Tell us about your role & a bit about your career background.
After graduating from university with a degree in Economics and Spanish I initially wanted to pursue a career in law. I started the Graduate Diploma in Law, but soon decided the financial sector was actually where I wanted to work and so found myself doing a U-turn! I started my journey at Triodos in the Customer Operations department, where I was involved in a whole range of tasks dealing with both Personal and Business Banking customers. After spending a year in this area of the bank, an opportunity arose in the Finance department, a team that had interested me for a while. This is where I currently work, and I'm very happy to have ended up here as I think it's where I'm best suited.
Why did you choose to come and work at Triodos?
I first heard about Triodos while at university. I was very interested in finance being used as a tool for improving our society and the environment, and when I came across Triodos I was amazed at how few other organisations there were in the financial sector that shared Triodos’ mission and values. I remember sending an email to Triodos’ HR department fairly soon after, asking if they offered any internships. They didn’t at the time, but Triodos always lingered at the back of my mind as a place that I’d like to work at one day. Little did I know that I’d end up here a couple of years later.
How does the work you do within your role/department contribute to the mission of Triodos and what we are trying to achieve?
My first role at the bank was a customer facing one and so my contribution to Triodos felt much more outward looking, with opportunities to interact with customers, understand why they choose to bank with Triodos, and how the bank’s mission compliments their own values. My current role and contribution to Triodos are very different as they centre much more on the bank itself. With the Finance team being a core part of the business, having a hand in so many areas, I really enjoy being able to interact and work directly with lots of teams around the bank. So, in these different roles I feel I’ve been able to contribute to the bank in different ways. Recently I’ve got involved in Triodos’ Ambassadors Programme, through which I’ll be able to represent Triodos at external events and interact with a wider audience.
Can you describe what a typical day looks like within your role at Triodos Bank?
I usually get to my desk around 8:30, and my first task of the day is probably my most important. It involves preparing a liquidity report which helps us to ensure the bank has enough available cash to cover immediate need, comply with internal policies and regulatory limits. Liquidity is a crucial aspect of a bank’s ability to operate, and I’ve found it a really fascinating part of my role. It usually takes up the first half of my morning, by which point I’m ready for a tea – an unhealthy amount of tea, chocolate and spreadsheets are consumed in the Finance team. The rest of my day can be filled with quite a variety of tasks, including month end financial reporting and analysis, accounts payable and receivable controlling, risk reporting and project work. There’s always a lot to do and the days go by very quickly!
What makes Triodos Bank different to other companies you have worked for?
I've actually been quite fortunate that a couple of companies I've worked for, although completely different organisations, have had quite similar cultures and values. As part of my university course, I spent a year working for an organisation in Chile which was partly involved in sustainability and the renewable energy sector. Like that organisation, Triodos is very open and vocal about the change it wanted to see in the world; it seeks to keep its own carbon footprint as low as possible; and its culture is open and welcoming, not very stuffy, yet hard working and principled. As I said, I've been very lucky!
What does it feel like to work at Triodos?
When you work at Triodos it soon becomes clear that the majority of co-workers have a reason or motivation for working here which goes far beyond the job itself. This was clear to me within my first few hours of starting, when I attended my first Monday morning co-worker meeting (every Monday morning the whole bank comes together to listen to what different teams around the bank have been up to). The topic this particular morning was the bank's roots and where its values come from, which was a great starting point for working here. It's normal that at the end of a long week Triodos' mission isn't at the forefront of my mind, but the Monday morning meetings do a great job of helping to remind me of the deeper meaning behind my day to day job.
What do you like/love about the workplace and the people who work here?
You don't have to step far into the building to see that Triodos is different to most other businesses, in particular the thought that has gone into how the space and the features of the building are used to benefit co-workers. I recently gave some tours of our building to the public during Bristol Doors Open Day, and it did make me realise how lucky we are. Our top floor is without a doubt my favourite area of the building, with the amazing view over Bristol, the space to relax and have lunch, and the table tennis table which comes out every so often! Aside from the building, we have a decent football team and a Social Committee that does a great job of getting everyone together outside of work - the boat cruise we had around Bristol during the summer was a memorable one!
How has Triodos Bank had an impact on you?
From a finance perspective, I've become much more aware of how my own savings can be put to better use. The concept of 'sustainable banking' still seems like quite a foreign concept to many of my friends and family, so I quite enjoy telling them about the good their money can actually do, and the positive impact that Triodos and the organisations it finances are having. I've also become much more aware of the impact my own life can have on the world's resources. Triodos does a great job of sourcing as much as possible from sustainable (and often local) suppliers; from furniture to washing up liquid, fruit to paper. This has made me question what I buy and some of the daily choices I make.
What do you do in your free time?
I do a lot of running and love getting very wet and muddy (and sometimes quite lost) in the countryside around Bristol. I also play a bit of clarinet, and once a month I get involved in Bristol Soup Run (serving meals to the homeless around the city). I've recently started studying for an accounting qualification, so for the foreseeable future a lot of my time will be dedicated to that.
We are all different as individuals, but what do you think is the common thread through all Triodos Co-workers.
To be honest I'd never really used the word 'co-worker' before coming to Triodos, but the word does have a sense of community about it; one where people are working together towards a common goal. But as I mentioned earlier, I believe that this goal for many co-workers at Triodos goes beyond the normal day to day work-related ambitions. Co-workers are aligned with the values that the bank has and the vision of a more sustainable world which it strives for. It's this, together with the wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and interests that our co-workers bring to the organisation, that make it all possible.
How would you describe Triodos Bank in one word?