Applying engineering skills in the financial sector
Jess Sepe graduated in 2014 with an MEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering with placement. She went on to the Lloyds Banking Group Graduate Leadership Programme.
My degree has trained me to solve problems and look for solutions in different ways. Even though I am pursuing a career in the financial industry I know that the skills I learnt in my engineering degree will still be applicable.
What did you study at university and how did you make this decision?
I chose to study chemical engineering as I liked the variety of subjects covered (chemistry, biology, maths, management) and the idea of an industrial placement. I also liked the way there was a broad range of opportunities available to me after my degree.
What influenced your decision to pursue a career in engineering?
During my industrial placement year at a fast-moving consumer goods manufacturing plant, I realised that I did not want to pursue a career in engineering as this was not the environment I wanted to work in. I began to look at other options open to me and applied for a summer internship on the General Management Scheme with Lloyds Banking Group. I completed the summer internship which I really enjoyed. I was surprised at how useful my engineering knowledge was in a financial role as similar problem-solving methods were applied, just in a completely different setting!
Where have you previously worked and how did this lead to your current position?
At the end of my internship, I was offered a position on Lloyds Banking Group’s General Management Group Operations Graduate Leadership Programme. The programme consists of three placements, each lasting eight months, across different areas of the Group. My first placement was in London working on the Customer Operations Change Management Team as a Project Manager.
What aspect of engineering do you particularly enjoy?
I recently heard a Chemical Engineering degree being described as training to become a systematic solver and I think this description sums up what I enjoy about engineering. My degree has trained me to be able to solve problems and look for solutions in different ways and this set of skills is invaluable. Even though I am pursuing a career in the financial industry I know that the skills I learnt in my engineering degree will still be applicable.
What advice would you give to young women interested in studying engineering?
Do it! A degree in engineering gives you a set of skills that open you up to a range of opportunities and different career paths. An industrial placement is a great chance to experience working in a specific industry and can give you insight into what direction you want your career to go.