Interested in the Bank of England? Here’s what their application process is like . . .


Bank of England Blog: Part Two by Erica Rowell

The Bank of England, which was founded in 1694, is responsible for monetary policy and stability, producing bank notes and the Prudential Regulation Authority which means they hold a different ethos to other financial organisations. They have a culture of collaboration, and support employees to develop professionally and personally throughout their careers with the Bank.

Their interns and employees are assessed with the ‘Vision 2020’ model, which is made up of four assessment criteria: diverse and talented, analytic excellence, outstanding execution and open and accountable. Included alongside these is their mission statement: “Promoting the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability”.

The application process is the same for both their internships and graduate schemes. This means that someone who is successful in gaining an internship does not have to repeat the application process again when applying for graduate entry.

The Application Process

  1. On-line application form – it is vitally important to research and understand the Bank, what their functions are, and spend some time thinking about what is attractive about the work.
  2. Online Test (Blended) – successful candidates will be invited to complete an online test which will assess a range of skills and is a mixture of situational judgement, motivation, numerical/verbal reasoning and analytical skills. It is important to do some practice in advance. The testing provider will provide some practice questions so don’t skip these! Make sure the test is carried out in a quiet space, with no disturbance, because it is important to be able to focus on the test. For example, if you share accommodation with other people it may be worth warning them that you need some quiet time to yourself to be able to complete the test without disruption. It’s important that your only focus during the test is doing your best, and not worrying about background noise etc.
  3. Video Interview – successful candidates will progress to the video interview. This tests a mixture of technical/commercial awareness and competency. Prepare by reading financial and business news and current affairs particularly if the Bank is mentioned. There is no one recording the interview – it is done through a programme where you are shown between four and five questions, given a short time (one minute) to prepare, and then are recorded (2 – 3 minutes) delivering your answers. There are some simple practice questions at the beginning e.g. favourite film. Don’t skip these as it gives you a chance to check that everything is working, to experience seeing yourself on the screen and check you are looking directly at the camera. Prepare for the questions in the same way as face-to-face interviews. A structured approach is best and the Bank advocates the STAR method. Consider the questions that might be asked: the Bank want to know if you understand what they do, the climate in which they operate, your reasons for applying to the programme and your compatibility with the Bank’s values. As with the online test – make sure you’ve got some peace and quiet to complete this! Keep an eye on timing to ensure your answers are succinct but full, and ensure that there is nothing distracting in the background of the video – a plain background is best.
  4. Assessment Centre – finally, you will complete an assessment centre which involves 2 group exercises (which will be a mix of soft skills and technical questions). The exercise will be a factual case study e.g. why you should be running a paperless office, and will be carried out in groups of 6. You will be assessed on working as a team as well as the recommendations that you make at the end of the exercise. The assessors are not interested in the dominant characters in the group but in those who can collaborate and encourage the team to be structured and keep to time. The time allowance is usually 20 minutes with a 3 minute presentation. Do check, as part of the exercise, who the presentation is to – the CEO or a client of the company. The Bank will be looking to see how you interact with others, and how you deal with time pressured situations to deliver an outcome. Spend some time thinking about the values they might be looking for, in accordance with the values and mission of the Bank, and have a think about how you can demonstrate and evidence these.
  5. Final Interview – this will be carried out by HR and a member of staff from the section of the Bank you have applied to e.g. operations, risk assessment, technology. The questions will be a mixture of checking out soft skills e.g. communication, and technical questions. To answer these questions you need to have a good overview of the stream you have applied for as well as the Bank itself.

Remember! You can book a Careers Advice appointment with us through the Careers Gateway.

And for more information on career opportunities at the Bank of England, visit their website here.

