1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am involved in reviewing payments and customer accounts in relation to thresholds, sanctions and triggers that are in line with legal and regulatory requirements. I work independently to make decisions and analyse data, to write reports and make decisions in line with internal and external regulations. I also work with the BAU teams and perform to the same standards as themselves, completing the same work alongside them.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. I have gained 2 professional qualifications - the ICA Certificate and ICA Advanced Certificate in Anti-Money Laundering. I have been trained to a professional standard and have learnt sanctions, regulations, different sanctioning bodies and how the financial sector is regulated in relation to reducing the risk of financial crime. I have developed my communicative and professional skills being in a corporate working environment too.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have extremely enjoyed my time within my apprenticeship, I have had the chance to network with industry professionals, gain knew knowledge and build my skills in a ‘safe environment’ which has allowed me to grow and gain a high level of knowledge and skills. I have found the management of the course highly helpful and supportive, and have made working relationships with such different individuals that I will continue well into my career.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
To begin with, there was quite a lot of up in the air with the managers, as one manager left to for another role, and the other left the business. One of these was my cohort manager and I struggled with the change due to building a rapport with himself. However the transition into working with my new manager was seamless and smooth; and I feel highly supported and motivated by my current manager. The rotations I have completed were hugely beneficial and have given me a broad knowledge into the world of financial crime, and I believe that the experience I have gathered will be hugely beneficial well into my career.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer has been massively supportive, through a range of things such as organising a specialised chair for my back problems, to supporting me throughout my struggles whilst in the job role. My manager has been especially supportive and I feel that she is an asset to the company. As an employee, I feel valued and supported and know who to talk to when I am in need of something.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider gave me all of the basic materials I needed to get through my exam, which was then paired with further investigation. I had everything I needed for my qualifications and having a dedicated learning coach was hugely helpful throughout my time working towards my qualifications, as I was able to ask specific questions and organise calls as and when I needed them.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Very much so, my ICA certificates are industry recognised professional qualifications which have been hugely helpful, as to qualify I had to learn all about sanctioning bodies, the regulations we adhere too and the risk of non compliance, all of which I have to work to the correct standards on a day to day basis.
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.)
Yes, being on the apprenticeship has been very sociable, both within the apprenticeship and bau teams when completing a rotation. We have also been invited to conferences and Christmas functions which have allowed for further networking and building of working relationships. It is encouraged to keep in touch with colleagues, especially at the moment, with COVID-19!
9a. Would you recommend Santander to a friend?
I feel that SANTANDER has been highly supportive and beneficial to me as an individual. I have gained a wealth of knowledge, skills and behaviours for a corporate working environment, as well as building my confidence, communication and presentation skills. All of which can be transferred and used throughout future roles.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Santander?
I would say, be honest and genuine, if you’re struggling speak up and tell someone, you’ll always get the help or support you need. Santander is an inclusive working environment and encourages you to be yourself and embrace yourself and others. Be open to change and take on new opportunities as Santander is a quick moving and supportive company to work for.