Our Santander Belfast office is based right in the city centre and is one of our largest sites.
It hosts a large range of business areas from Customer Service to Personal Banking Consultant making it a really great place to work.
Meet Emma Adair, Digital Customer Service Advisor at Santander in Belfast and read more about her career so far with the company and what it’s like to work there.
How long have you worked within the Santander Group?
I have worked for Santander for almost 2 years.
How did you come to work at Santander?
I came home to Belfast after travelling and working in Australia. I wanted a permanent job with good career prospects so I applied, had a telephone interview and attended an assessment centre. Santander were really prompt with giving me feedback on my application and I began training for my new job less than a month after I had applied.
How long have you been in your current role?
I have been working as a digital banking advisor for a year and 3 months. In that time I have learnt so much about the banking industry and providing great customer service and have been given great support with developing these skills and exploring new career paths. I recently applied for and was offered a job as a mortgage enquiries consultant for Santander in Belfast. This is a promotion from my current role and a new challenge for me that I am really looking forward to. It’s a great feeling to be progressing in the company after only 2 years!
What other positions have you held within Santander in your time here, and in what locations?
I was originally trained in general banking queries but was quickly upskilled to the digital banking role to meet business needs in this growing and fast-paced area of banking. I have always worked in the same building which is beside Central Station and is minutes from the City Centre so it’s really handy to get to and from work. A lot of people work here but it’s not a huge industrial-style building, it’s very welcoming and comfortable!
Have you taken advantage of any internal programmes/initiatives supporting your development?
Yes, Santander have lots of resources and programmes in place to support their employees in developing and progressing on their career path. We have an online programme called Career Choices that you can access in work and at home. I used it to chart my development and goals, so when I felt ready to look for new roles I used the information I had put in to see what jobs my current skills and future ambitions would be suited to. I could then apply for a job with confidence that I could take it on and enjoy it.
I am also interested in mentoring Santander new joiners. With the support of my own manager and others in the department I did a lot of call listening and coaching new people. It was really rewarding to see others succeed and enjoy their job as I had done. It also gave me the opportunity to travel to another one of Santander’s contact centres in Sheffield to mentor colleagues there which was a new and exciting experience for me.
I developed a new skill set that gave me an edge and something really positive to discuss in the interview for my new job which definitely helped me in securing it.
How would you describe a typical day or week in your role?
Every week is a bit different. I will usually have a training session at some point in the week for a new product or service we are offering to customers. Most of the time I will be taking calls from customers in relation to digital banking. For example, if they have queries about logging in to online banking or the services available online, or if they are experiencing issues with shopping online.
During the week I will also have a team meeting which gives me a chance to check in with my manager and other team members and allows us to raise and discuss any issues we may be having in our role. I will also have the opportunity to take development time off calls to get to grips with new training, talk to my manager about my development, or help a new team member with their calls. Each day is varied, if it’s a busy day I may be on the phone helping customers all day. On days like this I will make multiple trips to the canteen for coffee and supplies!
My weekly shift times are published at least 3 weeks in advance so it’s easy to fit my life around work and make social plans. If I need a day off I can take leave or swap a shift with a colleague so I never have to miss out on something I want to do away from work which is great!
What’s the best thing about your role or the team that you work in?
It’s never boring! There are always new things to learn and to help customers with. You get a real sense of satisfaction from solving a problem for customers and you can have a good chat with some of them. Last year Apple Pay was introduced and in the future more tech will be developed for online banking which would be really exciting to be a part of!
You learn everything with your team. We work hard together and support each other. We sit beside each other, there are no walls or screens around us like you might think, so if you need to ask for help with anything they are right there. It’s the same with managers, there is also someone nearby if you need advice and they are really approachable. We are just one big group of friends really, from all walks and stages of life, and we have great craic together.
What would you say to someone who was considering a career at Santander?
I’d ask them what they want from their career and explain what working for Santander means for me.
For me it has provided long-term stability and real prospects for progression. Everyone is given the support and opportunities to develop their skills and are encouraged to move onwards and upwards in the company. The majority of our senior staff began in a role similar to mine. In return you have to work hard, be positive and motivated, and ready for change. You’ll be rewarded with bonuses and benefits like savings schemes, discounts in stores, health plans and bike4work.
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