Standard Chartered is committed to investing in the next generation of bankers, which is why we have carefully tailored our apprenticeship programme to support aspiring school leavers to develop their skills and prepare them for a future in the financial industry. Abigail Mulvihill joined the programme within the Client Coverage function in 2022 and tells us about her experience as an apprentice at Standard Chartered.
What attracted you to the Standard Chartered apprenticeship programme?
After completing my A-levels, I was encouraged by my teachers to undertake an apprenticeship programme to enhance my skills and prepare me for my future career. I was very keen to go straight into the professional world, so an apprenticeship was an ideal way to enter the banking industry and achieve my aspirations. After researching various programmes, I was attracted to Standard Chartered’s apprenticeship programme as the positive working culture was reflected throughout the recruitment progress and the virtual taster sessions. The apprenticeship prospectus appeared to suit my career aspirations perfectly and gave me the opportunity to explore various departments across the Bank including the credit analyst team, relationship management and client management.
Tell us about the interview process for the apprenticeship programme.
Personally, I found the entire interviewing process to be very insightful as I was given a chance to understand the working culture at Standard Chartered. I had the opportunity to interact and engage with experienced professionals at the Bank which allowed me to make a well-informed decision before joining the programme.
What were the first few weeks like as an apprentice at Standard Chartered?
From the first week I spent at the Bank, I was given multiple opportunities to enhance both my professional and personal skills. Standard Chartered is committed to providing a well-rounded and purposeful experience to apprenticeships, which is why we are given the chance to attend meetings with senior leadership within the Bank. It was great to see that even the most senior members of Standard Chartered were happy to interact with the apprentices and share their support. Apprentices are also encouraged to interact and learn from their fellow cohort members, and I was able to gain a plethora of knowledge from them.
What has been your most memorable experience with Standard Chartered?
My most memorable experience with the Bank was during my first week of the programme. After spending the first few days on an industry-leading learning experience, we had the chance to be involved in a meet-and-greet session with individuals from across the Bank. This was an excellent opportunity to begin to build my network, which is intrinsic to being successful in the industry.
A week in the life of an Apprentice at Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered offers flexible working to all its employees, from juniors to the most senior leaders. Having the opportunity to work from home is hugely beneficial, but on Mondays, I prefer to come into the office to kick-start my working week. I begin the day with a macro research briefing call with management, which provides me with a rich overview of the key economic news of the coming week. I use my lunch break to meet individuals from other teams within the Bank and then meet with my mentor to discuss any questions I have and to identify any support that I need.
I usually attend the office on Tuesdays as we have a weekly call with credit analysts to discuss and review our progress on applications. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the processes of credit applications and learn key information about our roles.
I tend to work from home on Wednesdays which allows me to go to the gym before starting work. We don’t have any regular set meetings on Wednesdays, so I utilise the time to study and ensure I am up to date with my learning.
Thursdays are usually very busy days within the office, creating an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues I usually wouldn’t interact with. I will often go out for lunch in the city with them, which is a great way to build my network and expand my knowledge of the industry. During Thursday afternoons, I attend a meeting with HR to review my progress and ensure I have all the support I need to develop within the programme.
Friday tends to be a quieter day of the week. I usually take the opportunity to work from home and utilise the lighter workload to have a weekly catch-up with my manager. This weekly catch-up is used to discuss the work that I have completed throughout the week and get feedback to support any future tasks for the coming week.