The Launch Pad Series

A braver future
speaks up

Welcome to the perfect platform for finding out everything you need to realise your future in the banking industry. These articles provide fascinating facts, figures and insights on specialist topics to help you on your journey to finding your dream job.

Banking demystified

Do banks only care about making money?

Find out how we’re proud to be making a difference in our communities.

Jargon Buster

Bull Market Acquisition
Gross pay
Income Tax
Financial Advisor
Networking Offsetting
Loan Shark
KPI - Key Performance Indicator
National Insurance
Unsecured Debt
Tax Code
Risk Phishing
Social Responsibility

Explore the tag cloud to discover meanings of these banking terms

The evolution of banking

  • 1600

    In England, banks developed in the 17th century. Sometimes people
    deposited their money with goldsmiths for safety. The goldsmiths issued a
    note promising to pay the bearer a certain sum on demand.

    At the end of the 17th century the cost of fighting a war with France was
    colossal – so in 1694 the Bank of England was founded to provide a loan
    to the government.

  • 1700

    The Bank of England mostly confined its operations to London. In the late 18th century many small banks were founded in the provincial towns.

    Banking crises are nothing new! In 1793, in 1814-1816 and in 1825 there were 'runs' on banks when people lost confidence and tried to withdraw their money. The result each time was a wave of bank failures.

  • 1800

    In 1826 the law was changed to allow large banks with many shareholders to form outside London. Many of the small country banks merged with the large banks.

    In 1833 banknotes issued by the Bank of England were made legal tender.

  • 1900

    In 1967 Barclays Bank installed the first cash dispensing machine in Britain at a branch in Enfield, London.

    In 1983 the first internet banking service in the UK was offered by The Bank of Scotland and Nottingham Building Society. People connected through their television sets and telephones to send transfers and pay bills. This formed the basis for online banking as we know it today.

    In 1994 online banking was built into Microsoft Money personal finance software, and 100,000 households across the UK begin accessing accounts online.

  • 2000

    In 2005 direct banks, banks that operated without a physical branch, began to offer their services online.

    In 2007 Apple launched the iPhone and a shift from banking via computer to smartphone began.

  • Today

    Most bank customers do not need to go into a branch on a regular basis as they can do most of their banking either online, on the telephone or by using a cash machine.

  • What's next?

    Social banking. Research suggests there will be a convergence of online banking, personal finance management, social networking, mobile and gaming to create an overall banking experience.

Make yourself more employable

Volunteer Stories

Demonstrating transferable skills through previous job experience is key to selling yourself to
employers. Take a look at how some of our current interns used examples of volunteering to
demonstrate that they had the key skills required to pursue a summer internship at Santander.
  • Emma Houghton

    Intern, Finance

    “I am an assistant leader at a Brownies unit where I go to university. I am also Secretary of the UNICEF on campus society at my university. I started volunteering with the Brownies when I was 14. I really enjoy interacting with people of all ages and learning about a variety of different things. The Brownies do a lot of learning about different cultures around the world and it’s our job as leaders to teach them as much as we can. Volunteering and working with others has increased my confidence, leadership and organisational skills – so it’s a great way to set yourself apart from the competition!”

  • Emma Wallwork

    Intern, People
    and Talent

    “I’m involved in quite a lot of volunteering. I’ve taken the initiative and approached different companies in Milton Keynes, who have donated prizes and I am planning on organising a raffle for this an event I’m currently planning. I’ve also sold doughnuts around the office to raise money for the NSPCC, and was part of the team who planted poppies at the Tower of London, which was a fantastic experience.Volunteering helps to develop universal skills – building relationships, leading and thinking creatively.”

