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National Careers Week: helping young people find their path

Now in its ninth year, National Careers Week 2020 kicks off on Monday 2nd March. It’s a celebration of careers guidance and support; empowering young people across the country to stop, pause and take positive steps towards their future careers.

We talk a lot here about helping young people ‘find their path’ so now’s a great time for us to take a moment to celebrate how we’re supporting our own graduates, interns and apprentices with their career journeys.

I’ve caught up with Daisy and Sabhia. Daisy’s on our Finance apprenticeship based at our Edinburgh HQ and Sabhia’s a Change and Business Solutions graduate at our Manchester office.

Here’s what they both had to say.

What skills have you developed since joining your programme?

Daisy: I’ve become very independent and organised since starting my apprenticeship. These are vital attributes for working in a fast-paced office environment and my role involves a great amount of working to tight deadlines so independence and being organised are key.

Sabhia: My most significant development has been regarding my communication skills. I’ve always been quite confident with communication, however, my graduate experience has really let me hone this to help me succeed. Even things like knowing how to write an email properly to make sure the reader understands your message sounds like something really easy to do but it’s definitely a skill! This goes hand in hand with learning how to build your network! It’s been crucial to getting involved in some exciting opportunities.

What sort of things are you doing in your day-to-day job?

Daisy: I work with the Regulatory Reporting team. At the moment, we’re busy with year-end reporting. I work with lots of different teams to support the delivery of external reports which can include anything from assisting with organising meetings to inputting the final numbers for external reporting into the documents before our annual results are announced.

In between this I get to work with an amazing team that is very supportive and eager to help everyone progress.

Sabhia: My placement manager gives me objectives at the start of each rotation, and I spend the majority of my time making sure I achieve them.

So far, I've worked on various projects including helping customer facing teams achieve their service targets, replacing a pan bank transaction monitoring programme, and creating a learning and development tool.

One of the best things about working here is my opinion’s always valued, and I’ve been able to make a huge difference to the success of the projects I’ve been involved in.

What sort of things have you done to support your career development?

Sabhia: Recently I’ve passed the Prince2 Agile Foundation & Practioner professional qualification. I’ve volunteered to shadow other team members who I don’t directly work with, so I get lots of insight into other parts of the business.

Daisy: I’m working through my CIMA qualification so I can become a Chartered Accountant at the end of my apprenticeship. This is a long commitment, but the professional qualification will make sure I have lots of opportunities to progress here and in my future professional life.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer someone just starting out and looking for these roles?

Daisy: If I could do anything differently, I would have just started the apprenticeship as soon as possible as it has given me so much independence, both in my education as well as professionally and financially.

Sabhia: Ignore everyone else and follow your own interests because, the chances are, they’ll lead you somewhere you’ll never expect, but they’re the perfect starting point for your journey. Be fearless in following your strengths, everything else often falls into place!