What surprised you when you first joined Bank of America?
I think it’s the fact that I’ve been encouraged to share my ideas from day one. People ask my opinion and genuinely listen to me, even though I’m still a junior. I feel like I’m able to make a difference and it’s great that, in that regard, seniority doesn’t matter.
I was also really impressed by how supportive and kind everyone was, and how they really wanted to help me learn. You can tell that the bank genuinely cares about every single one of us and wants us to do well.
What opportunities are there for you to learn and grow?
The bank's learning environment is really impressive. There are bank-wide learning initiatives through dedicated learning portals, and Global Transaction Services regularly offers topical training opportunities. They also have bursary structures in place if you want to study for formal qualifications. I'm taking the Chartered Financial Analyst Level One exam in February and the bank is sponsoring me to do it.
How does the bank encourage sustainable finance practices?
Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is increasingly important within the bank. My department, Global Transaction Services, has its own ESG committee, which I’m part of. We promote societal change and environmental awareness within the division, as part of our mission to help shape the financial work culture.
The EMEA Trade Finance team also has an ESG offering for supply chain finance, where we offer tiered pricing to suppliers based on their ESG scoring. The better their ESG score, the cheaper their financing costs. It’s small incentives like this that start to normalise more sustainable practices within the finance industry, and make an impact over time.
What advice would you give someone looking to apply to the bank?
Don't be afraid to be yourself and express your ideas. The bank wants to see that you can take things on and adapt, and that you have a personality. Anyone can manage an Excel spreadsheet but it's the other things you bring to work – your thought process, skills, culture and attitude that add value.