Natalya - Retail Management Trainee
Startled and disorientated! Ahhh!!! I wake up with a surprise as my typical mornings start with the alarm ringing at 6:40am, with another 10 minutes being taken for me to acclimatise to being awake when it is still dark! I spend an hour having breakfast containing fruits and yogurt, watching the BBC news channel and making myself presentable for the day. I leave the flat at about 7:50am to get to work by 8:20am. The branch is open at 9am daily, and opens slightly later on Tuesdays when we have team meetings and Saturdays. I wake up early to use the time in between to check my emails, analyse the previous day’s performance figures and update the branch performance table.
In order to improve the branch performance, it is vital to engage with the team and keep each of the members of the team motivated. Therefore, before the day starts I send morning emails to everyone nominating the best performers of the previous day/week and quarter and wish them a great day. Results show that this works so I need to keep the momentum!
I joined HSBC as a Graduate Management Trainee in July this year and I am four months into my first placement in an East London branch which is one of the busiest in London. Therefore, just before the day starts we make sure that everyone who works in the front office knows their roles and the structure of their day. Last week HSBC’s news team even recorded a video there on queues and how to manage queues.
On Monday I was mainly counselling. My last customer was an overseas Premier customer who came to London from a Middle Eastern country. His card was not working and he wanted to withdraw a sizeable amount. The encashment procedure for overseas customers requires a certain step-by-step process and can take up to few hours to complete. I had never done this before and only knew the theoretical side of the process. It was a good chance for me to learn something new so I sat down with the customer to help him. As a Management Trainee I need to be prepared for these types of challenges and taking on risk. When everything was done, the customer was very happy and asked me to introduce him to my Manager so that he could thank my Manager for the great service that he had received from me. This was a sign for me that the day was successful! OK, it was not yet the end of the working day because after the branch was closed, I had to make sure that my other work on my performance review, community involvement and projects was also done!
Apart from my day-to-day work, I was also involved in fundraising for a charity supported by HSBC, captaining a team of five people. Monday was the last day for us to pay in cash that we had raised to the charity’s bank account. So, having ensured that this was done, I emailed the total results to my Manager. We raised £510! It was a great experience – the process of raising money involved us dancing on the streets to the beats of Leona Lewis and walking for 25km at night - it was long night… a very long night. I could not walk the next day because my legs were exhausted, but it was worth it! I also sold a few pies in the office, which I baked the day before.
On Tuesday it was my “Mortgage day”. I needed to complete the Mortgage test as I had to finish my assessment by the end of the week. It was quite a challenge, but the test result was great - 95%! All that was remaining was the role play with my Line Manager. After that is done, the next step it to complete my Lending assessment. It should be fine…
Wednesday. My lieu day! I received a few emails from my tutors for two subjects which I need to complete by April 2012 as part of my IFS Diploma. The welcome pack from IFS with some study material had already been delivered to me last week. This meant that the study clock was ticking and I needed to organise my time accommodating certain hours per week for studies.
I also promised my colleague that I would help him with interpreting Russian into English on my lieu day. My colleague had an appointment with a Russian-speaking customer to discuss how HSBC could help the customer protect his income in case of accident or sickness. The appointment went very well, the customer took the product and was delighted with the service he received. Well done!
On Thursday and Friday I was counselling all day. Also, on Friday I spent some time preparing for my one-to-one meeting with my Line Manager, which would take place next Tuesday. This will be my third meeting. One-to-one meetings help me summarise and analyse what I have achieved to date. The meetings also provide an avenue to discuss areas for development and growth as well as identify opportunities for involvement.
On Saturday I was asked to help in another branch in East London as they were short of staff.
Time for my weekend! On Sunday my boyfriend and I went to the cinema to watch Contagion. I did not know what to expect from the film as I hadn’t seen the trailer. The first 60 minutes were the worst. Then, we both became interested in how the film would end. Although the film ended fine, I would not say that it was a happy ending. The scene was quite dramatic, but it gave us food for thought and something to keep the conversation going!
Now I think that I need to buy a gym membership and to talk to my family on Skype!
До скорой встречи!
(‘See you soon’ in Russian!)