· Name: Andreea Cabat
· Current Programme: IT Business Management Graduate Leadership Programme
· Former internship programme: IT Business Management Internship Programme
· Degree/University: Computer Science and Business&Management at Glasgow University
1. What did you want to be when you were at university?
At first I wanted to be a programmer, but when I started taking business and financial management courses I realised I would really like to work in banking on the IT side.
2. Why did you choose to work at Lloyds Banking Group?
I joined LBG as an intern during the summer before my final year. At the time I wasn't sure what the right fit was for me, so I took some time to research different organisations within the financial sector. I chose Lloyds Banking Group because of its culture and values; I wanted to work for an organisation that inspired me and enabled me to work towards making a difference and helping the community.
3. What surprised you about your programme and the organisation, since joining?
I was surprised by how much support and guidance is available to graduates! My line manager and team have been very welcoming and made me feel comfortable from the first day, everyone I spoke to was very open and willing to help and I've always felt I can ask for guidance and advice.
4. What have you discovered about yourself so far?
I discovered I like working on tasks that are very different from what I've done before. Even though this means getting out of my comfort zone, I try to find new challenges from which I can learn. The graduate programme is brilliant in this regard, as it offers the opportunity to get to know different parts of the business, ask questions and get involved in interesting projects.
5. What are your strengths and passions? Do you use these in your day to day role?
The strengths I use most for my role are multitasking and being organised. I really enjoy learning from new experiences, so outside work I try to travel as much as possible and at work I try to get involved in new tasks that would push me and help me grow.
6. How would you describe the culture and working environment?
The working environment is one of the things I like most about LBG. There is a genuine support towards a good work-life balance especially through agile working and flexible working patterns, a lot of opportunities to volunteer and make a difference in the community, an open culture where colleagues are encouraged to join one of the many networks available and get involved in areas they are passionate about.
7. What does day to day look like in your role?
There are a few tasks that I am responsible for every week, but generally the work is closely related to the needs of my team and the Insurance part of the business. My team’s work revolves around governance and control, so there are many activities to get involved in. One of the tasks I really enjoy at the moment is making sure contracts are renewed in time, as it gives me the opportunity to get in touch with colleagues from different teams.
8. What has been your main highlight whilst working at Lloyds Banking Group?
Shortly after joining I attended an IT Convention organised by LBG. It was great to see the innovative ideas put forward by the colleagues, get an insight into the Group's strategy and find out more about how IT is shaping different parts of the business and the industry. Technology is disrupting the way organisations operate, so it’s been an interesting experience seeing how LBG is re-thinking the way we do business and the services we provide to customers.
9. Did you do an internship? Tell us about this experience
The internship was a different experience from the graduate scheme. As it was my first time working in a big organisation, I spent the first weeks learning - anything from how to connect to a conference call to spreadsheets and PowerPoint tricks. The focus was on discovering the type of tasks I enjoyed, understanding how the organisation was structured and gaining experience. During the internship I developed skills that turned out to be very useful in my current role!
10. What would you say to any graduates or penultimate year students unsure if Lloyds Banking Group or IT in Banking and Finance is right for them?
Lloyds is a great place to work, everybody is supported and encouraged to achieve their potential regardless of gender - what matters is to be passionate about what you do and willing to learn and improve yourself. I am surrounded every day by women who do a great job and act as role models for younger colleagues joining the organisation. IT is an exciting field, there is a lot of innovation and change, so there's always an opportunity to learn. Even though IT and Finance might seem dominated by males, there are so many inspiring women and there is room for even more!
11. What advice & top tips would you give to students looking to secure a grad role or internship with Lloyds Banking Group?
Be yourself! LBG is interested in your strengths and what motivates you, so be open and point out the things that make you who you are. You will find that LBG people are supportive and genuinely interested in you as a person!
12. What other career advice and guidance do you have to share?
Know yourself and what motivates you. Have the courage to chase the opportunities that are right for you, not the ones you're supposed to follow because of your education background or current skills. It's ok not to know how you want your career to look like, but keep an open mind and look for the roles in which you can challenge yourself and grow.
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