A-Level student Reece, 17, recently came to us for Work Experience and the chance to see what life is like inside the world's largest Building Society. Reece is studying Sports Science, Sociology and Business at Sixth Form and is considering taking HR as an option for university. So, logically, Reece thought he'd head to our HR department to help him find out if working in this environment is something he'd like to pursue further.
This is the story of his time here at Nationwide.
The first day of my work experience placement began by being greeted by Tina, shown around the HR DEPARTMENT and introduced to the rest of the team, who all made me feel very welcome. Almost immediately, I was invited to attend a team meeting; although this was a situation I had never been in before, I was asked to contribute my views on the subjects being discussed, which allowed me to feel involved. As well as meeting and shadowing team members throughout the day, I was also introduced to Nationwide's intranet by Robin, who demonstrated how it is currently being updated to improve the user experience for employees.
I was given a brilliant opportunity on my second day to watch an advert being filmed by Lee and his team. The ad was produced for the Nationwide website and several of the company's social media channels to attract prospective employees. Lee also provided me with more of an understanding into how the company uses social media to advertise job vacancies and the training schemes that are on offer at Nationwide. Keeping up with Lee's busy schedule was probably the most challenging part of the day! However, it was interesting to gain an insight into how eventful a typical working day at Nationwide can be.
One aspect of my placement that I was particularly looking forward to was the opportunity to work with the Social Media team, with whom I spent the third day of my work experience, and the experience certainly lived up to my expectations! To begin with, I was given an introduction into Nationwide's social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and was shown how the team often manages multiple accounts on certain social networking sites. Paul then presented me with an overview of the history of Nationwide, including how social media was introduced into the company and how it benefits the business. Additionally, he provided me with tips about how to pursue a career in social media and told me all about his career journey. Throughout the day, I was set a number of tasks such researching our social network channels and noting down advice I would give towards how we can improve the services we offer.
The morning of my fourth and final day of work experience was spent shadowing Dave in the Ask HR team. It was really interesting to learn about the sorts of HR-related requests he receives on a daily basis from employees all over the country. These included a range of questions about overtime or maternity leave and I was given the opportunity to listen to some calls to gain an insight into the variety of queries that come through and how they are dealt with.
At the end of the week it was time to complete the assignment I was set by the HR DEPARTMENT which was to present on what I had learnt about social media at Nationwide. Although this task was quite daunting at first, it allowed me to develop valuable communication skills which will be beneficial for my university studies and future employment.
After this experience I now realise that working within Nationwide means much more than banking. There's a whole other side, even just within the HR department, that I didn't realise existed. My work experience here has confirmed my interest in studying a business or banking-related course at University.
Eventually, I would like to work for a company like Nationwide where career and development opportunities are endless. I'd like to thank everyone at Nationwide who looked after me during my placement; I really enjoyed my time here and was made to feel very welcome.