Lloyds Banking Group - Sophie Wright
Name: Sophie Wright
Job Title: Enterprise Architecture & Design - Solution Architect
Company: Lloyds Banking Group
Sectors: Accounting, Banking, Computing & IT, Finance, Human Resources, Management
Sophie studied International Business at the University of Liverpool and graduated with a 2:1 (Hons) BA
How did you find the application and interview process for your job?
Like many other top graduate programmes, the application process at Lloyds Banking Group is quite rigorous. When I applied, there were four stages: online application and questionnaire, online ability testing, telephone interview and a final stage assessment centre. As daunting as this may seem, I found the application process with LBG a lot smoother than other companies. In the end, it was the impression I formed at the assessment centre made that tipped my decision to work for LBG rather than anyone else.
Why did you decide to work in this industry?
When I was in the sixth form, I spent a couple of weeks doing work experience in a bank. I knew after my first day that banking was what I would want to pursue a career in. It was the corporate nature and fast paced environment which was the real attraction for me. Banks play an absolute critical role to the state of the economy – it is an exciting environment to work in!
What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
In banking the range of work which goes on behind the scenes is fascinating. A lot more goes on beyond your pre-conceptions. Even within IT, there is a huge opportunity to try different things, you can never get bored whether you are interested in technical, analytical or managerial responsibility there is plenty of scope for different experiences.
What have you struggled most with since starting you career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?
Joining an IT graduate programme, there were some areas where I did not have some technical knowledge compared to my peers. I’ve had to work hard to develop my technical knowledge by self learning and going on various courses. Learning does not stop at university, but it is challenging and I really enjoy that.
Do you feel diversity is an issue in the Industry you work in?
It’s no secret that there is a significant lack of women in IT. The great thing is that Lloyds Banking Group is genuinely trying to tackle this problem. We have appeared in ‘The Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ 2 years running. There is a fantastic network for female colleagues called Breakthrough- committed to encouraging the development of our female colleagues. I am part of Breakthrough and gender equality is something I personally feel really passionate about.
What's the best career advice you've ever received?
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Always be ready, as you never know what is around the corner.
What advice would you give to other aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?
Don’t restrict yourself. Be open to trying new things, and being flexible, and get stuck in. It is great to have a career path in mind, but not if you are closing doors and shutting opportunities off along the way.
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