst, coming up with detailed requirements for a third party to try and implement to improve our customer experience. Also conducting the relevant governance and stakeholder engagement that comes with this.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt how to manage stakeholder expectations, how to have my own personal brand, how to present new information and ideas, different levels of organisation, how to conduct myself in meetings, how to complete university work to a high standard and how to have a work life balance whilst completing all tasks.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy my programme as my learning style heavily suits hands on, practical learning rather than solely going to university full time and having to do extensive independent studies. I enjoy engaging with people constantly and learning something new every day. It can be very busy and hectic at times, but that comes with every job!
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The rotation scheme works perfectly, giving you enough time in your roles to develop all the necessary skills and to start to gain some independence before being asked to take up a whole new challenge. As soon as you get comfortable in your role it tends to be that is the time that it's time to start a new role in the organisation which although seems difficult at the time, is definitely the perfect way to obtain the most knowledge as possible.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We have a dedicated team that look after our apprentices and graduates and they're faultless. Offering a centralised support mechanism is priceless, always trying to help with any issues and make the programme the most enjoyable but productive as it can be. We also have an apprentice manager and a line manager who are both very supportive.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
We have recently moved training providers from BPP to NTU (Nottingham Trent University) and the difference in levels of support has been quite remarkable. Having regular and structured reviews, lecturers engaging with the course more and offering extra support in their own time has been a real help in trying to achieve the best grades we can in our degree.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
With every university degree there are going to be some elements which are outdated due to the nature of how quickly the world moves, however some modules are more useful than others. The business modules (marketing, architecture etc.) are more useful as the principles still apply for many technical modules like coding in C++ are not as useful.
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 different sporting events after work setup by individual teams. This can be football, netball or a range of other activities. There are also different opportunities to get involved with helping different communities. For example we have 'discovery days' where a team will go and volunteer to help a local charity or organisation for a day.
9a. Would you recommend Santander to a friend?
Santander is a very flexible company that rewards it's colleagues for their hard work and gives appropriate recognition where due. The support from the organisation whether its work, uni or simply life related is outstanding and people are always willing to help you. Also the opportunities available are endless!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Santander?
if in an interview then your personal brand is one of the most important things to consider. Your potential as a person has a huge weighting if trying to apply for a job. For example, when I applied to this apprenticeship they were looking for technical skills which I didn't have, but saw that I was willing to learn and dedicated and employed me!