This article is brought to you by our friends at CV Please. They are a career consulting service based in Sydney, helping young professionals advance their career with a professional resume, cover letter and job interview coaching all at an affordable price.
We interviewed, Jessica Tisch, a 2017 member of the highly coveted BT Graduate Program and client of CV Please. Jessica now works in a hybrid analyst and sales role for the Markets Advisory team within the Sydney Westpac office.
We asked her about her experience of the BT Graduate Program including her advice for students looking to apply for graduate programs.
What did you study at University?
An undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Business Studies with majors in Finance and Economics at University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Can you tell us about the different roles you’ve had at Westpac Group since joining as a Graduate?
My first rotation was part of the BT Graduate Program. The graduate program was structured as four, three-month rotations for a total program of 12 months. This provided great exposure to different areas of the business and enabled me to develop a broad view of the business’ offering.
My Rotations included:
- Asgard product call centre and client support
- Private Wealth Market’s desk
- Investment Research and Governance and Customer Engagement and Retention for Superannuation
These rotations offered insight across a combination of core functions that underpin the business including the Private Wealth arm, the superannuation business and the customer care function.
My next role was part of the Markets Advisory team within Westpac’s Financial Markets division.
This was an exciting role whereby I was exposed to risk analysis consulting. Our team would support the Corporate Sales department helping clients achieve their strategic and financial goals in the financial markets. This involved producing client advisory pitches including quantitative and qualitative assessment of a client’s exposures to movements in interest rates, foreign exchange and commodities. A core component of this process was to analyse and model potential price movement impact on financial statements and metrics. This would then be extended by illustrating potential outcomes under a risk management approach by incorporating derivative instruments in modelling. If appropriate a hedging solution would be recommending in consideration of client’s financial goals and risk appetite.
I then progressed to Corporate Sales within Financial Markets at Westpac.
This role involved supporting a portfolio of corporate customers across industries to achieve their strategic and financial goals. This entailed execution of financial market products including foreign exchange, interest rates and commodities, to facilitate transactions and risk management requirements on behalf of clients. An important element of the role was to ensure a deep understanding of the customer to raise awareness of all financial markets risks and to provide risk management solutions If necessary. Keeping clients informed on changing market dynamics, and Westpac Economics and Strategy forecasts and views were also a key function.
Why did the BT Graduate Program appeal to you?
The BT program appealed to me because I was initially interested in funds management and equities. BT having a strong history in funds management was a key attraction point. In addition to this, the prospects of working at a large domestic institution, with Westpac being a key pillar to the financial sector, held appeal as it provided strong prospects of role diversification. The ‘can do’ and strong serviced based culture was also a highlight.
What was your experience of the application process for the BT Graduate Program?
The application process included five stages which I expected as this was industry standard to enter into a Graduate program for a larger institution.
- Apply through web based application
- Psychometric tests
- Online interview
- Numerical test
- Assessment centre including an individual interview, group session and literacy test
Can you tell us your 3 most important lessons from your experience in the BT Graduate program?
- The willingness to learn is just as important as intelligence
- The graduate year should be leveraged to network and understand people’s experiences as much as possible to form your own views of where you want to drive your career
- Be open minded to all opportunities and experiences
Do you have any words of wisdom for Uni Students looking to apply for Graduate Programs?
Apply for as many Graduate roles as you are interested in. Going through the process of each application is great experience and helps to form a strong view of what most appeals to you. CV Please was a great compliment to this experience as they provided me with the confidence and tools to broaden my outlook by customising my experience to whatever it was I was interested in.
How did CV Please help with your application?
CV please worked with me to review an edit my CV so that it was recognised by the institutions I applied for. Their advice took my CV up a level in terms professionalism, including formatting, concisely dictating previous work experience, and highlighting key skills appropriate for the role I was applying for.
In addition, CV Please sharpened my interview responses by providing an easy-to-follow technique for answering difficult questions. Having a strategy going into the interview takes so much pressure off and helps you to relax and just be yourself.