Our team is called Business Credit Portfolio Management and we manage portfolio credit risk for NAB’s Business Lending book with the primary focus on small business customers. The nature of the job is highly analytical and most people in the team could be described as data scientists.
The team has always been a great supporter of NAB’s graduate program and wanted to explore bringing students into the organisation a little earlier to test them in a real work environment over a longer term while also promoting NAB as a destination for graduates.
As part of the Professional Placements program, we were very lucky to be able to take Adam on as a placement student. Adam demonstrated great maturity and his ability as a fast learner, picking up technical concepts and improving his business acumen very quickly. He made a great colleague who adjusted to corporate life seamlessly while also showing a great desire to add value to the organisation and collaborate with his fellow team members. He was even nominated for the Enterprise Reward and Recognition program by one of the business stakeholders for being prepared to invest his own time to help deal with various credit risk-related questions.
I was initially surprised how quickly and easily Adam picked up what we do but over time, I understood that his Physics degree prepared him very well for the career in Data Science. As part of his studies, Adam was used to dealing with large datasets focused on observations and then using various techniques to test hypothesises and make sense of the physical world. This is very similar to the nature of our work with the only exception being that our data used is generated by our customers interacting with the bank.
Adam has developed his business knowledge, understanding how financial institutions operate. He learned various programming languages and statistical techniques, developed his communication skills and learned how to explain technical information to non-technical people. As mentioned before, Adam was great addition to our team, and we would be more than happy to offer him a role in the future and recommend him for the graduate program.
Adam took on his responsibilities promptly and was a productive member of the team, picking up other people’s task within a couple of months and allowing them to focus on more strategic priorities and professional development. Having a younger member of the team helped to us connect with a different perspective on many important topics for the business and community.
Professional Placements provide a solid training ground for students. Once they graduate and commence their careers, they will be prepared, making greater business impacts earlier in their journey. Furthermore, placements allow businesses to experiment with students from diverse educational backgrounds, identifying talent for their graduate and employment programs.