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From student to commercial banker - Kevin's story

Kevin studied BSc Accounting and Management at Queen Mary from 2019-2022, and secured a place on HSBC's Commercial Banking Graduate Programme, after completing a summer internship with them. Find out how he used his time at university to work towards his ideal career.

Photo of Kevin Dragan graduating on campus

How did studying at the School of Business and Management help you work towards your career goals?

"The School helped me to focus on learning about the many careers development opportunities available, once I began my first-year studies. We were given the opportunity to visit Barclays in Canary Wharf, where we learnt about the journey of fellow Queen Mary graduates and bankers within the space. From there, I took the time to visit Iain, one of the SBM careers coaches, who gave me advice about the roles available within banking and helped me structure my CV.

I would also highlight the mini-internship I took as project coordinator of SBM’s Step Ahead Programme in the summer of 2020. As part of this, I helped to coordinate an induction programme for BTEC students starting at the School of Business and Management.

I myself was in the same position in 2019, as a BTEC student transitioning into university. Knowing that I could make an impact on how others could prepare for university was a position I really wanted to be in, and taking on this role really helped me to gain skills I could highlight when applying for my internship at HSBC."


What did you gain from doing your internship with HSBC?

"The first important skill I gained from my placement with HSBC is confidence. HSBC likes to push you towards forging your own opportunities and being proactive with colleagues and clients. During my placement, I worked in setting up events and taking part in meetings with clients, where I learned to present and much more. The confidence I gained, plus having a great and supportive manager, really helped me to go after more opportunities and take the time to invest in my skillset.


Have you got any advice for future students?

"Taking the time to engage and find opportunities provided within the School of Business and Management, and the university as a whole, will not only give you skills for the future, but will provide you with the confidence to leave your comfort zone, and aim high to find your dream opportunities!

I would also like to add the importance of finding a mentor. I was paired with a mentor through taking part in the NatWest Group Mentorship Scheme. It was great to have the help and support of someone who knew the journey into banking, and I learnt a lot from our many one-to-one sessions, where I practiced my interviewing skills, cover-letter writing skills and much more. My mentor and I still keep in touch to this day!"

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