What is your position at Santander and what does an average day at the company involve?
I am currently working in Banco Santander’s capital management department. It is an extremely interesting position because I am in contact with an area of finance that is generally very hard to get into. We are responsible for maintaining a suitable capital ratio level in line with the Basel III accords.
How did the opportunity to join Santander arise?
The opportunity came about thanks to a human resources consultancy specializing in young talent, with which EAE put us in contact by email. After getting through the consultancy’s filters, they invited us to take part in Santander’s own program, which involved personal interviews and group activities.
What was the selection process like?
The selection process was a bit different from others that I had taken part in before because, first of all, you had to be selected by the Recruiting Erasmus HR Consultancy. After applying, they called me twice for telephone interviews. I hadn’t prepared in any special way up to that point.
Did you prepare in any particular way for any of the stages of the selection process?
When they told me that I had been selected for the next stage of the Santander process, I contacted Federica Assandria from the Professional Careers Service to ask for advice about the following stage of selection. Moreover, even though I already knew a lot about the company, I did some more research to get a broader perspective. The selection process took place at Santander’s financial city and consisted of 3 group activities and a personal interview. Although quite a few people took part, the event was really well organized. All the activities were run on time and the staff were really friendly.
Was it the only selection process that you took part in or did you participate in others?
At the time, I had also been selected for another internship, so I needed to find out quickly whether I had been picked in order to turn down the first offer. I have always wanted to work in a company like Santander, but the opportunity had never come up before. When they told me that I had been selected, it was a really satisfying experience.
Why do you think you are the ideal person to hold this position?
I really enjoy challenges and I always give it my best. In this case, I think that I am the ideal candidate for the position because I am very analytical, I like dealing with people and I adapt well to fast changes in the environment. These qualities are very useful in this department and they help me perform well in my day-to-day duties.
What experiences do you think you can gain at the company?
In my opinion, my internship at Santander will enable me to build my knowledge of the financial industry in general and it is a great way of rounding off the knowledge I acquired in the Master. In addition, it enables me to strengthen my soft skills, such as teamwork, communication and in-depth analysis of situations.
What contribution do you think you can make to Santander?
I am passionate about analysis and data science. I have taken a number of courses on my own initiative and took the minor in this field. I can apply the knowledge I have acquired with respect to tools such as Python and VBA to streamline certain data management processes. As a result, a greater number of calculations can be automated, enabling our time to be optimized. At the same time, in my opinion, I can offer a different perspective on things thanks to my interaction with different cultures. I find this factor extremely important in view of the globalization that shapes the world today.
Are you putting into practice the knowledge acquired Master in Financial Management?
Yes. On the Master, I acquired and clarified lots of knowledge that I hadn’t been sure about on the Bachelor Degree. In my opinion, in the department in which I now work, doing the Master has been extremely useful.
In your opinion, what are Santander’s strengths?
Santander is a huge company operating at a global level, so you can learn a lot from being in contact with the various subsidiaries. I also like the fact that, because it is so big, there is a wide variety of positions on offer, which is great because it gives professionals lots of scope for specializing in the area that they like most.
I would also highlight the work culture. The way people deal with each other is very respectful and friendly. The working environment in the Financial City is really impressive, offering a broad selection of services to make employees comfortable and enable them to do their work in the most effective possible way. In general, it is a really pleasant atmosphere. The people who work here are always willing to help you. They are very capable and it is clear that they enjoy what they do.
What impact do you think the experience you are gaining at Santander will have on your professional future?
I hope to be able to learn new things that enable me to grow personally and professionally, improve my performance capacity and apply my knowledge as much as possible when I reach a new position.
Why did you decide to take the Master in Financial Management rather than another program?
I was going to take an MBA, but I think that this program will help me more when acquiring greater professional experience. Since I was a child, I have always like numbers a lot and, on the Bachelor Degree, I was sure that finance was the part of the world of administration that I liked most.
What aspects of the knowledge and skills you acquired at EAE would you highlight?
I really liked most of the lecturers. They are well-prepared and have a lot of interesting things to say. The teaching methodologies change a lot from the way I am used to. I really like the fact that they give you a more practical approach that is applied to what is going on right now.
Would you recommend this international experience?
Absolutely, not just because you learn so much in the classes but because, by becoming independent in this way, you learn a lot about yourself. Before embarking on this experience, I really had no idea what it meant, but now I fully appreciate it. You meet loads of people and have the chance to see things differently, with a more global overview. I won’t pretend that it is all positive because it is a really hard decision to leave your family and friends to go somewhere on your own but, in the end, I can assure you that it is well worth the effort.
Beyond the academic side of things, what other experiences did you have in your year at EAE Business School?
I would highlight the great amount of people, cultures, and perspectives that you come into contact with. You can make some really great friends. That’s one of the things that I value most about the whole experience, perhaps even more than the technical knowledge in itself.
Would you recommend EAE? Why?
Yes, I recommend EAE. I think that the academic content is reasonably good, and most of the lecturers have a great deal of knowledge. They are rally keen to help you improve your performance in whichever way you need it. In addition, the quality of the facilities is really good. Moreover, I would highlight the work of the Professional Careers Department, a team of really capable people who give fantastic guidance on doing interviews and improving your CV.