1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a subject matter expert in the Data Integration Services team. On a daily basis I am required to attend meetings and conference calls in relation to data migration projects. I am responsible for shaping the technical design, providing advice and ensuring deliverables are produced on time. I am currently working on a large scale project to migrate commercial clients from legacy systems on to a new online channel.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have completed a Level 3 Diploma in IT User Skills, Certification in COBOL Programming, attended training courses for DataStage (an ETL tool), Linux and completed a vast amount of e-learning on various technologies and processes used within the organisation. I take advantage of opportunities available to me as an apprentice ambassador to represent the programme externally, this allows me to get out of my comfort zone by speaking to an audience.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the work that I do, every day is different and I am constantly facing new challenges. My team is great, it is full of highly knowledgeable people who are supportive and more than willing to help at any time. The company culture is also something I am pleased about, as it is one hundred times better than that which I experienced working in retail. Colleagues are passionate about delivering great service, and not only think about the customers and targets, but colleagues as well. I didn't know what to expect before I started, it well exceeded anything I imagined. I am treated like a true professional and that helps me to perform at my best. In summary, I have enjoyed every moment of the past 15 months and I am very excited about a long future with this company.
4. How valued do you feel by Lloyds Banking Group?
My manager always gives me glowing feedback and has recently extended our regular meeting so that we have longer to discuss challenges and opportunities which is great. I recently received a colleague excellence award from my Platform Lead and a delivering excellence award from colleagues in HR following a presentation I delivered at a local school career's fair. I have been involved in a few projects so far and the one I am currently working on is huge and will run in to next year, I am always very busy with multiple pieces of work. This results in me feeling valued and being engaged as a employee.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction was a little slow to start as IT within the organisation has not recruited for a long time. But my team welcomed me and helped to get me set up. I met with an assessor monthly who provided me with specific topics to cover, or evidence I needed to provide. Most of the time it was a case of getting stuck in to my day job. The colleagues in my team proved to be all the support I needed. I had a mentor who has a lot of experience has been able to support me through various tasks that were new to me. I have picked up a lot of responsibility from early on and am responsible for my own workload and time management. The programme provided us with a two week residential course which was great in bringing all the apprentices together to network as well as learn.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I met with my assessor monthly and she was always available either by phone or email. The qualification itself was pretty smooth so we did not face any problems as such. The assessor was always positive and encouraged to help get me through the qualification. The programme and qualification itself was only a small part of my experience and it has mostly been a case of doing my day job which I love.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager is available by phone or email whenever I need. HR team is always contactable, and I am in the process of thinking about a new mentor as I am looking to gain insight from someone who is passionate about progression. All f my colleagues are extremely helpful and there is always someone I can go to with a question.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My current salary is great for an apprentice. I have applied for a double promotion within my team, which if successful will give me a great standard of life. Costs of any sort have not been an issue.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have the role of Apprentice Ambassador and this has allowed me to go to external events such as School Career Fairs, Assessment Centres for potential apprentices, and I will soon be going along to an event hosted by Aberdeen Asset Management to present in front of key influencers in the education industry. Most people take part in Day to Make a Difference where you form a team and take part in an activity to help a local charity for a day. There is always sporting and social events on, usually in aid of charity, but sometimes just for the social aspect.
9. Would you recommend Lloyds Banking Group to a friend?
I have had a great time since the day I started, and I believe I can have a hugely successful future here. The opportunities are there to take, so I would encourage anyone to get involved.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Lloyds Banking Group?
Research what the process is going to be like - Online test, phone interview, assessment centre etc. Prepare - make notes about your experience and answer questions using the STAR method. Make sure you have a couple of questions for the interviewer as well, it shows your interested. The assessment centre is your opportunity to shine, so if their is a group task, speak up and make sure you get involved. Suggest something, or voice an opposing opinion - it doesn't matter whether it's totally correct, you are showing that you can communicate and work in a team.
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