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A day in the life of…
Risk Graduate at NAB
Nathan Crepin graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) / Master of Engineering from The University of Queensland in 2016, and is now a Risk Graduate at NAB.
I wake up at least 6 minutes before my alarm goes off. I decide to take it as a good sign for the day ahead… so long as I disable it before it goes off. As I jump out of bed and shake off the sleep, I stretch and yawn my way into the kitchen to turn on the kettle. Picking a shirt and tie is the first dilemma of the day, and easily the most difficult. Breakfast and brushing of teeth happen in quick succession before I am out the door at 7:45 AM.
I arrive at work and queue up for the lift. First task: check emails and calendar for the day. Once I arrive at my desk I set up my laptop and get comfortable. The best part about being a grad is that I have the “golden ticket” to explore any part of the company – something that makes checking my emails an exciting process. Today I have an invitation from a General Manager in Technology Risk to crunch some data around how different parts of the enterprise manage Business Disruption, as well as a recommendation to read a linked paper on Ethical Data Use.
Emails all checked – time for my first meeting. Today is particularly exciting: a process of profiling the skills of Risk management teams is about to come to fruition and will be presented to our council on risk governance & skills. My part in this process was compiling and analysing skills self-assessments to find out where we can leverage the expertise of our employees to uplift our capability across divisions.
Time for a coffee… and a catch up! Most days I spend around an hour meeting with grads and other NAB employees that I have worked with to find out more about their role and the part of the business they work in. Networking was always something I struggled with at uni, but now I have a clear idea of how to approach people for coffee: explain that you are a graduate wanting to learn more about them and their role, and offer to lend a hand so you can gain experience. That plus buying the coffee makes a great impression and helps you to find your place in the company. Proactive working relationships give rise to positive personal brand!
After the coffee break the caffeine kicks in, which is a great time to smash through some analysis on our Operational Risk Profile for our Business Lending Portfolio. We are looking to refresh the risks and controls we have listed in our systems, which means working out where the low-hanging fruit is (i.e. data quality issues) and recommendations on the “picture of what good looks like”. Excel skills are universally applicable in my job.
Time for lunch! Some days I will go out to a restaurant with work friends or sit in one of the work kitchens, but today I found a quiet spot to read that Ethical Data Use paper while eating. My favourite meal today: leftover fusilli bolognese with a pine orange juice popper. My yardstick for whether my cooking tastes good is if it passes the “leftover lunch” taste test (this one certainly does).
I’m attending a showcase on our data analytics capability uplifts and what this means for the future of Customer Experience and project workflow at NAB. We partner with many large fintech companies to deliver the right capabilities to our customers. My key takeaway from this showcase is the following steps: 1) start with the business question, 2) find the data that holds the answer, 3) get your best data analysts/scientists to analyse the data and derive the answers you need, and 4) weave your findings into a story to make it easy to share and influence business leaders towards making the right decisions.
After a short walk over to one of our other buildings, I have a meeting with the Head of Pricing & Portfolio Management to form an approach to oversight of the models his team uses to price and manage our loan portfolio. In simple terms this involves assessing the documentation and periodic validations of the relevant models to make sure they are being managed in accordance with our model risk policy.
Time to dial-in to a meeting with our Cyber Security team to hear about the shifts in the cyber threat landscape and improvements to our control environment that have occurred in the last month. My role in this conversation is to note how these observations can be reflected in our monthly cyber security report.
The last item on my list for today is to tidy up a model on Sovereign Risk for our Procurement team. This involves crunching some numbers on risk indices to work out what kind of considerations we will need to make when selecting vendors for offshoring and outsourcing. I am particularly proud of this piece of work as it uses almost all of my Excel knowledge to calculate and clearly display the results.
Some days I stay back to get more work done or engage in some extracurricular learning with other grads, but today I decide to head to the gym after work. After quickly checking my emails and calendar items for tomorrow, I pack up and catch a train on the way to my gym. I stop off at my place on the way to get changed and pick up my gear.
After a great gym session and a refreshing shower, I cook dinner and listen to some podcasts. On the menu tonight is chicken tikka masala and an interview with American neuroscientist and author Sam Harris.
I brush my teeth and hop into bed, with a bit of reading before I nod off. “We Have a Deal: How to Negotiate with Intelligence, Flexibility and Power” [Natalie Reynolds]. A fantastic read and pertinent to a career built on stakeholder engagement and negotiating time commitments. With each turn of the page my eyelids droop, and shortly I decide it is time to sleep. A quick check of the clock tells me it is 10:54PM. I decide that’s a good sign for the day ahead.
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