MEng Materials Engineering, 2021
Commercial Banking Graduate, HSBC
The Commercial Banking Graduate Programme consists of three six-month placements in a customer-facing role, a risk-based role and a product-based role. I am currently in my risk-based role, working in Financial Crime and Fraud Risk.
I'm working on a couple of individual projects which I've framed myself, as well as supporting my team with day-to-day activities such as data entry, data analysis and creation of educational resources for internal use. As part of the graduate programme I also have the opportunity to work on side-of-desk projects surrounding sustainability and sustainable finance.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
The best thing for me is how self-driven it is. If there's something I feel I'm missing or something I want to find out more about, I can simply ask for the opportunity. The placements are very much what you make them, so there is a lot of freedom to explore different areas of the Bank.
How has your career developed since graduating?
I was offered a place on this graduate programme following an internship I carried out at the same bank the previous summer. I never aspired to go into banking and didn't really have any specific career direction (I still don't!). The opportunity arose, so I took it and now I'm just rolling with it and making the most of it as an opportunity to see what's out there. There was no plan for me, I just applied to lots of internships and this was the one I got, which led me to where I am today!
What skills you learned from degree or time at University would you say you use most in your job?
Interpersonal communication skills are a huge advantage. There are so many transferrable skills you develop at university that you don't even realise at the time. The experience in itself is building you up for success subconsciously – all the group work you hate doing, the presentations, the research, even sending emails and knowing how to use Excel, it's all really useful in the workplace!
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
I loved the campus (Old Joe of course!) and the atmosphere. The buildings are so beautiful and the City is a really lively place with lots going on; it's why I'm still here! The friendly feeling of the Metallurgy and Materials School was another reason. I felt 'at home' straight away, and the faculty members were so helpful and encouraging.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
My fondest memories are the social aspects of university. Being a part of the Mountaineering Club, and the Materials Society (BUMS!) meant I got to meet so many different people and try lots of new things. The highlight of every year was the Materials Ball which never failed to disappoint. Everyone loves an opportunity to get all dressed up and have a boogie, so much so that I came back as an alumna this year!
What advice would you give to current students studying in Metallurgy and Materials?
Keep an open mind – there are so many opportunities out there, and some that don't even exist yet! In the field of Materials Engineering there is so much research being done and everything is constantly evolving. The beauty of the degree programme is that you close very few doors by the time you finish the course, so you could literally do anything!