About me

Eleanor B.
English and Related Literature
BA (Hons)
United Kingdom

About this profile

Graduate in Commercial Finance
United Kingdom
Finance and consultancy
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

I am currently in my first of three-four placements over a two year period. I am based in portfolio management, which manages and maintains the existing borrower relationships within commercial property finance. I liaise with customers, lawyers and valuer stop find the information I need to service loans, develop new deals and maintain relationships.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Soft skills -
Problem solving; resilience; time management; interpersonal; agile thinking; communication; negotiation.

Technical skills -
Systems and processes; accounts; valuations; legal requirements

What I like most

Most importantly, the office I am based in is filled with supportive, friendly and motivated colleagues. I have had real responsibilities from day one and my colleagues find the balance between providing on the job training and trusting me to complete my work.

What I like least

Adapting to the demands of a full time job with real responsibilities and expectations is definitely a challenge.

What surprised me most

How enjoyable and dynamic property finance can be.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Through the nationwide website.

How I found out about the job

Employer's website

The recruitment process

Online application with CV, online tests (personality and maths), telephone interview, assessment centre (5 other applicants, fully-funded stay at hotel - day consisted of a group task, feedback session and interview), call to inform of outcome.

My career

My career goals when I graduated

Find a job that focuses on development in an area that interests and motivates me.

My career history

I interned full time with a local company in my first year and with a global company in a related industry in my second. I have also taken on part-time roles within the university during term and easter vacation and was heavily involved in a society that interested me throughout my degree.

What has helped my career to progress

Willingness to learn; strong involvement at university; positivity

Courses taken since graduation

A lot of work related training courses.

How my studies have helped my career

Determination, perseverance, communication skills, eye for detail, research skills

What surprised me about my career so far

How much I enjoy it.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

The NBS graduate scheme is designed to prepare you for a management position within the company and allows you to gain hands-on experience in a range of departments to find your niche. I hope to train for a professional qualification alongside building departmental experience before applying for a permanent role post grad scheme.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Get at much work experience as you can in your first and second year summer vacations. Use the Careers Gateway (www.york.ac.uk/careers/gateway) to find an internship with a local company and take on a role within a society that interests you - it's becoming more and more important to have some significant, meaningful work experience. Don't leave it until your third year, you need to be building your CV from day one. Starting early also gives you the opportunity to experience a few different fields and find what genuinely interests you.

My advice about working in my industry

You need to be proactive when it comes to work experience. Applicants for financial grad schemes are competitive, self-assured and know exactly what they want, so I'd suggest having a strong CV that speaks for you. When choosing which banks/building societies to apply to, seriously consider your own personalty traits and which atmosphere you would be comfortable working in, because this significantly differs from company to company. Also, don't be put off if you don't have a financial or business related degree - I did English but interned in the payments industry. Often employers look for someone they can train up themselves, rather than those trained by their degree.

Other advice

No matter how hard it can be, try to stay positive.

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