1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is a Commercial Officer. My min job is to support the Relationship Managers and their portfolio of clients. Most of my interaction internally is with the Relationship Managers. External interaction is with their portfolio of clients. Customers can contact me with anything from transactional queries to lending request and my job is to help them at the outset, or refer them to where they need to be if I cannot help.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot since I started my apprenticeship. I am doing two qualifications (Level 3 in Business Banking and Conduct & Level 3 in Providing Financial Services) which works well with my day to day job. I have done a number of internal training courses in order to understand banking, what we can do for customers, and our regulatory responsibilities.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the programme and the culture of HSBC, there is a lot of effort put into making sure I am trained up and get the most from the programme as possible. I did not come in with any expectations but it is certainly quite difficult at times balancing my job and studies but I have had support regarding this.
4. How valued do you feel by HSBC?
I feel very valued, especially by the colleagues and managers I work with everyday. I am trusted to be involved with things I would have never imagined to be involved with (ie. events etc), which itself makes me feel valued. There is also a strong recognition culture within HSBC.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is quite well structured in that we had a six week induction checklist to get us started on learning the basics. The studying could have more structure as I have really struggled to take the time I am entitled to study during work hours. We have tried many different ways of approaching it but it always seems to be a bit of a struggle.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Excellent support from the training provider, monthly meetings are fantastic in making sure everything is okay, as well as working out any issues I've come across. My assessor is great support, I don't think I would have done as well without her.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Receive lots of support from my manager and he's always happy to talk about anything that might be worrying me. I always know who I can go to if there are any issues which puts me at ease.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is certainly very good for an apprenticeship. However I have had to move out and relocate to a much more expensive area to take the job meaning my overheads are a lot higher than other apprentices living at home. This can sometimes be an issue but nevertheless I am still very grateful for such a good wage having only just left school.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of voluntary initiatives and community events that go on across HSBC that I'm aware of but I haven't had the chance to get involved with any of these yet.
9. Would you recommend HSBC to a friend?
It's a great alternative to university for people who don't want the debt, or don't want the risk of having no career at the end of it. It's much better to learn certain industries hands on and banking is definitely one of them. Taking the qualification alongside my job allows me to put it into context which massively helps in my whole understanding of the course.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to HSBC?
The application process is hard, but from my view it seemed as if the people involved are entirely aware that youve come straight from school and don't have the experience of someone who's been in work for 10 years. It also seems right that the process is difficult, because the programme itself is incredibly tough, tougher than A-Levels even! So applicants should be prepared that if they are successful, it is most definitely not an easy option - the exact opposite if anything - but it's worth it.
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