Rayyan studied Accounting & Finance before joining our Transformation graduate programme. Rayyan tells us what he has discovered so far.
Getting started – They live their values
Settling on your first employer – the place where you’re going to lay the foundation for your future – isn’t a decision you make lightly. So I explored a lot of leading organisations in the finance sector, to make sure I made an informed choice and chose one with similar values to mine.
After doing my research, I decided Lloyds Banking Group’s values had depth and substance and were right for me. I wanted to help Britain prosper, just like they did. It was a breath of fresh air to find a financial institution living its values like this.
At times since joining I’ve been overwhelmed at the sheer volume of charitable endeavours that take place, right across the Group. And I get excited when I see at how successful we’re becoming as a digitally-oriented bank – the biggest in the UK I believe.
Volunteering – You learn a lot
I’m taking part in a Group wide initiative for graduates to fundraise and volunteer, where I go to a social enterprise and a charity to do volunteering work.
Most Friday mornings I go into sheltered housing to show elderly people how use the internet, basic stuff like downloading music and ordering groceries.
My charity work involves helping a lady who’s recovering from a mental health crisis to build up her business – it’s free consulting for her and a great experience for me!
I learn a lot from volunteering. It teaches me patience and reminds me that people don’t have the same knowledge and capabilities as I do.
Top tip – Focus on people
I’m quite good at relating to people and at bringing them together to achieve something. I was the captain for my school and Sunday league football teams, and often the one who organised social events with my friends.
I work in IT Cyber Security but my interpersonal skills – my ability to read people and situations – help me more than any deep technical understanding. So my advice to you is to focus on getting on with people. Be honest and open and ask questions, even if you’re worried they’ll make you look silly.
You can learn a lot from corridor and desk natter. You meet all kinds of people and find out new opportunities that make our organisation a great place to work.
Placements – I now know how to analyse data
I briefly worked for myself before joining this graduate programme, and acclimatising to the corporate world took a little while. But my first placement really helped me to adjust, to get my head around the size of the business, the opportunities, the responsibility, who does what and where things are.
By the time I reached my second placement, which is where I am now, I felt more settled, and ready for my introduction to cyber security.
Right now I’m working on a particular cyber security programme and the governance around it, making sure the designs are sound and getting the long term forecasting right. It’s great. I now know how to analyse data and do reporting, and I’m discovering how to use my natural strengths to bolster these new skills.
Support – Inquisitive line managers
Both my line managers have been great so far, not only as role models who know how to deliver but also as mentors, coaches and leaders. They tailor their style according to how they can get the best out of you. They’re searching and inquisitive – they give me tasks that build my confidence in the right way and plug me into different skillsets.
Plans – Next step, management
Next year I’ll be rolling off the graduate programme. Having travelled a bit more and hopefully with the beginnings of a mortgage deposit, I’d like to step up into project or line management.
I’m keen to learn more about myself and how I influence and interact with others, and to take on responsibility for a team – its people, structure, strategy and deliverables.
In three years’ time I’d like my own house and to be fully responsible for a strong team that’s delivering the right results. In the meantime I’d like to learn Spanish and visit South America. I spent a couple of months in Central America before joining the Group and it was amazing.
Key moment – Discovering that presenting can be fun
I was asked to present and host an away day for forty of my team members, and I discovered that I actually enjoy presenting to people.
Another key moment was finding out how it felt to influence other business areas, and more senior colleagues, in delivering a migration plan for about 7,500 colleagues.
Having this kind of influence so early on as a new graduate is brilliant. I feel genuinely valued by an organisation that really is living its values.
After doing my research, I decided Lloyds Banking Group’s values had depth and substance and were right for me. I wanted to help Britain prosper, just like they did.