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I'm encouraged to share my ideas, however big or small.


Starting out at Nationwide

It’s vital that our people come from a range of backgrounds, to reflect the society we serve. That’s why we’re committed to helping students and graduates of all ages kick start their careers with us.

Explore our programmes

We have a whole range of programmes to choose from. So no matter what stage of life you’re at, there’ll be something to suit you.


With the opportunity to earn while you learn, an Apprenticeship is a great way to get your career off to a great start.

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Industrial Placements

These year-long placements provide you with the opportunity to gain all-important work experience before graduating

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On-the-job learning and a choice of placements gives you wide-ranging experience and opportunities at pace.

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Technology Development Programme

Kickstarting careers and training in IT for students, graduates and career changers

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Advice I wish I'd been given early in my career

Professionals might make it look easy now, but if given the chance to turn back the hands of time, most of them would do a few things differently.

So, we asked our recruiters what one piece of careers advice they wish they’d known at the age of 20. Here are some of their answers.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses and play to them

"Understanding yourself means those weaknesses will become developmental areas and this can only serve to improve your chances in a competitive market.”

"I would say 2 things – one, your degree doesn’t determine which field of work you need to go into. I have a science degree and it doesn’t mean I need to be a scientist. My second piece of advice is a real cliché but it's the phrase "no question is a stupid question". I always used to worry about looking silly, but I've learnt that you'll never learn anything if you don’t ask!"

Just chill out and go with the flow. Good things will happen

“They’re all making it up. Meaning that I used to worry a lot about getting things right and over time I’ve realised that no one ever really knows what they’re doing anyway. It’s best to just chill out and go with the flow. Good things will happen.”

"I wish I 'd known there were opportunities for me at organisations as big as Nationwide even though I didn’t have the strongest academics. I believe making a move to a large business earlier would've seen me be further in my career than I am currently.”

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else 

“Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and set much shorter-term goals. Things can change dramatically in just a few weeks – a nothing has to be final. Setting 6 months goals meant that I got to try lots of different jobs I didn’t realise I’d enjoy, from bar work at festivals, to digital and eventually marketing.”

"When I was in my 20’s (feels like they were so long ago now), I wish I knew that it was OK to say “not right now”. As a ‘yes’ person I would find it very hard to say ‘no’ or even ‘not right now but I can do this tomorrow’ for example through fear of being seen as un-cooperative."

"Know and adapt to your audience." 

Don't be afraid to try new things

“Don't be afraid to try new things. If you don't challenge yourself, you'll be bored, and you never know, you may find an unexpected career you love.”

"Don’t be afraid, venture out and explore what your company has to offer. Shadow different departments, get an understanding of what makes you happy and what your key strengths and skills are."

It's never too late to change career direction

"It's never too late to change direction!"

"Don’t settle, do something you love. In my early twenties I had a job taking letters out of envelopes, I constantly watched the clock. One day enough was enough and I made the decision I needed something more challenging & rewarding, I devoted my evenings after work to updating my CV and thinking about what I really wanted from a job. Now I am in a job I love and have realised it’s up to you to go out and get it."

Click here to learn more about the early careers application process

Ethan And Fran

The Future of Work for our Early Careers

In March 2020, our offices emptied, and colleagues moved almost entirely to working from home. In September, our intake of fifty graduates and Industrial Placement students joined virtually with online launch events and inductions – a new experience for everyone. And as we recently announced that from now on we’ll be recruiting where the talent is as opposed to where our offices are, virtual working is here to stay.

We asked Ethan (2020 graduate) and Fran (2019 Graduate) to share their experiences of joining and doing rotations, and heard their plans for future working.

How was it when you joined?

Fran: I joined the grad scheme in 2019 and I started in the office. I had a two-week onboarding period where I could learn how my role and the company worked, preparing us for our first rotation. All of the grads had the opportunity to stay in a local hotel for the first month so we could meet each other and work out living arrangements in Swindon - if we hadn’t already.

Ethan: “When I started my scheme, I was onboarded virtually. This felt odd to begin with as I wasn’t going into an office but was working from home. However, my team were extremely welcoming, and I feel I was able to meet more people than I probably would have had I been in the office thanks to Microsoft Teams. I didn’t feel excluded in anyway as everyone was in a similar position. My group were all starting virtually, and my team were all working from home too. It was nice not needing to worry about relocating.

How did you find your rotations during remote working?

Fran: I was working on digital products and working from home didn’t stop us delivering value. I completed two rotations virtually and never met the teams in person. Fitting in with a new team virtually was different but not difficult. Virtually gives you a chance for a more personal connection with your team as well, I’ve said hi to more colleagues’ pets over video calls than I’d care to admit.

Ethan: As I started the scheme virtually, starting a new rotation virtually wasn’t bad as it was all I knew. This was the new normal not just for my intake but the Society as a whole. Everyone was in the same boat. When I moved to a new rotation, the team was very welcoming, and I settled in well.

With Nationwide’s new ‘work from anywhere’ ethos, what are your plans for your future of work?

Fran: I’m leaning more towards working from home. I’m really enjoying not having a commute and the freedom to live further from the office. But I’ll still be going to the office for the big decision meetings and to catch-up with teammates.

Ethan: As restrictions have eased, I have visited the London office a little bit. I think moving forward, my working location will be a hybrid of office and home working. Best of both worlds then.

Developing skills, a career and a community

When you come to work at Nationwide, you’re not just building your career, you’re building something special – a community Our current Early Careers joiners have been doing just that through their charity project work. The group was split into teams and assigned a project with  charities such as St. Mungo’s and Shelter.

Joe joined us in September 2020 on the Graduate scheme. He teamed up with other Nationwide Early Career joiners, to work with St. Mungo’s

“We worked with the homelessness charity  St. Mungo's to create a public awareness campaign to build public empathy and understanding about homelessness with 18–35-year-olds. The work consisted of desk research, surveys and focus groups, and analysing the results to create some ideas. Using our data, we then gave suggestions to the charity to improve their existing Homelesswise campaign.

It was really interesting to work in a group of Grads and Industrial Placements as there wasn't a set leader or a prescribed way of doing things. This meant I developed my influencing, creative thinking, and self-management skills to work towards a way forward as it was completely reliant on us as a team. I also developed my networking skills to gain expertise in areas we were unsure about, for example, I contacted the Employee Connect team who helped us formulate the survey and set up a framework for the focus groups.

The project  has really helped me to understand why the Society was established and put this into a modern context”.