Executive Trainee, London
After returning from an overseas placement in Hong Kong 3 weeks ago I'm working with Gregg, Ana, Jess and Simon in the Graduate Team at the moment, while I find my first post-scheme appointment. I've largely been working on a pack of new presentations and promotional materials for the alumni teams to use along with planning for the roll-out of the Discovery Day the Nottingham team ran last year. I came into work on Monday to a few photos my old manager had sent me from the leaving meal I had with my team in HK
Three weeks has gone so fast, the first week I felt horrendous with what I thought was jet-lag, only later to realise that it was due to pressing the 'decaffeinated' button on the coffee machine in 8CS and missing out on my morning coffee resuscitation. Thankfully I am now fully caffeinated.
Its quite odd working in a head office environment after working in the Group's biggest retail branch in Hong Kong. We had a total of over 300 staff, including 85 Premier Relationship Managers who looked after around 75,000 Premier customers and generated more profit than a lot of countries that HSBC operates in. I was lucky to work with some really experienced managers over there, and learnt a lot about myself, not just new skills. I had a quick call with the guys over there just to make sure one of the projects I was working on was bedding in successfully.
On Tuesday I met up with Laura for a catch up and chat about coming to the end of the ET programme, an exciting time for sure. We also met up with Ann, an International Manager who Laura was on the Group Graduate Development Programme with and who I worked with over in Hong Kong. She is now working in Commercial Banking in London, proving what a small world HSBC is.
I'm currently looking for a new place to live so spent most of Wednesday evening looking at a couple of house shares in some rather nasty areas of South-West London.
On Thursday I spent the day in Croydon with the HSBC branch manager Kim. It was a real eye-opener to see how much front-line retail has changed since I was there 18 months ago, especially with the changes to the way we do financial planning. In Hong Kong, 'ExpressBanking' hasn't really been that widely adopted and most transactions happen over a counter, so it was slightly odd to see customers actively queuing to use a cheque paying in machine. Me and Kim went to visit a couple of the service points connected to the main-branch and popped in on the new branch of Metro Bank which has opened in Croydon recently. Metro have a totally different operating model to HSBC - the main thing that struck me when I walked in was the lack of any advertising, leaflets or brochures, although there was a dog bowl just in case your canine friend gets thirsty whilst you pay in a cheque (totally bizarre).
On Friday I presented all the new alumni materials I've been working on to Felicity and Tom and had a chat about the Discovery days that all the teams will be running this Autumn. Alumni has been one of the things I have really loved doing whilst being an ET.
At the weekend I headed to Brighton with all the guys from Uni to celebrate one of them getting engaged. We stayed in the most horrendous youth hostel just by the Pier and I only realised at 6am on Sunday morning when the sun blasted in that there were no curtains in the room – not ideal.