Hi, I’m Abigail. I’m studying a BA Business and Management with a year in industry. My placement is with Lloyds Banking Group, working as a Risk Analyst.
Finding a placement
I found my placement through Rate My Placement online. I had applied for other placements before and had taken a few rejections along the way, but I didn’t give up and came across the placement at Lloyds. I took into account a few factors when considering my placement; location, salary, role. I always wanted to work at a large organisation, learning from the opportunities which they can offer. These are all really important things when considering a placement. I would stress the importance of looking at different opportunities until you find the right one for you.
The support I received from the Careers and Employability team was excellent. The sessions which ran throughout my first two years included careers mapping, CV, mock assessment centres, careers fairs and graduate talks. This is just a small selection of the support on offer. I took the chance to meet with Matt and run through my CV and my development plans for the year ahead. This process was really valuable to me as he was able to motivate me when I took knockbacks in applications. He was supportive, along with my supervisor and other staff members, and ensured that I always had the chance to improve my applications. This team is a really valuable part of the York Management School.
What’s work like?
A normal day for me includes working flexibly, whether that be at home, in the Halifax office or in Leeds. The procedure of flexible working and agile is in full flow at LBG. I will have a number of meetings either face to face or over the phone and everyday I catch up with my line manager. I see my senior manager some days to check with a piece of work, some days just for a 15 minute informal chat. Then I work on different pieces of work with varying colleagues from those of a senior position to those of the same level as me. It is really hard to say a normal day because every day at my placement is different and new things crop up – which makes it so fun!
I really enjoy the people who I work with on my placement. Meeting so many people across different sites has given me the opportunity to get involved in work and visit offices across the country. I have really benefited from the dedication at Lloyds Banking Group to support development. The company has allowed me to undertake a month’s work of shadowing across my placement year. I get to develop new skills, meet new people and learn if a certain department is for me or not. They have really invested in my development!
I have also enjoyed being part of networking groups, organising events and helping me develop my skills. It really shows the importance of networking within a working environment. The ‘extra-curricular’ is one of the best parts of working at Lloyds. You can undertake tasks and development in a supportive and encouraging environment.
What I’ve learned
The best thing I have done so far is being part of a Behavioural Experiment with my senior manager and supported by my head of division. I have worked as part of a small team running experiments to change the way the team thinks about work and their behaviours while at work. This gave me an amazing opportunity to travel around the country and meet new people, as well as try different things without the fear of failure. It opened my eyes to working in new ways and being more effective with communication. The project was a real achievement – it filled me with a sense of pride to be involved in such an important piece of work within the bank.
Throughout my placement I have learned to grasp every opportunity which is available to me. I have learned the importance of development and improving my skills as well as understanding different areas of the business. This has played an important part in the success of my placement. I really want to come back to the organisation after I graduate. I understand that personal development is really important, and employers are more than happy to offer opportunities to develop, which I have grasped with both hands.
Why I chose York
I chose to come to York because I love the city. Having grown up in the outskirts of Leeds I have always loved visiting York and enjoyed what the city has to offer. When I visited on an open day all the staff were friendly. I spoke to students who assured me of the genuine effort from staff to support development and success, especially within the York Management School.
The dedicated careers team at the York Management School have always been there to motivate me and offer me opportunities to succeed and secure the role I want. There is always a staff member who is happy to help you if you ask for it, which is a really valuable resource I don’t think is available at all universities. The support from the school is really second to none and I would recommend York to anybody.