Brazil, Bulgaria and Spain: why we're worth relocating for

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Relocating for work can sometimes be necessary and can be an exciting new start. In this article, 3 employees working in Risk share their relocation stories and give an insight as to why they decided Nationwide was worth the move.

Hugo, Senior Risk Manager, relocated from Brazil

I started working for Nationwide in January 2016 after spending 15 years of my career with another financial company in Brazil in different Risk functions.

As part of my personal and professional plans, I was interested in relocating from my country. I wanted to work for a different company to be able to enrich my career background and get to know other corporate cultures.

When I came across the advert for my role through LinkedIn, I was really keen to apply, not only because the job requirements matched perfectly with my background and skills, but also because Nationwide struck me as an organisation that realises the importance of being customer-focused and doing the right thing for the community, which is very much in line with my own values.

After each step of the recruitment process my initial perceptions were confirmed and finally, I decided to accept the offer to come to the UK and work for Nationwide.

I’m very satisfied with the corporate environment here. I feel that Nationwide has matched my expectations. The working atmosphere is supported by skilful colleagues and a strong senior management team, focused on enhancing business performance through people development.

Of course, there are always going to be some challenges surrounding relocating abroad. Besides adapting to regional and cultural aspects, there is also a different corporate culture to get used to. You’ve definitely got to be open and adaptable to get the most out of moving abroad. In my case, both HR and my line manager played a very important role helping me to have a smooth transition and to find my feet quickly. My team was also very supportive and always keen to assist me.

I’ve settled in really well, having been able to find a nice place to live in the countryside with my family. I’m also satisfied with the work-life balance that Nationwide supports, so I’m able to spend plenty of quality time with my wife, daughter and our dogs.

One piece of advice I’d give those who are considering relocating from abroad is to definitely plan ahead and be prepared for the upcoming challenges you will be facing. In addition to the professional side of things, even the most basic of matters such as opening a bank account and renting a house can be difficult without thorough planning, especially having no credit history or previous address in the UK.

Living in the UK and working at Nationwide has provided me with a valuable opportunity to continue building my career. My medium term goal is to focus on achieving a higher level within the organisation, I truly believe that this is achievable as Nationwide seems like a company where hard work pays off!

Angel, Risk Manager Lead, relocated from Bulgaria

I heard about my current job from a recruiter who contacted me about an opportunity at Nationwide. After I read up about Nationwide and its position and importance in the lending market, as well as the fact that it’s the biggest building society in the UK, I decided to apply for the role.

The decision to come to work in the UK was not an easy one to make. However, I had high hopes about my new life in the UK when I decided to move, but I was a little uncertain about what I should expect.

Now, two years later, I feel that I’ve settled in really well. My wife has also been able to join me in the UK and is now working at Nationwide too.
For me, the best thing about working at Nationwide and living in Swindon has been the people. My teammates and colleagues from the wider team have been very supportive and really friendly. It’s great to be able to learn, develop and work alongside positive and dedicated people. The friends I have made along the way have also helped to make life here really enjoyable.

Nationwide provided me with a relocation package and supported me in finding a place to stay. My colleagues also gave me advice and guidance in searching for a place to rent, using their own experience.

I was really proud to be an Employee of the Year finalist during my first year at Nationwide. These awards acknowledge Nationwide’s appreciation of employees’ efforts, contributions and behaviour, and to be considered for this award was an honour.

Striking a healthy work-life balance is easy here; I’m able to enjoy a flexible working pattern and the opportunity to work from home one day a week. Outside of work I enjoy playing tennis with friends, going on motorcycle rides and enjoying the brilliant landscape and wonderful nature. Both my wife and I have a monthly subscription for the local cinema and we enjoy watching movies and meeting with friends.

In the short term I see myself improving my skills and knowledge by working in my current position on the high profile credit risk projects we are involved in on regular basis. Nationwide offers a range of opportunities for development, not only within Group Risk, but also in other areas where one can gain experience and expertise in different fields and to develop one’s career.

Javier, Risk Manager, Relocated from Spain

My wife is Cypriot, but British educated, and for us, the UK was without a doubt the right place to start a new life together. When I first moved over here, I started off working for TSB Bank in Gloucester, and have been working for Nationwide for just over a year.

I was initially contacted by Resourcing Services at Nationwide to see if I was interested in applying for the job. The idea of working for one of Britain’s largest financial institutions really appealed to me.

My experience of living in the UK and working for Nationwide has been very positive so far, and I’d say that it’s definitely lived up to my expectations.
The best thing about being here is the opportunities I have to develop, not only professionally but also personally. I really enjoy meeting new people from a wide variety of backgrounds and sharing new experiences. Living in and integrating into a multicultural society is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

Of course, certain things about working in the UK have taken a bit of taking used to. For example, I’ve found that the level of rotation at work is very high compared to what I was used to back in Spain. People often change positions so fast that finding the right person who has been there for a while to help you out with something is sometimes a little complicated. Plus, the number of people who commute in and out of Swindon for work, just like myself is also very high, so getting to know people isn’t always easy.

The work-life balance that I have here is brilliant. I’m able to plan my week depending on my workload and I’m even able to work from home sometimes. I have recently had a son and I am very happy with the level of support I have received from my line manager. Outside work, I enjoy sports, such as running and golf, and travelling.

Currently, I’m working towards developing my managerial skills, and improving Nationwide’s stress-testing processes. In the future, I’d be interested in gaining experience in other Risk-related areas, and maybe Treasury. I think that in time, Nationwide could offer me all of this.

I believe that the UK has very good opportunities for people with the right skills and values. I would advise anyone considering the move to spend some time understanding what the market offers before coming over, and making sure that they are prepared for the UK way of life and living in a multicultural society.

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