Genevieve Osei-Bonsu

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Why did you join the HSBC UK grad scheme?

I wanted to give banking and specifically HSBC UK a go to see behind the scenes of how such a global bank operates. The graduate scheme is perfect for doing so as by doing four 6-month rotations there’s always an opportunity to learn about an area of the bank and really get that behind the scenes exposure.

Briefly describe your current role.

Currently I’m in my risk placement working as an assistant product manager in the UK Mortgages team. My roles and responsibilities are looking at the various mortgage products across the different brands under the HSBC UK umbrella and identify, monitor and resolve any breaches and risk issues that may be present. From this, I’ll be able to work with the team to introduce and oversee the controls to mitigate the risks.

What have you enjoyed the most during the graduate scheme?

The fact that I get to change roles every 6 months.It’s great because I get to learn a whole other part of the business and find out what they do, how they help our customers and I have the opportunity to really add value and help out for the 6 months I am there. Each placement allows me to pick up a new skill and meet a whole heap of new people.

You also had a summer internship with HSBC UK before you joined the grad scheme. What was your intern experience like?

I felt like my internship experience was a great introduction to HSBC UK and banking in general. The 8 weeks spent at the internship allowed me to get a firm understanding of HSBC UK, how they operate and what a future career at the graduate scheme looks like.  

How would you describe the graduate community here at HSBC?

The graduate community at HSBC has a real sense of  ‘for us, by us’. There’s opportunity to get involved with different roles amongst the various stages of the graduate journey which means your experience on the graduate scheme and the events that you can get involved with are shaped and owned by your peers or even yourself!

Did you have any preconceptions about HSBC and the financial services industry when you were at uni and how did these change after starting with the bank?

I always thought the financial services industry was a very scary place, one that was male dominated and filled with people who don’t look like me. I thought that to be able to step foot in to the banking world you would need to know anything and everything there was about banking, finance and economics and that my IR degree wouldn’t help. Most of those assumptions changed as soon as I step foot in to the Canary Wharf office for my assessment centre and I saw the people who actually worked for the company. I was greeted by smiley people and spoke to a grad on the scheme with English Lit background.

What transferable skills have you taken from your degree course and applied to your graduate placements?

In order to successfully complete my assignments at uni, I often had to go away to do some of my own research and present my findings. I’ve done a similar thing in my placements where I’ve been given a task and I’ve had to research and present back my findings within a deadline and since I’ve previously done this at university, it’s made my transition easier.  

If you could go back in time what career advice would you give yourself?

I would tell my younger self to not panic and fret too much on making a rigid plan for the future and to take everything in due time!