1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role consists of dealing and managing third party relationships with UBS. I work in a team to analyse operational risk issues and solve these issues by using data analysis. I attend several meetings to gain understanding of my own work and to assist other team members within NMI (Network Management) as well as the occasional assistance with other teams (such as the Offshoring Team). I am also working on a regulatory requirement by the FCA to ensure that all of the third party relationships that we manage are adhering to the annual reconciliation.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt and developed many new skills whilst on the Apprenticeship scheme. I have developed my Excel and computer skills, as i have been using formulas such as 'VLOOKUP' and a 'Pivot Table' to assist me with my data analysis. I have also learnt how to use new systems specific to UBS. I have also learnt many new skills when it comes to presenting work during meetings and building work relationships. I have learnt to be more open with my emotions and show how i am enjoying a piece of work or if i am feeling stressed. This way my team mates can easily help me with my work or praise the work i have done. I have attended training courses organised by UBS, in Excel Skills, Presentation Skills along with Dealing with Stress. These workshops help me a lot as i can apply them to my daily work, as well as outside of work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working at UBS very much as i am able to work with lots of different people across the globe. I am also able to learn about the financial industry with relevant exams, as well as working at the same time. I am given a sense of responsibility as although i am on an Apprenticeship, i have been trusted with projects and difficult pieces of work. I would prefer to be able to learn more about different departments within operations or the bank in general with workshops (there have only been a few available). This would help me be aware of larger opportunities within the bank. In general, i have thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the UBS Apprenticeship Program.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The UBS Apprenticeship program is very well organised. This is because within the first week of joining, I was introduced to the other apprentices and was able to make friends across the bank, in addition, all the apprentices were introduced to key figures in the bank, and given an overview of UBS as a whole. Within this week, we were also informed about the structure of the apprenticeship. After, I was assigned a 'Buddy' (an older apprentice within a similar department as myself) so that i felt comfortable asking any questions that i had. As i am studying exams alongside the apprenticeship i am assigned a day to study. This is supported by my entire team as they respect that i have exams. The study day works really well. In addition to this, before the exam, a 2-day workshop is provided by UBS to go over exam content as revision. I find this really useful and the overall experience has been really good.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have been given a lot of support throughout my time at UBS. My Manager has been very supportive of me, allowing me to feel at ease with asking any questions i might have (both work and not work related). I have also felt support from my colleges as they encourage and involve me with their work. The HR Team have offered me support when it comes to exams or workshops.For instance, I am able to take exams early if a holiday is booked etc... My assigned Buddy is also very helpful as they are around my age, so i feel comfortable asking them questions that i may not feel comfortable asking my manager.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I have meetings with an assigned person from the training provider. Within these meetings, we go through my progress with revision and exams, as well as going through competencies and how i am finding the work environment. I am also able to contact my training provider contact via email with any questions i might have. I am also provided with plenty of revision materials that help me when i am taking my exams. They provide pre-recorded lectures as well as many questions and notes. The most beneficial part of the training provider is the workshops that they provide before an exam. Getting that face-to-face contact is very helpful for any last minute questions.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I definitely feel as though what i have learnt can be applied to my day-to-day role. With the apprenticeship, 3 exams are taken. Not all of the content within these exams apply to my working day, however there is always a little part of each exam that i can use. After completing exams, i feel more confident and am able to pick up what colleges are saying. I am able able to understand what other departments do, as elements of the exams apply to each department (such as financial products for the Investment Bank, and regulations for Risk).
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.)
Within the bank there is always an event going on that you can attend. Within the first week of joining, all of the apprentices were invited to a networking event which helped me to feel comfortable and get to know more people within the bank. There are also more relaxed events that are available, such as volunteering to wrap Christmas presents for charity etc... UBS facilities also enable gym classes to occur which run all throughout the day. Because of the UBS offices location in London, there are many bars/restaurants/external activities that can be organised.
9a. Would you recommend UBS to a friend?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first couple of months at UBS. I felt relaxed and welcomed into the bank. The people are very kind and willing to help as well as the inclusive culture. There are many opportunities available for anyone working at UBS, both within work and extra curricular related. In addition, there is a good work/life balance. It is a way to learn and work at the same time. There is a large amount of support provided either through your manager, a buddy or HR. The program is well organised and has made the transition from school to work very easy.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to UBS?
I would advise researching the company/look on the UBS website etc... I would also advise taking part in work experience for UBS or other Investment Banks. This will enable you to get an idea of what a working environment is like. I would advise practicing interviews with friends/family and try to get your personality across. This is because within interviews, your personality is key. During my application process, I completed an online interview. Practice was available and a 10 second thinking time was allocated. In this case, i would advise reading the news as some of my questions were relevant to this. I would also advise when practicing to make a note of things that could come up or that you would like to talk about (.e.g. extra curricular activities), this will help you with your nerves and give you something to talk about if you run out of ideas.