From the Army to HSBC, by Angus Hutchinson

Angus Hutchinson, Global Training Manager, Commercial Banking at HSBC, shares his transition journey experiences and insights.

Tell me about your military career
I spent 18 years in the Royal Horse Artillery as a field gunner, leaving as a Major in 2002. While serving I was seconded to various training roles, including as a platoon commander at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and senior officer for artillery at the Combined Armed Tactics Course for majors.

Why did you leave the Army?
I had reached a point in where I could continue to progress in the Army, or start a new career. Plus I didn’t want to stay and risk no longer enjoying being in the Armed Forces, especially as none of the possible future roles appealed.

How did you get your first job after the Army?
A friend offered me a job at a small training company that worked mainly in the Far East, before I had even left the Army. Unfortunately, this was not the right role for me. There wasn’t enough work and everything was done on a tight budget, so I soon left.

What advice do you have for people transitioning from the Armed Forces?
Take advantage of all the resettlement training while you’re still serving. I didn’t because I had quickly secured a job, but this meant I lacked the skills to choose the right one for me. I later went on the career advice courses but had to pay for them, because I was no longer serving.

You should also research the roles and organisations that interest you. Look online, network and ask for unpaid work experience, or short term contracts.

How did you start working at HSBC?
I registered with the OA and had a free career consultation. Later, I saw on the OA Executive Jobs Board that HSBC were looking for relationship managers. At first I dismissed the role, thinking that banking was not for me. However, two days later a friend (also a former officer) told me that he had spoken to the recruiter and thought I would be a suitable candidate. I then spoke to the recruiter myself, and quickly realised that it would be a great role for me.

After applying, I got an interview and then was offered the job. I’m still working for HSBC 14 years later!

Tell me about your career at HSBC
I joined as a relationship manager, so I managed the financial and banking arrangements for smaller businesses in a region.

After three years I was ready for a change and took up a new role, which meant working in retail banking for the first time. I found that year tough, because every situation was new. Fortunately, my military training really helped, because I was experienced at building relationships with people who had different skills to solve problems.

After a year I wanted to move back into training, because that is what I had enjoyed most in the Army. Having gained the relevant experience as I had been advised when I first arrived, through my network, I found an internal role training new managers banking skills. Then after two years I successfully applied to become team leader for the Commercial Banking Training Team.

I was unexpectedly approached by colleagues from the US branch of HSBC to fulfil a similar role but covering all of North America. I accepted and lived in New York with my family for two years, travelling across the continent. I loved the job, but returned to the UK for family reasons in 2013.

My latest role is at the Group’s UK headquarters in London. I am again working for the Commercial Learning Team, but in a more wide ranging global role.

What is it like to work for HSBC?
I can’t speak highly enough of the bank. It has been hugely supportive, and given me some great opportunities.

What advice would you give to Service leavers?
Make the most of the resettlement system, and don’t leave any stone unturned. It will really help you.

Also, don’t jump into the first role that comes along, and think carefully before committing to a new role. However, if you do go for the first job offered, keep an open mind. Try to gain as much varied experience as possible.

What military skills will help in transition?
Your relationship skills will give you an advantage. The ability to talk to everyone, from Generals to private soldiers, will help you in whatever organisation you work for.

People with military experience usually have excellent organisational skills. The ability to plan under pressure; keep a level head and focus on the task on hand will help make you a real asset and is advantageous in many jobs.

What are the benefits of Insight Days?
Insight days are really important, because they give you vital experience and a broader breadth of knowledge of what is available. They also help to build your network.

HSBC UK Military Recruitment Scheme Insight Events

HSBC is offering talented military leavers and veterans a six-month paid role from May 2018, within established teams across its global businesses and functions in the UK. Participants will receive training, mentorship and networking, and afterwards could have the opportunity to redeploy in another role.

To help potential applicants learn more about the scheme, HSBC are running two Insight Events:

  • Monday 22nd January 2018 – Birmingham
  • Friday 26th January – London

To register your interest, contact the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) Central Bookings Team on 0203 162 4410 or email CTPEvents@ctp.org.uk. You will then receive a confirmation email if you have secured a place, with joining instructions for the event.