First things first
· What’s your name?
o Laura Bishop
· What did you study at school/uni?
o International Business Management with French
· When did you join LBG?
o Sept 2016
· What graduate leadership programme are you on ?
o Commercial Banking - Mid-Markets & SME
Early days and first impressions
I think I started thinking about my career seriously during my second year of uni before my year abroad. I knew I wanted something that would challenge me every day and in a supportive environment. I’ve banked with LBG since before I was born and trusted the bank and believed in its values. What’s surprised me most about LBG is how open and transparent other colleagues are about spending some time shadowing their business area.
Why did you choose LBG?
When I delved into the values and purpose of LBG more, I knew that it was both the bank and the grad scheme for me.
You as a person
I’m quite a natural leader and I am drawn to being the lead in any situation that presents itself! Throughout school and university I was always the one organising the socials and the balls and the student councils etc etc and that kind of a role suits my personality and skillset. I’m now one of the heads of the CB Graduate Working party, so I get to be involved with making our graduate schemes even better. My 3 possessions that say the most about me are my phone and the fact that it is ‘surgically attached’ to my hand; my handbag and its Mary Poppins-ness – if it’s something you’ll ever need then it is in my bag! Thirdly I would say my photo frames – people don’t tend to print photos anymore and just share them on social media. Having these up on show in my room lets me see the support I have around me and whenever I’m having a bad day or whatever I look at my friends and family’s faces and it always puts a smile on my face!
Your development at LBG
My last manager was really focused on mindset and having the right ‘head space’. This helped me with my approach to situations and going into meetings and training courses thinking what do I want to get out of this use of my time. This has been really useful with using my time effectively and setting and achieving goals. By having rotations in different business areas, it’s really helped my understanding of how the LBG cube jigsaw fits together and supports across the different functions.
The team that I currently work in help our colleagues to manage and mitigate the risks on our product portfolio.
Life outside work
I’ve always really enjoyed organising activities and bringing people together. I’ve been able to grow on this and had the opportunity to pursue this interest in my current role. I led a group of graduates in organising an inaugural division wide sporting event that involved 250 colleagues coming together for an old fashioned sports day to raise money for Mental Health UK. I thoroughly enjoyed designing, planning and executing this day and it was a great success.
Key moments at LBG
A key moment for me was presenting to the CB I&D forum. This is a forum led by Tim Hinton, Managing Director of SME & Mid-Markets. This was slightly nerve racking as it was in a room full of senior leaders, but myself and my Breakthrough colleague were met with praise afterwards.
Your work today
Day to day the strengths that I use the most are stakeholder management. I work on a committee that relies on stakeholder interaction and bringing key people together to share views and discuss our business are and products.
Your plans tomorrow
I’m keen to roll off the graduate scheme into a team that sits on the edge of the cube. I really enjoy cross-cube collaboration and believe that it suits my skill set. I’m also extremely client focused so I believe having that mentality will be useful in a role that isn’t directly client facing. In a year’s time I’m hoping to have secured a roll off job in London or be in the process of applying! In 3 years’ time, this might be slightly overly ambitious, but I hope to have a promotion or two under my belt and be close to reaching a senior management position. By then, I hope to have more leadership experience and have been rated as a top performer.
Outside of work, I want to have run at least a half marathon in the next year – I can currently count the amount of runs I’ve been on on one hand so hoping this will change!
My advice for female students looking to secure a graduate role or internship with Lloyds Banking Group would be to have faith and confidence in your abilities and do not belittle your achievements. I did a lot of research on female confidence levels relating to progression as part of my undergraduate dissertation and what I discovered was that in general females are less likely to shout about their success than our male counterparts. By giving yourself a pat on your back every once in a while you give confidence to the recruiters that you are capable of succeeding at the job that you’re applying for.
Three pieces of advice for grads/interns:
1. Keep in contact with contacts that you’ve met – it’s not difficult to go for a coffee or pick up the phone!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn as much as you can! You’re on a graduate scheme to develop as much as you can so take advantage.
3. People at LBG are very willing to give up their time to support you with your development – make sure you give something back to these kind people and give them some support back