Tesco Bank and Black Professional Scotland driving diversity and inclusion

Blog written by Fiona Allan, Senior Clubcard Proposition Manager at Tesco Bank

Through our great collaboration with Fintech Scotland, we received an introduction to Black Professionals Scotland and over time have built up a strong relationship where we have been able to grow our participation with their excellent internship programme.

As a business, we are passionate about increasing the diversity of our workforce and making sure we can support those from under-represented backgrounds. In our most recent intake, we welcomed 16 interns from Black Professional Scotland to join us for our 12-week internship program.

Tawa joined us in Oct of last year as Innovation & Loyalty intern. She hit the ground running having finished her Master’s degree at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen just days before starting with us! This was the first time we had welcomed an intern to our team, and we were excited to get Tawa involved in the work we lead on proposition development and Clubcard.

When designing the intern experience, it was really important that we focused on giving our intern the most breadth in terms of their experience and visibility right across the Tesco group. Tawa’s project focus was developing Clubcard propositions, specifically looking at how we bring the best of Clubcard to our travel propositions.

During Tawa’s first couple of weeks, I set her up with induction meetings with colleagues from across the business. Having never working in Financial Services before, I was keen for her to build a solid foundation with an understanding of our products, how they worked, and our relationship with the wider Tesco group. Tawa found these initial meetings extremely valuable and continued to build these positive relationships with her stakeholders throughout her internship.

Personal development is something we’re very passionate about here at Tesco Bank, and during the 12 weeks we had together, I was keen to do everything I could to help her build a clear focus on her development. We found Tawa a mentor to help support her and offer some guidance on navigating the next steps in her career and the world of Tesco. We set three core focus areas for development and supported her to build her skills in presenting, storytelling, and stakeholder management.

Tawa was based in Aberdeen, so we agreed that she would commute to Edinburgh 1-2 days per week to get face time with the team and work remotely for the rest of the week. This time in the office was extremely valuable for Tawa to build relationships and spend time with the other interns. In addition to her time working in the Edinburgh office, Tawa also made time to attend multiple industry events, including a FinTech Scotland conference, a day spent with our Customer Service teams in Glasgow, and networking events organised by Black Professional Scotland.

Mid-way through the internship, I organised a trip down to Tesco HQ in Welwyn Garden City. Although her internship was with the Bank, I wanted Tawa to have the opportunity to see and experience as much of the wider Tesco business as possible. This trip gave Tawa the opportunity to step out of the world of finance and into the world of food, where she met colleagues working in the wider Clubcard team and even had time for a tour of the Tesco innovation hub, Tesco labs.

Having Tawa in the team for 12 weeks was hugely valuable, not only was she a pleasure to work with, but she was also a valued member of the team who brought an incredibly insightful outside perspective. She challenged and expanded our thinking, while giving a clear recommendation for her project on future Clubcard travel propositions.

It was a pleasure to watch Tawa develop and grow in confidence throughout her internship and I know she’ll go on to be a huge success in whatever she does. Tawa has now successfully secured a working Visa for the UK and is looking for permanent jobs. She knows she has allies at Tesco Bank that she can call on, and a mentor in me who will support her in any way I can.

I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Black Professionals Scotland again to welcome another intern to our team and help offer more opportunities to diversify the workforce within the FinTech industry. Thanks again to our continued strong collaboration with Fintech Scotland, being able to make these powerful connections in the industry.