Here’s why a job in banking is for you, even if you have absolutely no interest in finance
Because we can’t all be whiz kids at Excel
The idea of a banking internship can be overwhelming – we know they are prestigious, but it seems like they’re exclusively for maths and economics students, or people who actually use the iPhone stocks app.
But is that really the case? We spoke to three people at Lloyds Banking Group about why you don’t need a finance degree, and why working for a bank isn’t all ISAs, spreadsheets and reading the FT.
Computer Science and Business Management, University of Glasgow
I interned with LBG in the summer between third and fourth year on the Transformation Internship, and joined the Graduate Leadership Programme after uni – now I’m managing IT Projects on this scheme.
I hadn’t considered banking until halfway through uni – I initially wanted to be an IT programmer, but after taking business modules at uni, I realised I could combine the two. A role in banking on the IT side combined these two fields I really liked.
I expected the role would be technical rather than financial, which was true; having a degree in finance isn’t essential. You can learn most things on the job anyway because LBG is great with helping our development. It’s important to chase opportunities that are right for you, not ones you feel limited to because of your degree.
I was attracted to LBG by the work the organisation does to help people and businesses. I’m constantly impressed by the amount of volunteering and fundraising opportunities available. LBG’s working environment and the work-life balance are also things I like most about the organisation.
Catherine, Retail Customer Products
Human Geography, University of Southampton
I’m on the Retail Customer Products Graduate Leadership Programme. My current placement in the Customer Propositions team is creative and strategic. We come up with and refine ideas for new innovations to help our customers.
I did a module in Retail Geography at uni – I was interested in supply chain management and helping customers, but thought it was limited to shops. It was only when I talked to people about internships that banking came up.
I’d never considered banking because I’d assumed it was all about numbers – I didn’t appreciate the diversity of roles available. I also loved the challenge of learning about a new industry. I really, really enjoy it – it’s not what I expected at all.
You definitely don’t need a finance degree to work in banking, and depending on the programme you choose, you won’t be stuck working with financial spreadsheets. It’s only one strand of the wider organisation, and finance isn’t the be-all and end-all – it’s more about the skills and values you have as an individual. If you’ve got the appetite to learn, you can pick anything up.
My job is people-facing, not just sitting on Excel all day. I love that customers are at the centre of our thinking. It’s really rewarding to create a product that helps people day-to-day and to be able to say “that exists because of the work I did”.
Leigh, Head of Group Digital Inclusion
Business Studies, Birmingham City University
When I graduated, I used my degree to help set up a charity promoting inclusion in tech. I moved to Lloyds Banking Group because I felt I could be more impactful here than at a charity, due to the bank’s nation-wide community reach.
I expected LBG to be all finance, black suits and marble floors, but it feels more like working for a tech company like Google or Facebook. We’ve also got LBG’s 320 year heritage – I’m part of something that’s had a positive impact for generations.
You can go into any career at a bank like LBG – whether it be marketing, digital, or branch – you really don’t need a degree in finance or economics.
The main thing is mindset; making sure you’re open to learning and agile thinking, being passionate about inclusivity and wanting to make a difference. There are also loads of opportunities to move internally, so you’re encouraged to apply, whatever your interests.