What attracted you to the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme?
I was attracted by the opportunity to work in different corporate environments and gain experience in various departments. Nowadays employees need to constantly adapt their skill set in order to be relevant in the fast changing business environment and I saw the scheme as a great way to start my career.
Did you want a career in finance?
A career in finance was the natural route for me after graduating from Cardiff University with my BSc(s) Accounting and Finance degree. Financial Services is a vibrant industry with a lot of potential in Wales and I definitely wanted to be part of it.
Once I was part of the scheme I had the opportunity to work in lots of different departments, some of which I may not have considered. I was supported, managed to fit in and learned a lot in every placement. I enjoyed the whole journey!
Can you tell us about your experience on the programme?
The placements can be very different in terms of soft skills that are required and technical skills that will be learned. It is a great way to get yourself out of your comfort zone and learn how to adapt to different environments.
The social life has been great with events and many opportunities to network. Particularly in the beginning, the organisers were involving us in various events so we could meet people across the scheme in different businesses. We formed a real bond and continued to carry on with social activities.
What path has your career taken since finishing the programme?
I am still working in Opel Vauxhall Finance, which has been part of the scheme since day one. I am currently working as an Asset and Liabilities Management (ALM) Analyst based in Russelsheim, Germany! Along the way I have taken various placements within ALM, Treasury and Accounting where I initially started.
Do you think the graduate programme helped accelerate your career? Please give some detail
The graduate programme helped me get exposure to various levels of management within the company and gain valuable experience in different areas of the business. I took all opportunities I was given and this helped me develop as a professional. The programme gives the opportunity to develop skill set at a fast pace.
If you were to go back and start the programme again is there anything you would have changed or done differently?
What has been the highlight or biggest achievement of your career so far?
Managing to move to another country within the company has been very exciting and a great way to meet new people and learn new skills!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of applying?
Have a think how you would like your life to look like 5 years down the line and work your way backwards. If a career in financial services, a rich CV and big network is on your list – do it!