I started looking for a placement programme so that I can gain a better understanding of how the content I am learning as part of my degree can be applied in an industry environment. The HSBC UK IP programme provided me with just that. I felt very supported and welcomed by the HSBC employees during my recruitment process and so, I decided to join.
My main role as a Data Analyst primarily consisted of performing statistical analysis on data being processed to help the business perform better. I learnt how to code in Python to contribute to my project. I worked in an agile manner which meant I had the liberty to manage my own time and learn other skills like HTML, SAS, GCP and QlikSense. Alongside this, I also spent time fulfilling responsibilities as a Business Support Officer by helping maintain and implement business processes. I organised a global Reverse Mentoring initiative within the Data Analytics team, relaunched an internal community (to foster communication and knowledge sharing) and started Python Club.
The thing I enjoyed the most was building my network. I was very nervous to start conversations in the first few weeks of my placement. With the help of my manager and mentor, I became more comfortable. By the end of the year, I had a wide network spanning over countries and across various teams. This allowed me to shadow members in different roles and made my placement year more valuable.
The IP community at HSBC is very nurturing. During the year, we had Development Days, access to HSBC University and regular check-in sessions to help direct our personal and professional growth. Feedback from each activity was used to tailor the year according to what we would benefit from the most.
I always thought that since HSBC is one of the largest banks in the world, the atmosphere in the workplace will be very corporate and hierarchical. After joining, I realised that this was not the case. There is a lot of emphasis on flexible working. Everyone has a different way of working and this is encouraged with the aid of a hot-desking system, time-out areas and the ability to work from home.
The main skill I have taken from my degree course and applied to my placement has been time management. Studying a joint degree, I had practice managing workload from different faculties. I was able to transfer this to managing different projects on placement. I was also able to transfer my curiosity and willingness to learn to upskill myself and contribute to my team
It would be to not be afraid of being the first to do something. Taking initiative can be scary but by identifying an opportunity, planning and creating a well-organised proposal, you could create a legacy in an organisation.