  • Charlotte Green

    Intern, Learning
    and Development

    “Some of the other interns and I are involved in raising money within Santander for the NSPCC. In the past I have also raised money for LEPRA and Comic Relief. It's always nice to know you have made a difference no matter how big or small. You also have fun doing it! Within Santander, the fact the money you raise is matched by the bank makes a difference too. Volunteering gives you the chance to have fun, meet new people and develop new skills. I’ve also learnt how to manage my time, so despite my workload, I can still fit in volunteering and do my bit. It’s a great feeling”

The secret of a killer CV

Explore the interactive CV by clicking on each area to get some hints and tips on making yourself more employable.

Surviving your studies

See how our graduates survived their studies:
  • “Find 10 minutes to get away from your revision; this could be having a coffee outside, or popping out for a walk. Sometimes you need breaks to clear your head before you go mad!”

    Carl Robson

    Global Technology & Operations Graduate
  • “The one thing I couldn’t get through my exams without was my 'playlist of cracking tunes to keep me studying'. This including an atrocious load of cheesy songs including Reach For The Stars by S Club 7 and 5,6,7,8 by Steps!”

    Ross Phillips

    Customer Service Adviser
  • “I always booked my exams early morning and booked the rest of the day off to relax.”

    Damian Poland

    HR & Talent Graduate
  • “A good library group. We provided each other with the motivation to make it in for early morning library sessions, someone to have lunch with and moan about how terrible the exam period is, and then push you back through the doors to carry on.”

    Victoria Hammerton

    Technology & Operations Intern
  • “Relaxing music and a calm ambience.”

    Liana Schiesaro

    Retail Banking Graduate
  • “Coffee!”

    Hannah Wing

    Marketing Intern

Top study tips

Learn to manage your time

So much is said regarding university being the best time of your life, but the first few months can be overwhelming. It’s very easy to let your social life, cooking and cleaning take over. Don’t forget to make time, even if it’s just half an hour here and there, to jot down ideas for that essay you’ve just been given too.

Find your feet

The first year is the best opportunity to train yourself to be a top student. You can learn how to take lecture notes and manage your work with no real consequences.

Join some clubs

University will bring you face-to-face with all the weird and wonderful clubs and societies you can sign up to. It's a good way of trying something new, meeting people with similar interests and picking up skills to boost your employment prospects.

Develop your personal and IT skills

Spend time enhancing your teamworking, communication and organisational skills as well as becoming an expert at Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Web design. You’ll need to show evidence of these skills when it comes to job applications.

Identify companies for your placement year

Research vacation placements and mentoring schemes. You could consider volunteering and community projects. The more work experience you have the better when it comes to applying for your dream career.

Work hard!

Try to achieve the best grades you can. Many employers require graduates to have obtained at least a 2:2 or a 2:1 degree.

Visit student and graduate fairs

Student and graduate fairs are held on campus and are a good opportunity to network with employers and find out about possible careers.

Become an intern

Do a paid placement if you can. It will improve your employability after University, change your outlook on the world and mature you beyond words.

Set your revision time

Revise when you find it easiest to concentrate and focus. Some people prefer to study early in the morning, others late at night.

Log out of Facebook!

Eliminate distractions such as social media, mobile phones and television. Some people can revise whilst listening to music, but make sure it doesn’t hinder your revision.

Study a mock exam paper.

Look at how questions are structured and marks distributed. You’ll feel a lot more confident going into an exam if you know what to expect.

Be prepared for exam days.

Do you have all the necessary equipment that you’ll need? Know exactly where the exam will be held and how you’ll get there. The night before, get a good night’s sleep so you’re up in time to make yourself a decent breakfast.

Managing your Finances

Are you suffering from
Checking Your Bank Balance Aphobia?


Five life-changing finance apps

Explore the interactive apps for top tips on saving money.

Success at work

What does it take to be a success?

Find out from Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis:

Networking know-how

Building a network is incredibly useful in helping you get up to speed in a new job or organisation.
You can learn how the work of different teams and departments fits together – and you can get a vital insight into the working culture and what’s expected of you. It’s excellent source of information, advice and guidance, which can open up opportunities you may not otherwise know about. And its not just limited to colleagues – contacts outside your employer can be very handy too.

