Huge congratulations to Catherine who secured a place on the Associate Development Programme at Silicon Valley Bank. We recently caught up to discuss her application experience, motivations for joining the bank and what tips she would offer to future applicants.
Why did you want to work for Silicon Valley Bank?
At university I was extremely interested in how finance influences the emergence of new technologies. Whereas other banks tend to invest in lots of different industries, Silicon Valley Bank have focused their investments into technologies allowing them to develop a level of expertise and knowledge of the technology industry that other banks simply do not possess. This knowledge and expertise encouraged me to apply.
When I was researching the firm, I read that they were interested in hiring individuals who had raw talent and the right attitude with the aim of training these new employees in relevant skills. This method of hiring talent first and then training skills evidences the bank’s desire for excellence and the high quality of their training programme. Their in-depth training and demand for quality work convinced me to apply.
What will you do on their Associate Development Programme?
The programme consists of 3 different rotations in different parts of the company. I started with 4 other graduates in the cashflow rotation which has been incredible. We have a packed schedule of training for the first few weeks and, in addition to our training, we also have a bunch of different client-facing roles and tasks to be doing. It’s great, I love that I have real responsibility from the start and a fantastic support system to help me too. Not only are we being given quality training but there is also an excellent buddy system where each new hire is given an assigned buddy to help us when we need!
How do you feel Bright Network helped you with finding a job?
I got an email from Bright Network during August telling me about this great role for Silicon Valley Bank. I ended up reading up about the role and thought it looked perfect. Later I got a call from a Bright Network employee who walked me through how to apply and also gave me more detail about the nature of the job. I felt like I was guided through the application process and provided a lot of support and help whenever I needed it.
What three tips would you give to a fellow Bright Network member looking to apply to SVB?
- Don’t lose spirit throughout the application process. It’s hard and tough but if you keep going you will find a job!
- Follow your gut and apply to what feels right. Don’t be afraid to take risks, if you feel you won’t be happy in a job then don’t feel like you have to apply to it! Do what interests you.
- If the interviewer isn’t engaged or listening to you then it’s a sign that you will not have a voice in that company and will be treated as another cog in the machine.
What was the hardest interview question you were asked?
I come from a geography background so I didn’t know that much about finance going into the assessment centre. During one interview the interviewer asked me to explore a case study in finance with them. I had to say to the interviewer that, unfortunately, I couldn’t comment on the case study because I didn’t have the required knowledge of finance. The interviewer then asked me to explore the business side of the case study and reassured me that I hadn’t ruined my shot by admitting this, if anything they thought it was a brave and clever move to be so open about it!