I worked with Winnie in 2015 and we have kept in touch ever since. She started her banking career in Glasgow and has since transferred to another investment bank in London.
In this interview she shares her experiences, and also reveals how the coaching she received is still paying off today.
A conversation with Winnie
Hey, it’s good to talk to you.
So, first of all, just explain what you’re doing right now.
I currently work for an investment bank in operations, and I’ve been in the banking industry for around four years now.
Brilliant, working hard and taking over the world.
Oh, it is busy as usual.
And how did you end up working in banking? What was your route into that?
I started my career in banking through an internship that I had five years ago after I graduated from university. I studied economics and I always wanted to work in banking.
I was applying for jobs when I was in my final year of study and I received an internship offer that started my career. While there I got the opportunity to progress into a graduate analyst position and that’s how I end up in the banking industry.
Very cool. And I know that you’ve been working in banking a couple of years now but, if you just cast your mind back, what was your experience like when looking for a job as a student?
Yeah, I think job hunting process was a nightmare for me; even though it’s four years later I can still remember it.
I was applying for a lot of different jobs through the company websites and also using recruiters. However, I never really heard back and the job-hunting process was always unsuccessful because I found it a struggle to tailor my CV to match what the job required.
I had been to a couple of face-to-face interviews and I found it difficult to make myself stand out among other candidates because I didn’t know how to structure my answers and I didn’t prepare well for the questions they asked.
Lastly, I went to a lot of assessment centres where there were case studies and group discussions and I didn’t really know how to behave or how to raise my opinions in a group environment. I was also really scared of the presentation at the end.
That made me feel like the job-hunting process was very challenging and difficult.
How did we meet?
We met five years ago through a coaching programme that I signed up for.
What do you remember about us working together?
I remember that you gave me a lot of useful advice and coaching for my CV as well as my interview process.
So firstly, you tailored my CV and made sure that I highlighted the relevant experience and key skill sets. I learned through this experience to match the skill sets that the recruiters are looking for.
We also had a lot of sessions together for mock interviews and we practiced a lot of competency questions; you always provided very constructive feedback and helped me identify what I had done well and what could be improved.
We also practiced almost every single type of question, including teamwork, project work, and communications, and these were the questions that came up a lot in my actual interviews as a graduate.
I also attended a few assessment centres that you hosted, and I learned how to raise my opinions and how to do a presentation. Those are really useful skill sets that helped me to secure an offer in the investment bank.
That’s brilliant. Thank you. You’re very kind.
Just finally, what would you say to anyone who is considering working with me?
I would say you are definitely one of those people that spends extra time understanding the student’s needs.
I really remember when I went into my final round of interviews at my first job; it was really late at night and you spent a lot of time with me to go through every single type of competency question.
Not a lot of people on the street would do that because they might just care about the money, but you actually care about the student’s needs and you put in the time and effort to understand the student’s background experience and the job area they’re looking for.
Also, the skill sets that you taught me were not just applicable for my graduate application. I have been through a lot of interviews and I have changed job since, and the skill sets that you taught me were the key that helped me to succeed in those interviews.
So, I definitely recommend you to those people who are looking to apply for jobs and looking for a coaching service.
That’s brilliant. Thank you, Winnie. Thank you very much.
No worries at all.