Hi! I’m Sarah from Hackney in East London and I studied Psychology with Management at Goldsmiths University of London.
While I was at university, I became a Lead Mentor at Debate Mate. Once a week I would visit a school in North London to teach students various debating skills such as Rebutting or using the Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link (P.E.E.L) technique to win over their audience. My efforts in giving back to the community were rewarded in 2019, when I was shortlisted as part of the Top 35 UK Management Undergraduates of the year.
In my spare time, you’ll find me watching a series on Netflix/fashion videos or socialising with friends.
What is your role and how long have you been at Bank of America?
Interestingly, I started at the Bank on a 12-month contract in March 2021, where I was working as an Analyst within the Environment, Social and Governance Team. At the end of March 2022, I moved into my current team as an Operations Control Analyst in the Global Banking and Markets Operations Tax Control Team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). I’ve now been at the Bank as a permanent employee for 4 months.
In my current team, we’re responsible for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS) tax form remediation and refresh process. Essentially, this means we carry out a series of processes to ensure valid tax forms are on file for clients that have open accounts with the Bank, so clients do not receive a withholding tax penalty from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
What inspired you to apply for a role with this company?
Working for a global company has always been a dream of mine because of the greater learning scope that is entailed. There’s plenty of career progression opportunities and fantastic volunteering initiatives that support local communities.
In my second year of university, I attended an insight day at the Bank and I decided that this was the place where I wanted to work; I found the panel discussion to be captivating – from the findings shared on the industry to the collaborative work culture.
Consequently, I created a vision board for my life that included the Bank of America logo. This was important to me because whenever I would look at the vision board it would open my mind up to the possibility of working for the Bank.
What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job?
As cliché as it may sound – “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Working within a team allows me to see things from alternative perspectives, which is useful as we can collaborate to create the best results for our clients, team and the Bank. In short, collaborating with colleagues brings about the best outcomes!
What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?
7:30 am: I leave my house, put my headphones in and listen to an uplifting podcast to put me in the right mindset for the day.
7:45 am: On the train I read up on the latest updates in the news.
8:30/40 am: I arrive at the office and catch up with my colleagues on how our evenings went and eat breakfast.
9 am: I check through my emails and follow up with the clients in my portfolio on any outstanding requirements.
Throughout the day I log on to a few calls with the wider team and work on a mixture of collaborative and independent projects.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?
I enjoy how fast paced the industry can be and how changes in regulations can ultimately impact the work we do. I also really appreciate the networking opportunities that come with being exposed to various departments.
What has the company culture been like?
The company culture is very collaborative; at the Bank there are various events and clubs to be part of. More recently, I have started to attend the Toastmaster Club at the Bank, these sessions help you to improve in your communication skills and provide the opportunity to collaborate with other colleagues that may not be in your department.
How important is diversity to you and what is Bank of America doing in this space at the moment?
Diversity is very important to me because when we see someone that we can identify with succeeding, it enables one to believe that they can too. Research also shows that diverse teams and companies tend to produce the most innovative ideas.
The Bank has many diverse networks available for employees to be a part of. I’m a member of the Multicultural Leadership Network (MLN) at the Bank. The MLN is an employee network that aims to drive diversity and equality across various cultural backgrounds through various events held throughout the year. The Bank has committed $1.25 billion to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and they are supporting various organisations within this space.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Bank of America?
- Make the most out of the virtual internship opportunities available such as the Bright Network Virtual Internship Experience
- Leverage your transferable skills, when you are putting in an application
- Be curious and ask lots of questions
- Network and use LinkedIn to connect with people
- Develop an understanding of commercial awareness
- Don’t self-reject because you may not meet all the points in the job specification – research, prepare, practice, and apply!