I am a BSc Management with Finance student at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick and I recently undertook a one-year industrial placement at Lloyds Banking Group in London. Several reasons sparked my desire to pursue a placement year. Although I knew I wanted a career in Finance upon graduation – I did not know what kind of role or bank I would be best suited for. I believed that a year of experience in the industry would help me better understand the financial sector and gauge where my interests lie. Moreover, as an international student, the idea of working in London excited me and also wanted the security of having a graduate offer when returning for my final year.
The WBS CareersPlus team certainly played a pivotal role in me securing my placement at Lloyds. They guided me from start to finish – from helping me choose between a year abroad and a placement year to helping me fine-tune my CV and draft cover letters. I also attended several CV and placement workshops organised by the careers team which I found extremely helpful.
My experience of working at Lloyds Banking Group and living in London will most certainly be one of the highlights of my university years. During my placement year, I have been lucky to meet and create lasting relationships with fellow interns, co-workers, professionals as well as other students. I was part of the Fraud Analytics and Insight team at Lloyds. The team were responsible for combatting first-party fraud and mule fraud within the bank. What I enjoyed about working at Lloyds was that from day one, I was considered a part of the team, a part of a family. The team did not see me as an inexperienced student – they saw me as a capable individual with a hunger to learn. I had a great manager who guided me and supported me to constantly learn and develop myself.
During my year I succeeded in creating over three fraud reports that helped reduce first-party fraud and mule fraud within the bank. I was also heavily involved with Lloyd’s Charity team and helped host volunteering and fundraising events in aid of Mental Health UK. My role within the FA&I team pushed me out of my comfort zone – as a finance student, I did not have much exposure to coding. The reports that I created were primarily on SAS and SQL, both languages which were completely new to me.
I believe that my first two years of studying at WBS equipped me with the skills that enabled me to make the most of my placement. WBS taught me to always be a proactive curious learner and most importantly taught me to always question the things around me. WBS also taught me the importance of networking and building sustainable relationships with others – I used this skill to the fullest during my placement and had successful 1-2-1 sessions with the CFO, CRO and other top representatives of the bank.
My placement year has given me an insight into a bank and its various functions and has also provided me with significant experience. Moreover, as an international student, it certainly feels secure to have a graduate offer when returning for my final year. For students who are currently debating a placement year, my advice to you would be – stop debating, take the leap and do it! Looking back now, this placement has certainly one of the best decisions I’ve made. It has changed me and helped me grow in the right direction – both professionally and as an individual. It allowed me to put to practical use the knowledge and skills I acquired at university. But most importantly it helped give me clarity on what I wanted to do in the future. For students who have already decided to do a placement year and are currently looking to apply – my advice is to apply as early as possible and make sure to send out several applications. And most importantly don’t let rejections put you off and upset your morale. Remember that when you think that you’re being rejected from something good, you’re actually being re-directed to something better.