The secret to networking is to plan your approach and be proactive – identify the people you want to engage with and work out the best ways to get to know them. That could mean planning a meeting, stopping for a chat during the course of the working day or catching up at events. Phone calls can be good – and emails, intranets and instant messaging are great tools too.

Explore the interactive diagram to find out the types of people you should work towards having in your network.

Creating your Personal Brand

Importance of a personal brand

Your professional career starts with a strong personal brand. Over time your actions, your unique
approaches to work and the way you present yourself will all start to affect how people see you
throughout your industry. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to craft a personal brand that
really allows the best things about you to shine – right from the start.

8 steps to build your personal brand

Put the pieces of the puzzle together to reveal tips on how you could get started today. To
construct the puzzle, click on the puzzle piece you wish to move and then click the associated place
on the board.

Review the 8 steps:

1. Stand out from the crowd
2. Tailor your social media profiles
3. Stay in the loop
4. Speak with your own voice
5. Get involved
6. Offer your help
7. Working with others
8. Communication and influencing

Put the pieces of the puzzle together to reveal tips on how you could get started today.

1. Stand out from the crowd

Don’t be afraid to let your passions show, even if they’re not always work related. While you may look the same on paper as other people in terms of qualifications and experience, your passions are what make you stand out. Think of these as your USPs – unique selling propositions – the things you have to offer that nobody else does. The skills and attitudes we develop doing the things we love are often our most impressive, and these usually translate well to other areas of our lives, especially in our work.

2. Tailor your social media profiles

Employers these days are increasingly looking to social media to learn more about their current and potential employees. The Internet has a very long memory, so be sure to really consider whether you want something associated with you before you post it! It’s also worth updating your LinkedIn profile to reflect your most recent accomplishments.

Start with a personal introduction to yourself, along with your skills and experiences – and be sure to get people started with some suggested endorsement ideas! From there, you’ll want to build a diverse network of contacts and thought leaders. A great way to find influencers that are suited to you is by getting in touch with people who’ve been in your position before and are somewhere you’d like to be in future. They may have advice from personal experience that could save you a lot of time and stress!

3. Stay in the loop

Keep up to date with the latest industry news. This goes for both your employer and the industry as a whole. Look out for regular newsletters and forums in your area of interest, they’re a great place to find interesting news and views – and even get involved yourself. The Financial Women’s Association is a great place to start! Most businesses have department newsletters – read them! You’ll not only be knowledgeable about your environment, but there are often great entries on specific colleagues. You never know what interests you might share that could start up a new relationship.

4. Speak with your own voice

As you develop your network, it’s a good idea to think about the way you communicate. Often, formal business speak can come across as cold and distant – especially by email. Meeting and messaging new people can be nerve wracking, but it’s surprising what a difference opening up and speaking in a more talkative tone makes. Part of that also comes down to being a speedy replier, even if it’s just to let people know when you’re on the case!

5. Get involved

Take part in activities outside of your role! There are plenty of groups and networks within any business. Joining one is an exciting way to get your name out there as part of an established community – and it also shows you really care about what you’re doing. As you grow into your role, you’ll encounter more and more interesting thought pieces and perspectives. Share them with any colleagues you think may be interested, and don’t be afraid to challenge these opinions to develop your own unique insights.

6. Offer your help

It’s amazing how important offering your help to others when you get a spare moment can be for your career. By helping your colleagues, you’re opening up opportunities to learn new skills while staying engaged in your role, and your hard work won’t go unnoticed. Trust plays a big role in building your personal brand, and when people know they can rely on you, they’ll come to you for advice and help. And in return, you’ll build a network of colleagues you can rely on too.

7. Working with others

It’s not all about what you know! Having people to turn to for advice, and more importantly actually speaking up when you need it, is a big part of working with others. You’ll develop all kinds of relationships over the course of your career, and you never know when those more personal connections will come in handy. Make the effort to introduce yourself whenever you get the chance to meet somebody you’ve only spoken to over the phone or email – you’ll make a bigger impression in person!

