Sarah, you've already been with UBS for some years. Why did you decide to do the Graduate Talent Program?
I started my journey at UBS through an 18-month entry program for high school graduates in Switzerland. After the program I got a permanent position as a client advisor and had the possibility to study part-time to get my Bachelor's degree in economics. I knew that I wanted to make use of my knowledge from university and work with corporate clients. I have heard many good things about the program from current and former GTPs (Graduate Talent Program trainees) and thought it would be a great chance to deepen my knowledge and get training on the side that helps me develop my skills further.
What do you like about working in Personal & Corporate Banking?
I have always enjoyed working with clients. Personal & Corporate Banking is at the very heart of the firm in Switzerland. It's a very diverse business area, with a lot of different clients. In the corporate sector we have companies from one-person craftsman companies, through start-ups to the big listed firms in Switzerland. Each client has different business needs and we are here to identify and to support them throughout their journey. Every day is different and it never gets boring.
In which team did you start your GTP and what rotations have you done so far?
I started my GTP in the corporate client advisory team for the regions Winterthur, Schaffhausen and Uster – I worked in that team for five months. During this rotation I had the possibility to work closely with the client advisors, accompany them on client meetings and supported the team head in different projects. Currently, I am in the Zurich-based relationship management team, where I also work with corporate clients and have many client meetings and calls. We focus on the strategic dialogue with the clients. This includes, for example, the analysis and discussion of the best-suited growth strategies for fast-growing companies as well as established firms, but also the preparation for succession planning, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) and related financing. We work very closely with corporate finance and the Investment Bank, as well as the corporate client advisors. I am also already planning my next rotation with the transaction advisory team in Lausanne. I'll hopefully be able to join this team for three months in autumn and learn more about the transaction topic and also improve my French.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
No day is like the one before and every client case is individual and interesting. For every case I’m involved with, I get to work with different people and across the firm, which I really appreciate. This gives me insight into different areas of the business. I’m currently working on a client case with corporate finance, and have the chance to do a financial assessment which usually isn't part of what my team does, but it gives me the possibility to broaden my skills. I also get to do some extras, like presenting at an event for start-ups.
Aside from your day-to-day role, are you involved in any employee networks?
I am a board member of our GTPNet Committee. We organize different types of events for the GTP community and help each other to stay connected not only with the different businesses, but also with our peers. We usually organize at least one GTPNet event per month, where different teams give insight into their area and work. After the presentation there's always time for networking. This is a great chance for the GTPs and line managers alike to look out for potential rotation possibilities within other teams during the program. In addition, we organize social events such as ice skating or barbecues, which are optional for everyone to join. These social events are all about having fun, getting to know each other better and build friendships aside from our daily work life.
If you had to pick one thing that sets UBS and its trainee program apart from the competition, what would it be?
It’s definitely the culture. I really appreciate UBS's culture and people. It's very hard to explain but I just feel very comfortable working within UBS. It's a very open and honest atmosphere and the people are great! It's easy to get to know people and broaden your network. You can achieve a lot and learn from inspiring people.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of applying to do a GTP?
Do it! It is a great possibility to meet many interesting people, learn a lot about different areas and get an overview of UBS as a whole.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I am a volunteer at YES (Young Enterprise Switzerland), for which I signed up via the UBS volunteering offering. I help secondary school students on topics like how to handle money, prepare for job applications or teach them about the economic cycle. UBS supports this volunteering commitment with two paid working days per year. Apart from that, I am a passionate dancer! I've been dancing ballet and contemporary for many years.