We recently caught up with Isabella about how she secured an internship with HSBC, how she built up her commercial awareness before the interview and her top tip for Bright Network members going through the application process.
What stood out to you about HSBC?
HSBC is a top graduate employer which initially sparked my interest and, as I did more research into the internships and graduate schemes they offer, I realised this was where I wanted to start my career. The positions available offer an immersive experience, with the opportunity to experience a large variety of departments and get involved in a range of tasks. For me, I really appreciated how much emphasis and investment HSBC puts into their intake of graduates, which has primarily been conveyed to me through having conversations with students currently on these schemes.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I took my time to really explore the HSBC website as well as that of their competitors, so I understood what and why they did things differently as well as thoroughly reading any materials given to me throughout the application process and keeping notes of what I had learnt from them. I followed a number of banks on LinkedIn to stay updated with current affairs within the banking industry and finally, whenever I had the opportunity to speak to HSBC employees, like during Bright Network’s Internship Experience UK, I asked lot of questions that helped me to build a better picture of the reasons why HSBB are one of the top graduate employers.
What would be your top tip for members going through the application process?
HSBC want to see your authentic selves, so make sure you are as natural as possible in your responses. I do get very nervous before interviews and assessment centres, but you just have to remind yourself that you have got this far for a reason and have faith that the assessor would rather see you pass than fail. Try and be as clear as possible in your answers, take a minute if you need to think of your response and what they are really asking, it’s all about getting to know you better!
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Bright Network was helpful in introducing me to LinkedIn; I didn’t even know students used it before I started the internship, but since then I have found it really useful. Throughout the application processes for all the positions applied for or any talks I have listened to, I have tried to find and connect to all of them. I have even noticed some recruiters from HSBC have started asking me to connect so it is a great tool to get your name out there. List all your experiences and try to include all those search terms - communication, organisation, leadership, etc. They were also great in sharing internship opportunities and they really helped me to consider different options and most importantly make sure I didn’t miss the closing deadline!
Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?
I didn’t use Bright Network Academy in my career search as I was already in contact with the careers service at my university who was really helpful in prepping my CV with me and preparing me for the application process. I would definitely recommend using a service like this as it helped me to feel more confident ahead of the process. I am really interested in the “How to get into ...” modules Bright Network Academy offers as I think these would be great industry-specific tips that we don’t normally see.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Do as much interview preparation as you can. I found each time I practised interview questions or online assessments, I felt more confident and better prepared.
- Do your research: Make sure the roles you are applying for are of interest to you and that you can demonstrate this when asked. It will also come across well in interviews if you have good knowledge about the role and the company.
- Really make the most of your networking skills throughout the application process: You meet lots of people that you may be able to help or vice versa in the future.