1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work as an apprentice designer within the Digital team. My main duties revolve around helping other senior members of the team with a variety of tasks including; basic design work, journey mapping and creating user personas. In my downtime I try and upskill myself on various topics around the bank.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Since the start of my apprenticeship, I've found that I've gained a multitude of new skills as well as improving on existing ones. With the pandemic still ongoing, face to face interaction with team members is prohibited, so virtual meetings are the only way to communicate. Having to use this gain rapport with colleagues has been difficult however rewarding as well.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This programme has been extremely enjoyable from the offset. Being able to work with computers whilst simultaneously working for one of the biggest banks in the UK is very rewarding. I'm constantly learning new things about the field of design and UX whilst gaining insight into the banks inner workings.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My apprenticeship is structured so that 20% of my time is solely dedicated to learning content within the programme. I find this time useful as it gives me a break from the fast paced environment of the bank and allows me to learn more to make my job even easier.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support I've received from the bank has been excellent, with various members of staff, both peers and seniors, always available to offer help in any way possible. Whenever I feel like I need help with something, someone is always on hand to assist in any way they can.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The support from the provider has been good but not excellent. Whilst the taught content is useful, I feel some of the time used for this is wasted from poor planning. I appreciate that a lot of apprenticeship learning is self taught however the weekly workshops don't really offer anything.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Due to the broad field of UX and design, the modules and learning don't always correspond to the work I'm doing within my role. But at the same time, the basic knowledge I'm gaining goes along way when it comes to discussions about design with team members.
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.)
Like previously stated, having to work completely virtually has been slightly detrimental in terms of social activities available to take part in. However, I am aware that various social activities take place in and around the workplace, but due to the current climate, these cannot take place. I'm sure once things return to normality then more activities can take place again.
9a. Would you recommend NatWest to a friend?
NatWest has been completely eye-opening to me. I thought that working for a giant corporate entity would be daunting but I couldn't be further from the truth. Every member of staff I've come across has been lovely and the emphasis on a positive working environment shines through in every department. Couldn't recommend them enough.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to NatWest?
When applying for NatWest, and I know it sounds cliché, but just be yourself. The bank values individuals that stay true to their beliefs and wear their ideals on their sleeves. Recognise your own self worth and if you can bring that to the table with some confidence to back it up then you'll thrive.