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Tracking the journey of one of Standard Bank's first grads
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Standard Bank will be hosting students from all over the country this week for the annual Graduate Programme Assessment Centre. The 18th group of graduates will be selected at the Global Leadership Centre and will join the bank's talent pipeline in February 2014. The first programme was started by the Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) in 1997. We caught up with Shannon Redman who was part of the "Class of 1997" to found out about her journey from graduate to executive.

1. What attracted you to the Standard Bank Graduate Programme in 1997?
Standard Bank came to campus with a presentation which portrayed the vibey, high performance, work hard play hard culture of CIB and the interviewers conveyed passion about the business and real interest in me as a candidate. Moreover, as a young grad who didn’t really know what the corporate environment entailed and what I really wanted to do, the opportunity to gain exposure to the broader business environment and a number of areas and people within the company, and to “learn while doing” was most appealing.

2. What did the programme entail?
The programme was a 10-month general rotation, with time spent in various divisions across CIB including Corporate Banking, Transactional Products and Services, Asset Management, Trade, Global Markets, and Credit. As the first programme in CIB, it was not as organized, focused and well-profiled as it is today. Some areas did not quite know what to do with us and used us for admin, but for the most part, we got great exposure to on-the-job experience and learning. At the time, the role that I was most attracted to was that of Relationship Manager or Equity Analyst.

3. What has your career journey been since completing the graduate programme?
After the programme I spent a couple of years in Corporate Banking as an Account Analyst (today’s Business Manager). I then moved into Credit where I spent three years, first in an analyst role then progressing to a management role. When the then head of Corporate Banking, suggested I return to Corporate Banking (I was only “on loan” to Credit), I jokingly said I’d agree only if I could go to Corporate Banking London first. I had job at Standard Bank London the next week and I relocated within a couple of months. I spent a very valuable (personally and work wise) 18 months there before returning to Jo’burg as a Relationship Manager for top tier corporates in Corporate Banking.

In 2006, I moved to the Term Lending Team (now DLL within Investment Banking) for a new challenge and growth opportunity. I loved my time in “Product” and in my role as dealmaker. I gained invaluable experience and exposure to many areas in Investment Banking including Structured Finance, Leveraged Finance and Corporate Lending. During this time I was promoted to Director and I was lucky to go on the CIB Incentive Trip to Turkey. At the end of 2008 my passion for client relationships and delivering the whole firm to the client took me back to Corporate Banking in a Business Development and then the Sector Head role that I work in today.

4. How do you think the programme assisted you in getting to where you are today?
First and foremost, the programme gave me the opportunity to network and build internal relationships that remain critical to my role today. I gained exposure to CIB as a whole which I would never have got if I had started in specific position This allowed me to find my niche / passion in Client Relationship Management and gave me the foundation for the skill set required as an effective Client Co-ordinator.

Look out for Shannon at the CIB Assessment Centre and make sure you pick her brain for some useful tips.
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