8. Communication and influencing

Like any skill, communication takes time to perfect. Whether it’s in writing, meetings, presentations or negotiations, don’t shy away from opportunities to put your skills to the test. The most important thing to remember is to know your audience. The more time you spend communicating, the more comfortable you’ll become challenging and negotiating with people across all areas and levels of your industry.

Hear from our team on their journeys with

  • Cheryl

    Regional Director,
    Corporate and
    Commercial Banking

    Cheryl Adams believes there's no limit for women in business.

    Enjoying an international career in the finance sector in Canada and New York, Cheryl eventually felt the cultural fit wasn’t right for her so returned to her homeland of England. Joining Santander, Cheryl enjoyed the focus on personal development as well as the fast-paced, entrepreneurial work culture where progression is based on merit rather than simply who you know.

    “There has been a huge drive for recruiting more women into the bank and supporting women as valued customers. I’m very active in driving the Women in Business agenda myself and I am Santander’s ambassador for Thames Valley and the South West. The bank holds a national forum with regional events and I run events that provide support and coaching for women, with external speakers addressing all sorts of issues relating to women in the workplace.”

    Cheryl believes that there is a lot of flexibility for working mothers at Santander. "There is a culture of accommodation for personal situations and the bank trusts people to do their jobs well. For instance, I have just arranged the first job share for two colleagues that have returned from maternity leave. I'm proud to say I won the National People Award (Retail, Corporate and Commercial), which is an internal recognition where nominations are based on how you manage and lead people. I've been put forward for further Business awards and have also won Women of the Year (highly commended), Women in Business Role Model Award 2015 and Outstanding Performer in the Thames Valley Business Magazine Awards."

  • Rashpal Randawa

    Select Manager

    Meet RashpalRandhawa, Select Manager at Santander’s Carlton park site near Leicester. Rashpal’s job at Santander is to help her team deliver exceptional standards of customer service and meet key strategic and commercial targets. She has worked for Santander for almost a decade and received a number of employee awards for her impressive service.

    “I love working for Santander,” says Rashpal. “The work is challenging, with the flexibility to concentrate on my children’s needs and education as well as my interior design hobby. In return I always strive to maintain the Santander values – simple, personal and fair”.

    Rashpal was previously one of our personal banking consultants before she moved to Santander Select, which provides personalised services for high net worth customers. “One of my core skills is building relationships with my customers and identifying ways to make sure that each customer is able to benefit from all the services Select delivers.” Problem solving and resolution is also a big part of her role.

  • Paula

    Senior Manager -
    Engagement and

    Paula has been with us in multiple roles for over six years, and it’s been quite a journey so far!

    “A lot has changed!” says Paula. “I was looking for a career closer to home, and I’d heard good things from people who’d worked at Abbey in the past, so I found a role I was interested in and joined during the rebrand to Santander.”

    People look to Paula to develop and implement engagement and wellbeing strategies that reflect our values and culture, which spreads her time between Milton Keynes and London. “I get to work with colleagues across the business on everything from engagement surveys to executive sponsored projects, and I’m also a mentor to a member of each of our diversity groups,” explains Paula. Add that to our dedicated leadership programme and she’s had some great opportunities to meet interesting people from a wide range of backgrounds!

    Paula’s had an eclectic career so far, from branch banking and credit risk to marketing and now HR. She’s bringing all of that expertise to her latest role, and she’s even recently earned a professional qualification. As Paula says, “It’s a really flexible role, which has been vital in balancing my family and community commitments – I’m also a school governor and community hall trustee, so I’ve plenty going on!”

    If you’re genuinely interested in being heard and making things better, Santander has a lot to offer. It’s a constantly changing industry, so if you’re ready to adapt and take on new challenges, there’s a role for you here.

Different Thinking

What’s important to us is that we’re building a bank with the future in mind...