What was the interview process like?
The interview process went quite smoothly. I had a telephone interview after I passed the online tests which tested my knowledge of the bank’s values and work ethics. I passed this stage and went to an all day assessment centre which involved a group exercise, one-to-one presentation, competency based interview and an in-tray exercise. The staff at RBS were extremely welcoming which calmed my nerves and they tried to make the experience as enjoyable as possible! Unfortunately all the positions on the Ulster Bank scheme I originally applied for had been filled, but as I had passed all parts of the application process RBS were quick at finding me a role on another scheme and I got offered the job shortly after!
How much responsibility were you given?
Starting as a graduate in a company I didn’t think I would be given that much responsibility. I thought wrong! From day one I was thrown into the deep end but I had the support of my team and manager if I ever felt pressure or was struggling with a piece of work. I really enjoyed the responsibility I was given, in my first few weeks in the office I was managing my own project with a team in India and I believe it was the best way for me to gain an understanding of how exactly RBS works. As they say, practice makes perfect.
What advice would you give to someone applying for your role?
The best advice I can give is to try not to overthink the process and just be yourself. If I compare my application to RBS with other companies I realise I tried to put on a front, but during the RBS application process I was always myself. I let my personality shine through from day one and I truly believe this is what got me the job! I did a lot of research into the company and their values, and when doing this I realised I was passionate about a lot of it. This helped with my interviews as I was able to speak more naturally. I would also advise talking about different experiences you have encountered during university and in your personal life and relate them back as to why it would make you a good candidate for the job!
Describe a situation where you surpassed expectations.
In my first role I was involved with a data migration project to make sure each business area had their correct data on our operational risk system. It took endless conversations with key stakeholders to get to the bottom of the project but I was able to take ownership and follow up(TOFU). After successfully completing it I got recognition from our head of department at a development day for my efforts and contribution to solving the problem. I also was able to build strong relationships with different business areas to ensure issues were fixed and results were achieved.
How promising are the graduate prospects?
I have really enjoyed the graduate scheme so far. It is a very different experience from just being a permanent member of staff as there are so many more opportunities available to you. I have nearly completed my first year on the scheme and I already have so much to add to my CV. As part of the technology programme we are offered a lot of training, and the graduate scheme in general offers a core learning journey so that over the two years you are able to develop to the best of your ability. Networking is one of the main perks of the programme, I have met so many people from all across the bank and I have been able to gain knowledge and experience from them. The scheme also allows you to get involved in work that isn’t to do with your day to day role, so it helps you broaden your skill set and challenge yourself to adapt to new things! I also wasn’t expecting the exposure you get in the bank, during my time here I have presented to the CEO, the group board, some of the executive leadership team and other senior leaders.