 

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“How can I gain work experience with the Bank of England?”: Part One


What they can offer students

On the 8th November this year, The Bank of England came onto campus to deliver a talk on their company culture and recruitment tips. Our Careers Consultant, Erica Rowell, went along to the talk and compiled some of the information that was given into a two-part blog for those who couldn’t attend this insightful event. Below, in Part One of her blog, Erica talks about the different kind of empound-414418_1920ployment opportunities they can offer students.

 

The Bank of England offers a number of internships and graduate programmes.  Here are some of those programmes:

  • First year internship (6 weeks duration)
  •  Penultimate year internship (8 weeks)
  • Postgraduate internship (8 weeks)
  • Industrial placement (13 months)

All of the students on these internships are inducted together as a cohort and treated as part of the team they are allocated to. There are no special projects and interns are expected to ‘hit the ground running’ and work alongside staff. They do have support systems in place including a mentor and line manager; however there is no financial or other support from the Bank for accommodation while on an internship.

The first and penultimate year internships are suitable for students with a degree in any discipline. The Postgraduate internship is for students with a degree (1st class or 2:1) in Economics and/or Finance.

For the first year internship the Bank will look at UCAS points gained. For the penultimate year the Bank will want an update of grades achieved so far. There is a free text box if you need to explain why current grades do not match the predicted class of your degree.

The Industrial Placement offers opportunities as:

  • Research Assistant – will gain first-hand experience in the Bank’s core work. Working alongside economists on a wide range of issues, and gain experience of briefings and produce charts and tables for Monetary Policy and Financial Policy Committee. Will also manipulate economic and financial data for research projects.
  • Project Assistant – are based in either Banking Services or the Programme Office and can work in a variety of roles, including assisting with project processes, supporting testing, trialling and implementation, as well as senior team members.
  • IT Associate – will be part of the Technology Division, working in the Application, Development and Maintenance area or the Infrastructure Group. Experience will include contribution to the success of challenging projects and valuable hands-on experience from technical experts.

 

Graduate Programmes 

Streams:

Operations – generalist scheme, and is open to Graduates from any degree discipline. This stream opens up opportunities in many areas across the Bank, including Banking, Notes and Central Services.

Economist – need to be studying an Economics or Finance undergraduate degree. This stream will develop your skills at the heart of the UK economy.

Risk – this stream develops Graduates to provide technical expertise in areas such as stress testing, the Help to Buy scheme, or wider market risks. They work within areas such as Supervisory Risk Specialists. Strong analytical skills are key for this stream.

Data – these roles are vital for collecting, compiling and analysing data for publication. The Bank looks for students studying a quantitative degree, such as Maths or Engineering. These roles are in areas such as Advanced Analytics, Statistics and Regulatory Data and the Chief Data Office.

Technology – the Technology division enables everything at the Bank, including supporting systems like the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), enabling the UK financial services sector to transfer trillions of pounds in payment transactions every year. You don’t have to be studying a Computer Science degree –they are also looking for students with an interest in Technology. Based on your interests and skillset, you will be matched to a pathway, such as: Developer, Infrastructure, Service Management or IT Security.

Supervision – open to Graduates from any degree discipline, you’ll be at the heart of the Bank’s work to protect the stability of the UK’s financial system by supervising financial institutions. You could be supervising insurance companies, international banks, building societies, key financial infrastructure or UK banks of all sizes. Supervision puts your analytical, problem solving and professional skills into practice; you will work closely with senior internal and external stakeholders to identify and mitigate potential risks before they can have an adverse effect on the financial system and the public.

Postgraduate – if you are studying for a Masters degree in an Economics or Finance discipline and are looking for a Graduate position, this is the stream for you. These roles are in research-focussed areas such as Monetary Analysis, International or Markets.

Actuarial – qualify as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (Enjoy a salary increase each time you pass an exam!)

All entrants take the Central Banking Qualification, and then study towards a postgraduate certificate in central banking and financial regulation – accredited by Warwick University. It is a 27 month programme and cohorts of entrants are grouped together for the whole of the programme for study days. These take place in the Shard, London.

