Niall Larkin is in his first year of the BSc (Hons) International Financial Services Degree at the Jersey International Business School (JIBS) University Centre. He also applied for the work support programme with RBS International in support of the degree, and was successful in passing their rigorous interview process in order to be one of the two students invited to take their first step in a career in finance with structured, paid work experience.
When I left Highlands College in 2012 I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I was just biding my time before I got my results and started looking for a job. Then I heard about the local degree and work experience and couldn’t pass up on that opportunity. Thankfully I was chosen to work for RBS International in their work support programme whilst studying.
My personal details needed to be processed through the bank’s system before I could begin working so it was half way through my first term at JIBS before I started with them – everyone at RBS International was very welcoming.
After my induction process, the first couple of days were spent learning about RBS International’s business vision, structure of the organisation and understanding the regulations concerning different laws and policies which affect the finance industry. This included self-regulation, which involved each new employee working through a check-list in order to be able to work for RBS International.
In the first instance, I am working in the Retail and International Personal Banking division and have been set a specific research project. This has involved working collaboratively with my colleagues and presenting our findings to the business.
What are the benefits?
From within this scheme we are learning something new in every activity that we perform, and there are different opportunities where the learning can be transferred between the degree and the work environments. I’ve only had one term at the Business School and yet I have already seen links between each environment, and have had the chance to put the learning into practice, which is a great advantage.
The working and learning environments are very similar in the way that you have to look and act professionally because you are upholding a business’ reputation. Whilst I am going to be moving throughout the company, I will be learning all the time and then be able to understand and transfer my experiences into any job role.
The lecturers insist that you study three hours in your own time to every hour you complete in lectures and tutorials. It’s not hard to stay in every other night and study, you also have plenty of personal time. Working and studying in the week isn’t hard if you enjoy it and find it interesting, you just need to have that frame of mind in place. You are still able to go out on the weekend and have fun with friends.
Whilst thinking about the future, I still don’t know what I want to do because I’ve worked in construction, education and finance. I feel that I haven’t worked in enough areas within finance to make a decision yet. That’s one of the best benefits within this programme; I get to work in a number of different sectors around the business gaining a range of experience.
I would recommend this scheme to anyone, you gain valuable experience and build relationships.