Although she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after her degree at the University of Leeds, Felicity was won over by how we based our selection process on people’s strengths. Now on the Commercial Banking Clients and Markets Graduate Leadership Programme, Felicity tells us what she has discovered so far.
They walk the talk
I was surprised to discover the extent to which Lloyds Banking Group invests in its people. Throughout my application, I was sent feedback based on where I performed well, how to nurture my strengths, and how these can feed into work, and also activities outside of work.
There’s a continuous push to improve our ‘all-roundedness’ as professionals, yet also to learn about ourselves as people. For students who don’t know exactly what they want to do yet – this is perfect!
Customers are front and centre
In my current placement, as a Financial Analyst, I’m basically a relationship manager for private equity clients, so I get to meet clients and act as their point of contact for the bank.
I run the internal approvals, analyse a variety of businesses to discuss in credit papers and attend meetings with product partners to discuss strategy. I also manage the coverage side of the weekly meeting with Credit teams to help them communicate and prioritise workflows.
Important realisations about banking
Despite what I thought, banking isn’t a closed industry just for people with business management or finance degrees. There are a lot of varied opportunities.
At the assessment centres, other candidates seemed to know so much more than me and used lots of jargon. I was quite naïve about the world of finance. With that said, all of this knowledge can be learned. If you’ve got the aptitude to think quickly, study and ask questions, then your initiative and enthusiasm will take you a long way.
Important realisations about myself
I realised I’m good at building relationships and getting things done. I see things in an analytical, holistic way and add value. That’s obvious from the number of projects I get invited to.
Recently, I attended a financial modelling course which I didn’t expect to keep up with. Although a little nervous, I remained open-minded, and learnt a lot. I even asked questions. Nine months ago I would’ve been too shy to speak up and would’ve struggled alone!
Exploring all networks
I’m on the mentoring committee for Lloyds Banking Group’s women’s network – Breakthrough. I help organise speed-mentoring events where we match female mentees with senior mentors. They get about 10 minutes to talk together before they have to swap partners. It’s a great way to quickly meet people, and we’re planning our next high profile event in London’s Walkie Talkie Building for National Mentoring Day.
The London work-life balance
I moved to London on my own, from Cheshire. I’m really into fitness and the running, yoga and gym activities I take part in outside of work are really great networking opportunities. If I have to leave early or start a little later to do these activities, my colleagues understand and are supportive of me taking time for them.
I also love travelling and this year, I’ve already travelled to five European cities for weekend breaks.
I feel like I have time to pursue all my interests and passions, and balance my work too.
Ready for a challenge
I’m keen to get involved in things that are going on around me, so I take part in Group triathlons and things. I also completed the Tough Mudder in April, and I’m signed up for the Great North Run (a half marathon).
I’m really open to these kinds of challenges and I see that attitude transferring to my work. I want to take every chance to get involved.
There are a lot of opportunities that come up here, so it’s just a matter of putting your hand up, and pushing yourself a little bit further.
Ask a current graduate your questions, on our Chat to our people platform.