There are approximately 150 internship/graduate programme places and over 1000 applicants. There are fewer applications for the economic stream.  Also, if you apply for this stream and are not successful the Bank may recommend you joining an alternative application stream.

Applications for the graduate stream closed on 13th November 2017, however the internships are open until mid-January 2018.

 

 

Insider Intern: Jasmine Pledger, Careers Brand Ambassador


“This week on ‘Insider Intern’, I gave the Career Brand Ambassador Jasmine Pledger the task of writing a little bit about herself. Part of my role involves managing our ambassadors, setting them tasks and brainstorming marketing ideas with them. Take a look at Jasmine’s view on the role and her background…” – Hattie Patten-Chatfield

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I’m Jasmine one of three Careers Brand Ambassadors and I’m in my third year (terrifying that I’m almost a complete adult now…) studying law. It’s quite nerve-wracking thinking what lies ahead but hopefully some of the things I have been involved with at University has equipped me for the job market.

I’m part of Langwith College and helped run the Mentoring Scheme to help first years transition into University life. I’ve been a Student Ambassador since my first year working on open days with prospective students and working on residential programmes for students considering higher education. My main passion is volunteering, and I was elected as YUSU’s Volunteering Officer in Spring Term. In my role as Volunteering Officer, I am involved in assisting the 16 student-run volunteering projects, working with students to see what volunteering opportunities they want to get involved with and creating and planning volunteering events so students can volunteer and help in their local community. In my role as volunteering officer I have had various meetings with Careers and Placements to discuss their different volunteering programmes and through this I was able to learn more about all the services they offered, as I had only previously engaged with my department employability tutor.

Since then, I have learnt more about Careers and Placements and used Careers Gateway and found the Careers Brand Ambassador position. My role started in Autumn Term and I have been involved in a variety of tasks over the past 7 weeks. It has varied from helping out at the annual careers fairs, collecting statistics on attendance to the fairs and marketing events and motivational quotes for Careers and Placements to display on Social Media. The role is all about getting the word out on what Careers and Placements can do for students, from networking events to CV workshops. It has been really diverse so far and has been great to be involved and have my ideas actually being taken on board rather than being disregarded. It’s flexible and just a few hours a week that fit around my timetable, it is always exciting to go into work which is not said very often and we are paid for the work we do which is a bonus as a student!

I hope you found it interesting to hear about working as a Careers Ambassador. If you’re interested in this role and think you would be a good fit, keep an eye on our social media accounts for vacancies in the Spring Term!

 

 

 

The Insider Intern: Hattie Patten-Chatfield


The Face behind the Facebook : An Introduction 

Hattie Patten-Chatfield

A classic B&W filter, to hide the hair-dye malfunction I suffered for Halloween. Don’t ask.

The brilliant thing about working at Careers and Placements is that I don’t feel like the ‘intern’ or the ‘temporary’…

Graduating from the Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance course here at York in July 2017 was an extremely daunting and nerve-wracking moment.

My world of routine, society socials and friends being only a stone’s throw away was suddenly taken away from me and I was plummeted into the dark depths of graduate unemployment. (It wasn’t as bad as that, but more on that later…)

I was lucky enough to notice, apply for and then be offered a year-long internship at Careers and Placements, where my official title is ‘Graduate Intern: Communications and Student Engagement’.

This isn’t the first time I have been an intern, though. In the past I have worked for companies that very much treat you as an ‘intern’ – the person who photocopies, makes tea and coffee, but not much else.

The brilliant thing about working at Careers and Placements is that I don’t feel like the ‘intern’ or the ‘temporary’. I am treated as an official staff member and am trusted and respected, whilst also being given huge responsibilities.

In a nutshell, my role here involves updating and scheduling our social media accounts (do you know we have an Instagram, by the way?), organizing and managing our Career Brand Ambassadors and generally working on ways to gather feedback from students and generating new ways of engaging them. This may sound easy enough, but trust me – it’s not as simple as you may think.

