The hours are 9-5 but will vary depending on local need and your work. However the finance scheme comes with a significant academic workload too most of which you will need to manage in your own time.
In strategic roles this can be easier and your hours more flexible eg 8-4 or 9-5.
In an operational role it can be more difficult and you may end up doing a few more hours - just make sure it’s all within reason and you get some hours back for it, I’ve found some of the best learning in ops happens early morning or end of day, but when I’m not on duty I make sure I leave on time and will often finish at 3 a few times a month to make sure there’s balance.
I’d say be honest and talk to your manager about the expectations
I have found in the corporate environment of finance, it is very easy to only work the hours that you should be (when comparing office life to my previous career).
I believe Lex is talking about the General Management stream, which has far more "fire-fighting" and unavoidable and unpredictable demands. I was anticipating this sort of work on the Scheme and have found reality to be a little different. Be sure to understand which stream trainees are on when you read their blogs and soundbites.
However, the academic demands of the scheme are significant and if, like me, you have no finance experience or background, you will likely find the exams and the EGA (during first year) to be a significant drain on your personal time. The finance qualification is condensed over 2.5 years, rather than the recommended 3 years, and you are juggling lots of other learning and training.
If you have a finance qualification already, then you'll be laughing!
Speaking about finance:
It's very easy to do the required 37.5 hours/week when we're actually in the office.
However, with exams and lectures we are very often required to do significant amounts of revision in our own time. These 'heavy periods' are only for 2-3 weeks pre-exams and I'd say that on balance I still get plenty of time to enjoy personal activities.
Overall I'd say that the work-life balance is exceptional and I never feel obliged to work extra office hours.
Having read others comments, many points have been covered. The only thing I may be able to add is from the perspective of a parent. I do not feel that the work hours of a general management trainee are more or less demanding than any other full time role. Nor that it is in any way unmanageable along family life. As others have raised, there is a level of self discipline required, it’s really easy to get sucked into the job role you hold in placement and it’s important to remember that the scheme is about your wider development. Additionally if there are ever concerns around the level or amount of work being asked of you there are supports in place, such as the leadership academy.
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