Claire joined our Graduate Programme just over a year ago in 2016 and has had placements in Governance and Control, and Social Investment.
From Geography to Financial Services...
I graduated with a degree in Geography and knew I didn’t want to pursue it as a career but was unsure of what I wanted to do. I was attracted to a graduate scheme due to the opportunities to rotate around different business areas and I thought it’d be a great way of working out what I enjoy. I was also attracted to the development side of a graduate scheme as there’s a big focus on personal development, which I don’t think you get as much of in a normal job.
The Nationwide difference
I looked at lot of graduate schemes, but the values and culture of Nationwide is what made me want to work here. When I started researching companies, Nationwide stood out for the way they treat their members and employees. I also do a lot of charity work and fundraising in my spare time, and Nationwide put a huge focus on their impact on society. We’re given 14 hours of volunteering a year, for whatever cause is close to your heart and I really liked the idea of that when I was applying. Nationwide also has several charity partners who they work extremely closely with. I’m now lucky enough to work in the team that co-ordinates all this amazing work.
Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning at Nationwide
I currently work in the Social Investment team and was given the great opportunity of organising Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for the entire Society – approximately 20,000 employees! It was my responsibility to create impactful communications to make sure everyone was engaged and aware of the day, and that every area of the business was involved. As well as planning the selling, fundraising and competitions for our coffee morning at our head office, Nationwide House, I was also the first port-of-call for guidance and queries about the coffee mornings happening across the country at our branches, admin centres and contact centres. I’ve never been pushed out of my comfort zone so much but it was an incredible way of improving my project management, organisation and stakeholder management skills.
I worked with people across Nationwide that I never would’ve met otherwise, it was amazing to see how enthusiastic people were even though it isn’t their day job; it sums up our colleagues at Nationwide. It was an amazing experience, that took me a very long time to organise and was over in a flash, but all worth it! The most rewarding thing is hearing the incredible total that all our colleagues and members raised.
My next challenge
With Macmillan coffee morning done and dusted for this year, I’m now organising the Shelter Christmas Campaign, our other key fundraising day of the year. It’s very different to Macmillan Coffee Morning, but that’s great because it means I continue to learn and I'm really looking forward to another challenge.