However there is a lot more to my role, and to Careers and Placements, than first meets the eye.

I hope that you will follow me as I begin to use our blog to showcase the life of an intern here at the university, and give you a unique insight into the service and group of people who help you to find employment.

Watch this space for future posts. It was nice meeting you!

Facebook – /YorkCareers

Twitter – @UoYCareers

Instagram –uoycareers

 

Guest blog: Being a student brand manager for Frontline


 Guest blog written by Rebecca, student Brand Manager for Frontline

Before starting my second year, I was looking for a part time job that I could do alongside my studies. I came across Frontline whilst searching for flexible charity positions. I had begun to think that my search was a little niche –  flexible, salaried positions where you can work in your own time toward a good cause… I hadn’t had much luck until I found Frontline. I had worked with vulnerable young people in the past so I was immediately drawn to the mission of changing the lives of children in the UK through social work. I also wanted to gain experience in PR and marketing so this role was ideal.

Continue reading

Guest blog: Finding a placement


Guest blog written by Miles Thorp, digital Director at Banana Moon, personalised clothing company

So, the hunt begins. How are you feeling? Overwhelmed? Excited? Stressed? I remember feeling all the above when I was looking for a placement. Feeling like someone slapped me round the face every time I got rejected and oh boy, there were a few rejections. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the placement process from both sides. Finding and doing a placement and hiring and mentoring placement students. I can’t help but think, if only I knew then what I know now. If I could take all the best bits from the applications I’ve reviewed and the students I’ve worked with, finding a placement would have been a piece of cake! Here are some actionable next steps to help relieve some of your stress.

The why

Why do you want to do a placement? This should be the first question you answer. The reason behind getting a placement will help you decide on the type of company you want to work at and it will also help you plan for the worst-case scenario.

Action 1: Define 3 reasons why you want to do a placement

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Guest blog: How to fast-track your placement year application


Guest blog written by Jessica Murray, Content Creator at Debut

Thinking about applying for a placement year? Wise decision, my friend. A placement year is a sure fire way to build your network, develop some valuable skills and graduate from university with experience that will make you super employable.

But while that’s all well and good, it’s the application that’s the tricky part, right? There’s no denying that some placement roles can be competitive, but don’t let that put you off.

We’ve got loads of top tips for applying (as well as loads of placement year opportunities up for grabs on our app), so why not make 2018 the year you step outside your comfort zone and bag your dream opportunity?

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Guest blog: Succeeding in assessment centres


 In this post Laura Blackledge, Student Recruitment Officer at PwC, for the University of York, shares invaluable insight into how to succeed in assessment centres. Don’t forget that Careers will be running an Interview and Assessment Centre experience event on 7 Feb, which PwC will be attending. Book your placement using the above link.

Why do employers use assessment centres?

Employers use various tools during the recruitment process for a number of diCheck out our latest guest blogfferent reasons:

  • Measure your abilities
  • Understand your experiences and skills
  • Establish your preferred working styles
  • Identify your behavioural responses
  • Provide a job preview for yourself

We know the role and the needs of the roles we are recruiting for.

Our business’ sustainability depends on filling our roles with the most suitable and talented people.

We need to find the right fit – that is what’s best for us and the people we hire – so they can enjoy sustainable and fulfilling careers.

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Happy Christmas from Careers


DSC_0750As the term draws to a close, everyone here in Careers and Placements would like to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and a relaxing vacation.

For those still on campus and wanting to use Careers,  here are our opening times.

Christmas vacation opening times: 4 December – 5 January

4 – 19 December Open Monday – Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm
20 December Closed for staff training
21 December Open, 10.00am – 4.00pm
22 December – 1 January University closed
2 – 5 January Open, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Please check the web page for appointment availability. We only offer Careers Advice appointments during vacations, but you can have your CV and applications reviewed at these appointments.

We look forward to seeing you again in the new year!