Rebecca James did her Masters in Mathematics before joining our Finance graduate programme. Rebecca tells us what she has discovered so far.
Starting out – Get first-hand experience
Family friends who’d been working for Lloyds Banking Group kept telling me what a supportive employer it is, so I thought I’d find out for myself by doing a Finance internship in my summer holidays.
I said to myself ‘what do I want from my career?’ and I came up with three answers: switched-on people to work with, an employer who values me as a whole person, and a culture that lets me find the right balance between my work, my studies and my social life.
I discovered all these during my internship, so I applied for the Finance Graduate Leadership Programme and got a place!
Biggest surprise – How friendly it is
The first thing I noticed was how supportive everyone was. The other big surprise was the range of opportunities – all types of graduates from different backgrounds and with different degrees can find roles to suit them.
Strengths – Know them and develop them
I love maths, it’s in my blood. Even at school I was running my own tutoring sessions, helping the others with their maths.
Maths, numbers, stats, teamwork – and working with customers, like I did for several years as a waitress and restaurant manager – all these things are now part and parcel of my work and my programme.
Another passion of mine is the trumpet. I was in the county jazz band, but you’ll have to ask the audience how good I was. It’s fun making a noise and being part of a band – again, it’s teamwork – but unlike maths, the trumpet is not something I use in my programme!
Current role – Analyse this and get results
The job I’m doing at the moment involves analysing results from across central finance and using them for monthly reporting and ad hoc projects. I help to deliver and maintain budgets, making sure my internal customers deliver results on a monthly and yearly basis.
It’s a fact-driven, numbers-based role that’s strengthening my Excel, analytical, time management and customer interfacing skills. I’m also discovering new levels of commercial awareness.
On the interpersonal side, I’m learning the interconnectedness between customer relationships and business performance. Different customers need to be managed in different ways, and each one likes their results presented in ways that suit their particular set-up.
Freedom – Take a look around you
Because Lloyds Banking Group is so diverse, it’s worth getting out there and job shadowing, spending time with other teams so that you can work out what you enjoy doing most.
This freedom to look around, plus the variety of placements on offer, is helping me to see I’m well suited to analysing data and finding strategic commercial solutions for customers. It’s also revealing a new career interest to me.
Tomorrow – More maths please
It might sound strange to some, but my passion for maths is now moving me towards Tax, the most interesting part of my ACA accountancy studies.
Having recently worked on a social enterprise project, helping a small independent local business understand its tax position. It’s even more mathematical that what I’m doing at the moment – and that appeals to me.
The first thing I noticed was how supportive everyone was.