Intake: September 2011
HTS (HSBC Technology and Services) is a huge component of the bank. It’s what would normally be considered operations, touching on all areas of the business and ensuring that HSBC runs smoothly. The word technology implies a strong emphasis on IT, but that’s just one part of HTS, you don’t have to be a computer expert!
The programme consists of four six-month placements. In the first you’ll be given a project looking to improve the business area or team in which you’re placed. The second is customer facing, normally in retail, which is a fantastic opportunity to experience branch banking. The third is ‘strategic’, similar to the first, but with a focus on wider business objectives and a greater degree of independence. The fourth is a leadership placement where you’ll be managing your own team.
You could be based anywhere in the country and you’ve got to be nationally mobile. However, you do have a lot of say in where you end up. There is some potential for an international placement for top performers.
Why did you choose the HTS Graduate Programme?
This is always a question that comes up in interviews! I chose HTS because it offered a chance to experience many different parts of the bank. Honestly, I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to end up, but thought that I’d rather an emphasis on project management over customer facing roles.
How is the programme different to the others?
One of the main differences between HTS and the others is that most of our customers will be colleagues in other parts of the bank, so internal rather than external.
We tend to be more nationally mobile than most of the others (apart from the executive trainees).
What skills do you need?
As with our other programmes, there’s no real distinction between different degree backgrounds, so long as you have (or are expected) a 2:1. A good analytical mind and strong numerical skills would suit you in this programme.
Leadership and inter-personal skills are also important. Of course, a desire to learn, take on new challenges, and meet new people is always good!
Your experience so far:
My first placement was in the payments innovation team. It’s an exciting time at the moment as the industry has seen a lot of new developments, including the introduction of contactless cards and the impending arrival of mobile wallets. My project was to evaluate different online payment environments and highlight opportunities for the bank. At the end of my placement my findings were used to help draft HSBC’s new payments strategy so it really felt that the work I’d put was contributing to the team going forward.
I’ve just started my second placement in branch. It’s a totally different working environment, so you’ve got to pick things up quickly, but I’m enjoying the challenge!
What is the best thing about the programme?
One of the best things about the programme is the flexibility. HTS touches on almost all areas of the bank, and there is a strong emphasis on driving your own development so there’s plenty of opportunity to experience the parts of the business that most interest you.
I’ve also really enjoyed the social side of things on the graduate programme. We’ve had several trips across the UK to visit different departments within the organization and we have plenty of social events!
If you’ve any questions about the HTS scheme, do get in touch by posting in the comments section below.