Conor

Conor studied Engineering at University of Strathclyde, and then joined our Commercial Banking – MM & SME graduate programme. He’s a Relationship Champion. Conor tells us what he has discovered so far.

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First things first – Know what MM & SME means

I know it’s a mouthful, but it stands for ‘Mid-Market and Small-to-Medium Enterprises’. Mid-market enterprises typically turn over between £25 million and £750 million a year, while small to medium enterprises tend to turn over between £1 million and £25 million a year and are often fast-growing entrepreneurial companies.

Good news – You can get in with an engineering degree

When I decided not to be an engineer, and to get into business and banking instead, I was relieved to find out I could still apply with an engineering degree.

The communications, right from the start of the application process where they answered all my questions, were really good. And when I did my own research I realised the roles, work style and values were exactly what I was looking for.

Applying – The assessment centre is a great test

The assessment centre is the part of the application process where you perform activities that show who you really are. The feedback from the assessors, the insights, the opportunities they told me about, what I learned about myself, the depth and breadth of the Group – these all persuaded me that this was the right employer and programme for me.

Development – Throw yourself into the learning

My line manager supports me with good advice for how to prepare well for my immediate tasks at work, and for my future plans for my career.

So far I’ve attended a variety of internal courses and masterclasses. From these I’ve learned about financials, the services we offer, how to adapt to different clients, and the knowledge gaps I need to fill.

I’ve thrown myself into the culture and grabbed my opportunities to work with adjacent teams to gain a broader understanding of the services and functions we offer.

Key moment ­– Organising an event for 700 people

We put together a two-day networking event for the Risk Scotland Bank community and invited 700 colleagues to attend. I lead the team that managed the logistics – from booking the venue to promoting the event, to assigning attendees to the presentations they were interested in.

It was a challenge for me to take the lead and manage the workload. I knew they’d be occasions when I’d need support, which I asked for and received, and we delivered a successful outcome. Being recognised for my efforts by the Risk Leadership team and the Chief Risk Officer was a great feeling.

Biggest surprise – So many different opportunities

With so many different people doing different jobs, the chance to shadow different teams, learn something new and to keep on developing – these are fantastic opportunities. And they support and encourage you if you want to move around different areas to add to your knowledge and skills.

Discovery – Your opinions count

Even as a new graduate, your opinions are acknowledged and your ideas can get implemented – good ideas for improving the business can come from anyone. For instance, I noticed that an exit survey for clients had some gaps in it. So I took the old template and re-wrote it, then as a team we discussed how to update the scripting. The result is a more relevant and user-friendly survey for our clients and more accurate feedback for us.

Typical day – Always put the client first

At the moment I’m a relationship manager, so I’m often at clients’ sites, discovering more about their businesses so that we can support them better as a bank.

I do management information reporting for our area directors meetings, and I write credit papers and lending applications on behalf of our clients. I also contact potential new clients to book appointments for our team to meet them.

Where next – London, Miami, New York

My next placement will be in a product team, so I’ll probably move to one of our larger sites in London for more exposure to a wider range of clients and their challenges. After that I’ll start studying for my professional qualification and we’ll see where that takes me.

Also, I’ve just booked my next holiday – a road trip from Miami to New York. USA, here I come!

Advice – Use the support

There’s a lot of opportunity for you to explore different areas and meet senior team members. You get back what you put in, and when you ask for support it’s always there.

All the teams are positive and aim to help you. For me, this makes Lloyds Banking Group very enjoyable to work for. And at the end of the day, enjoying your work and having the right balance is your life is very important.

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Shyam

Shyam
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Abi

Abi

When I decided not to be an engineer, and to get into business and banking instead, I was relieved to find out I could still apply with an engineering degree.