Serena Dosanjh

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Why did you join the HSBC UK grad scheme?

I joined the HSBC UK graduate scheme because I really enjoyed my internship and felt extremely lucky to have been offered a place on the competitive scheme. Joining an organisation that was willing to invest time in me and help me realise my potential was very appealing.

Briefly describe your role.

Large Corporates (LC) is the upper-end segment within CMB. LC services CMB’s largest and most complex clients that typically have more sophisticated financial needs, often with an international presence, with a typical turnover of over GBP350 million. As a graduate I have been integrated into the existing Associate team and am expected to work on a range of projects, renewals and remediation.

What have you enjoyed the most during the graduate scheme?

The thing I have enjoyed most is engaging with the graduate community. This has enabled me to build long-lasting relationships with many of the graduates in my cohort and make a positive impact through ongoing improvements and collaboration. You also had a summer internship with HSBC UK before you joined the graduate scheme.

What was your intern experience like?

My intern experience allowed me to gain exposure to two very different areas of CMB. I spent 4 weeks in Business Banking, followed by 4 weeks in Global Trade and Receivables Finance in the London Headquarters. This was a fantastic introduction to the banking industry, and it allowed me to gain insight into the vast variety of roles and opportunities within the business.

How would you describe the graduate community here at HSBC UK?

The graduate community is extremely friendly, open and supportive; the graduates are a true reflection of HSBC’s core values and definitely add value to the organisation.

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

My biggest preconception about the financial services industry was that it would be extremely corporate and hierarchical. I also thought that I would be disadvantaged as I didn’t have a financial background. Upon starting with the bank, I quickly realised that these preconceptions were far from true, and that HSBC in particular had a fantastic people culture. I have felt extremely welcome by every team that I have joined.

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

My undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering enabled me to develop and hone a variety of skills that have been applicable to my graduate placements, such as analytical skills, computational and data-processing skills.

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

I would definitely tell myself to ask more questions. As graduates we get unique opportunities to network with various senior leaders across the bank and it’s important to make the most of those situations.