Jagvale Singh Swalley
Economics, University of Sheffield
“The Bank’s values and ethics were the main drivers behind my application. I knew I wanted to work in Audit and the fact that this programme offered me the opportunity to do this, work towards Chartered accreditation with the Institute of Internal Auditors (CIA) and gain an understanding of the banking sector were added motivators.
I spent my first six months in Internal Audit. This department adds value to the Bank by providing assurance and consultancy over Governance and Risk, both of which are key areas for the Bank, and which touches every part of the business.
The work was quite technical and not something you can dive straight into. As a result I had a two-week induction which included getting a general overview of the department, shadowing colleagues and familiarising myself with audit templates. I then started doing more hands-on work including some key controls testing and business continuity work on two big transformation projects. The main learning I took from this experience was how large a part effective stakeholder management plays in audit work, something a lot of people underestimate, and how important the audit planning process is.
The nice thing about Internal Audit is that its quite a small department and the audit teams usually only comprise 3-4 people. As such, you get to work closely with the Lead Auditors, get given real work to do and are expected to add real value.
My second placement was a 1st line role in IT Risk and Security where I did some work on a major outsourcing project. This involved more key control testing but in a much more prescriptive and hands-on way than the work I did in Internal Audit. This role was more about supporting various business areas by managing risks from an IT perspective.
I’ll be going back into Internal Audit next and then hope to get some exposure to Treasury Risk on my third rotation to get involved in some stress testing and modelling.
I’m working towards my CIA accreditation via distance learning – I receive my study materials via post and also attend very well managed and structured workshops. The timeline for completing all my exams is flexible which is good but I’m aiming to be chartered within five years. It can be hard finding the time to study but I’ve had lots of support from my line manager who has been through the same experience and we review my progress through regular 1:1s. I’ve certainly learnt a lot about how to manage my time effectively!
I think I’ve also developed as a leader since starting on the programme. There are lots of good role models and opportunities to develop an effective leadership. You are encouraged to manage meetings and stakeholders on your own but always have the comfort of knowing you have your colleagues’ support if you need it. I’ve met with senior managers on my own, have been responsible for auditing their areas and contributing to reports which has been really rewarding.
I think the thing I’ve been most impressed with though is how genuinely friendly and approachable people have been – if they can help, they will. Its also been nice seeing people demonstrating the Bank’s Values too.