Meet our people

How Helen found her place with us

Posted by Alex Heron, 8 months ago

3 min read

We don’t always end up doing the job we thought we’d be doing when we left high school or uni but what really matters is finding a role that fits you. No one demonstrates this better than our Communications and Marketing Engagement Lead Helen Gilmore, who has been involved in everything from Fraud to HR to Data and Analytics during her 20 year career with us. We asked us to share her story:

How did you start your career with the bank?

‘I started my career in the bank over 20 years. I had just graduated with a degree in Business Studies with French and German and it was always my dream to move to Edinburgh to work. I spent a lot of time browsing the backs of newspapers, where the jobs were posted in those days, and spotted an opportunity to work in the fraud team in the bank, came along to an open day and was offered an interview there and then! The interview process was quick and easy – I was asked some basic addition questions relating to money and to name 3 reasons why someone would come into a branch. I started my role in the Doc Requests and Chargebacks team the next week and been in the bank ever since. I was promised, even at the open day, working in the bank would give me a huge variety of experience and challenge and it’s certainly kept up to it’s promise. I even managed to use my German language skills to help a customer whilst I worked in the call centre!’

What are some highlights of your career so far?

‘I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve had a variety of roles within the bank since I started. I loved working in the Lost & Stolen Cards call centre in my early days. In some cases they had literally just had their card and pin number stolen and being able to help them stop their card immediately so it could no longer be used felt very rewarding. I’ve spent a good number of years working in HR, supporting on the big bank projects such as Pay and Our View as well as time in Data & Analytics where I managed teams in both Poland and India – being able to travel to meet the teams in person and the hospitality I received was certainly a highlight and something I will never forget! Listening into customer calls within the Mortgage Centres as part of my role in Lending was also a real insight. Getting some rich insights from our customers as to why they were calling and how was can support them was really humbling. Laterally I worked in Innovation & Partnerships, based within Open Experience. A great role to be so close to the cutting-edge innovations the bank are working on as well as being able to broaden my network outwith the bank to explore potential new partnerships. Not only have I had a variety of roles, I’ve also been able to focus on my own development within the bank. I’ve been able to utilise my learning for future days, focussing on building my agile skills but also being an active delegate on courses such as Breakthrough and Accelerate which has really helped to build my confidence within my roles.’

What do you enjoy about working for the bank?

‘I enjoy lots of things! The people firstly – I love working with people and I’ve made some real friends for life in the teams I have worked in.’

‘The flexibility – I enjoy the balance of being able to work both from home and in the office. It’s been brilliant connecting with people in the office face to face again and I always come away feeling energised, but at the same time I enjoy the days I have at home as helps me focus on my to do list!’

‘The opportunities – I’ve been lucky to have various roles within the bank over the years which have allowed me to develop personally in different areas. I also have a great mentor who is always there to ask me the really uncomfortable questions to get me out my comfort zone!’

‘Community – I always make sure I make the most of my volunteering days, it a brilliant initiative the bank offer to be able to give something back. And finally, the banks values, all of which I resonate on a daily basis with.’

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself who’s just starting her first day at the bank?

‘That everyone has to start from somewhere – be confident in yourself and ask those silly questions no matter who is in the room. Chances are they are probably thinking the same thing in their own heads but just too afraid to ask!’

Find out more about the learning and development opportunities available at NatWest Group.

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