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Collingwood Sixth Form

Bank of America

On Tuesday 2nd November 14 Business students visited the Bank of America Merrill Lynch at their Frimley site.  The aim of the visit was to welcome students to the bank and provide an insight into the world of work and careers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

On arrival the students were addressed by 2 keynote speakers who chatted to the group about their job role and how they got to where they are.  Both hold key management roles in the bank and are directly responsible for large teams of staff. Not every job in the bank is financial, for every banker there are 5 employees doing different roles across the bank. These include working in IT, legal, marketing and events, so there were planet of employment opportunities to discuss.  The group were impressed with the drive of the HR Director who started as a Bank Clerk and is now responsible for all the banks employees around the world.  Although he admitted he would have rather have been a rock star!

After this the students spent an hour ‘career speed networking’ Each student got to spend 5 minutes chatting to 15 different employees from The Bank of America who ranged from new starters to Directors with responsibility for over 40,000 staff.

The students asked some excellent questions and all the representatives from bank were very impressed by them.  Examples of the sorts of questions students asked were:

  • Have you done different kinds of jobs before or is this the only sector in which you have worked?
  • Do you manage other people/are you managed by someone else? What do you think makes a good manager? 
  • Is there anything you would do differently in your education/career path to this point?
  • What are the biggest challenges for you at work?
  • How does your job affect the rest of your daily life?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • Do you have to work with other people or do you mainly work alone?
  • What advice would you give if you had a daughter/son my age?
  • What does a typical day/week look like at work?
  • Is the job what you expected when you entered this industry?

The atmosphere was ‘buzzing’ when were got back on the midi bus to return to College and while not all students wanted to work in a bank they all agreed the experience of chatting one to one with these successful employees was really motivating.  The visit formed part of the students ‘Super Curriculum’ programme which takes place week 2 Tuesday period 5 and aims to enrich the sixth form study experience for all students in the sixth form We hope to increase our links the Bank of America Merrill Lynch who have agreed to come into Collingwood to help us with some aspects of our Business and Economics courses.


Steve McKay

Head of Vocational Education