Before Standard Chartered, I lived a fairly average life, living in a nice area with good friends and a great family to support me. Most of my life has been spent in school, keeping my head down and staying focused on my work. I’ve always been studious, and one of the quiet ones, which resulted in me only making a handful of good friends during my educational years. I played in a junior football team for 8 years, which I loved, and my coach was a great mentor.
Getting my confidence
My lack of self-confidence has been a bit of an annoying obstacle over the years, but the amazing support I’ve received from my teachers and parents kept me going, and I now find myself becoming increasingly confident since I started with the Bank in October, which is a surprising bonus.
Searching for career opportunities during the pandemic
When COVID-19 hit and the world went into lockdown, I entered full panic mode. I started applying for Apprenticeship roles in September 2019 and even managed to get a few interviews under my belt, but many places I’ve applied to were forced to cut the programme due to the pandemic.
For a while, I was forced to consider applying for universities, but thankfully Standard Chartered recognised the importance of forging ahead with this scheme despite the challenging circumstances it faced. The Standard Chartered apprenticeship was one of the last ones I applied for and I almost missed the deadline, after the online tests I thought I had completed were only practice ones and I nearly didn’t even get past the first stage; fortunately I got through to the next process of the application.
What the interview process was like
Some may think a 2-hour virtual interview in front of 3 strangers, would be heavy going, but much to my surprise, I really enjoyed it! It was the longest interview out of all the others I did, but the most rewarding. I was astonished when I received the news that I had been successful, having picked up the phone expecting to hear bad news. Instead I was told they were very impressed with my interview and that they would be thrilled to take me on.
Regarding the academic side, I have a wealth of learning resources at my disposal provided by the bank, to help me achieve the best possible learning experience. I’ve gained a lot of work experience and learnt so much already in just 3 months from several areas within my current department, despite everything being virtual. This is all thanks to the great lengths taken on by my overseers, particularly my line manager, to ensure I receive as much exposure to the banks operating systems and routines as possible, to help me achieve my required competencies.