Careers City Rising Star Sarah-Jane Court takes some time out of her busy day as a Business Continuity Analyst at RBS and a Chair of Focused women UK North, to share with us her career and current role.
Sarah-Jane joined the group in 2001 from a successful career with an Estate Agency, and is currently a Business Continuity Analyst. Her first role was a Customer Adviser in the picturesque Lake District where her customer service skills shone through quickly. She was soon awarded a place at the annual awards conference where the keynote speaker was none other than Erin Brokovich.
A promotion to Private Mortgage Adviser soon followed where she worked hand in hand with the top performing Private Manager in the area, travelling throughout the North West meeting with and exceeding the needs of a demanding clientele.
Seeking a change in her career, Sarah-Jane took a position in Corporate Documentation in 2007, and it was during her time in this role that she became aware of the Focused Women’s Network. Starting as a volunteer, Sarah-Jane realised straight away that the ideals behind the network and the benefits it can bring to all were something she would love to be more involved with, and she became Communications Manager for the North during Focused Women’s Week 3 years ago. Since then she has moved to her current role of Chair.
Using the great network of contacts that Focused Women has built up, and with the invaluable support of her willing volunteer team, Sarah-Jane has been vey successful in promoting Focused Women throughout the area.
Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of a Business Continuity Analyst and Chair of Focused women UK North
One of our key goals is to put the customer at the forefront of everything we do and our role in Business Continuity is to ensure that this is done in a safe and sound way. To support this CBD has invested in a Central BC team who acts as a champion for all aspects of risk mitigation relating to BC continuity. I work with this Team as a Business Continuity Analyst, and have been in the role for 9 months
My day can be very fluid in its activity depending on audios, meetings and queries, and I am currently working on a number of projects which will provide consistency and improve awareness, across the group in terms of business continuity.
In addition to this role I volunteer as Chair of the Focused Women’s Network UK North. I lead a team of like minded volunteers, and arrange personal development and networking opportunities for our members. FW UK North provides a great many opportunities for our members to challenge themselves and improve their skill set in a unique way. This provide a wonderful opportunity for my own development, as the various activities I am involved with provide me with different challenges to that of my business.
What did you study or what experience did you obtain in order to get in to your current role?
I studied History with Education Studies at University and graduated in 1996. In 2006 I began a Graduate Diploma in Law Distance Learning Course, which I graduated in 2008. Going to University helped me to develop into the person I am, and whilst the degree does not necessarily help with my role I am so glad I had the opportunity to go.
Focused Women provided me with much of the skills needed for my role as Business Continuity Analyst as communication is such a vital part of what I do. I was able to discuss different competencies during my interview that set me part from other applicants.
I think people should take advantage of some of the extra curricular activities that are available to them through networks as they do make a difference.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
Making a difference.
I enjoy the variety of the work, and knowing that I am making a difference to CBD and the Group. When I changed roles 9 months ago I wanted to make a difference and I believe in what I do and know that it counts.
Being Chair of FW UK North is something I am so proud of because again it makes a difference. We get so much positive feedback from our members that I know that the event we arrange are important to them.
Can you tell us a little bit about what is great about working for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group?
There are two things that really stand out for me. Firstly, the Group really believes that Diversity and Inclusion will make a difference to the Bank, and see this as the way forward. Its not all about reporting and the bottom line. By ensuring its employees are developed we are better placed to ensure our customers needs are understood and addressed, Secondly, its the people. I have worked for RBS for 12 years and have met some great people along the way. Some individuals are really driven to make a difference to themselves and the group.
Do you network either internal or externally?
I arrange networking and development events for FW in Manchester, and I am currently talking with Bank of New York Mellon about arranging a Networking event in Manchester for professionals.
Networking is such a vital part of what we do and it makes doing business a little bit easier sometimes. I love being part of the Focused Women’s network and I am passionate about all the activities it delivers to its members.
Its a members network run by the members for the members and that’s a big thing to be proud of when you think of how it has grown over the years.
Tell us about your own career aspirations?
I want to be happy and effective in my role. For me its not all about getting to the next position but about doing my job well. I am proud of the two roles I currently have, both for my business and for FW, and as long as I continue to be happy and remain passionate about I do, and believe I make a difference I am not looking to change.
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in your profession?
Be yourself not what someone else thinks you should be.
Whatever role you do, in order to do it well you need to be yourself to fulfill your potential. Its no good trying to be someone else or living up to someone’s else expectations. You will fail.
You know how good you are, so deliver it. Only you can. You can make that decision for yourself.