Meet Jennifer from RBS

It’s always beneficial for school leavers and graduates to read case studies on what it is like to work for a particular company. This is why we’re excited to launch #CareerCaseStudy, a series of quality case studies from National Careers Week supporters. To start off the series we spoke to Jennifer Atkinson a Relationship Team Officer to find out what it is like to work for our lead supporter RBS.

Jennifer Atkinson RBS EmployeeWhy did you join RBS? I found out that RBS’ CEO’s number one ambition was to become the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020. I understood that this meant over the next 5 years, the bank would be trying to completely reinvent itself and I wanted to be a part of this exciting challenge. Furthermore, the very structured apprenticeship programme in such specific business areas of the bank which you could choose stimulated me to apply. In my interview/assessment day, the directors on the panel were really, really nice and portrayed a really fun, motivating and welcoming image of the environment I would be coming into. This was a lot different compared to some other companies in the banking sector that I applied for. It was therefore a no-brainer to accept my position on passing the interview!

Describe what it is like to work at RBS in three words: Relaxed, diverse and extremely customer-focused.

What does RBS have to offer women? RBS has the focused women’s network which has been running since 2007. It supports RBS in actively attracting, retaining and developing talented female members of staff. RBS is an equal opportunities employer and therefore does not discriminate against your gender both in the recruitment process and in the workplace. Out of the 380 apprentices RBS took on this year, 60% were female. This is due to the drive that they have to put more women into management roles. RBS offer female-owned businesses “women in business specialists“ who can work with women in their own environment and erase their fear of banking. They then get specialist advice from people who fully understand their line of work. RBS is a flexible employer for working mums. They try their best in all cases to accommodate the needs of mothers and their children. Whether this be going part time, working different hours, or buying extra holiday in order to look after children in half term. RBS can also give discount childcare vouchers through RBSelect to help parents and mums to save money on childcare.

What experience at School or University best prepared you for your role in RBS? At school, particularly in the sixth form I built an extremely good relationship with my teachers. This prepared me for the friendly working environment that RBS has. I have started to build very good relationships with my colleagues and this will hopefully help me to progress in my career

What do you wish you had known then that you know now? I spent months whilst at sixth form and during that awkward gap waiting for my results, stressing about whether or not I should go to Uni. It seemed to me that everybody I spoke to told me that going to University was the only way I could be successful in life. Once joining RBS I have realized for myself, and been told, that actually, I don’t think that will be the case for me. I wish that I didn’t stress over the fact that I didn’t want to go to Uni, and I wish I could have seen sooner that in fact a good structured apprenticeship along with determination and hard work can get you to the same position as a graduate!

What’s been your biggest surprise at RBS? How relaxed it is considering its one of the world’s biggest banks. Everyone in my office is very down to earth and they do not take life too seriously and they know how to have a little joke in between working.

Who would be your dream breakfast guest? Nobody overly loud or over the top as I am not a morning person! Perhaps David Beckham. Not only is he very aesthetically pleasing, but also he seems like a really nice, normal person.

What would be your ideal weekend? Dinner and cocktails on Friday with the other half; Girls night out to a few bars on a Saturday. Chill on Sunday and do NOTHING all day then eat a huge roast for dinner. I like having one of these weekends at least once a month.

Do you have an inspirational quote you’d like to share? “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” – Joan Rivers. I love this quote because I believe that you hold the keys to your own future and that you need to relish every opportunity given to you. The ‘I’ in this is important. I think that expecting somebody to create the door, open the door, and then carry you through it will make it really difficult to get anywhere.

To find out more about opportunities at RBS visit the RBS Early Careers website.