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Siri Reddy 1600X400

Siri Reddy

Sustainability/ESG Analyst

“I sent an email to a top executive asking about our digital transformation journey and competition with Fintech companies with the rise of AI and was surprised when he actually emailed me back responding to the questions and connecting me with the head of strategy/digital/innovation. This is a great reflection on how senior management is invested, approachable and keen to help."

 

Can you share your journey into banking and how you landed your role at Wells Fargo?

I didn’t follow a traditional path into banking. I was studying Social Sciences at UCL and always envisioned working in the International Development sector. I volunteered extensively with NGOs throughout high school and university, even writing my dissertation on the experiences of female ex-prisoners in India with NGO partnerships.

In my second year, I grew disheartened by the limited impact NGOs could make due to their resources, especially during the pandemic. Meanwhile, many of my peers were applying to the banking and finance industry. I realized the significant role banks play in community development and their potential for large-scale positive impact, which led me to apply for a corporate banking internship with Wells Fargo in 2021.

During my internship, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) became a major focus due to extreme weather events and social justice issues. I started doing ESG overviews for clients and quickly developed a passion for it. Upon graduation in 2022, I landed a role in the International ESG team at Wells Fargo.

My advice to students is to explore different areas of banking to find your passion. Wells Fargo has diverse departments, from philanthropy to strategy execution. My passion for community impact helped me stand out in interviews and guided my career choices.

Could you describe your experience on the graduate scheme at Wells Fargo?

Starting the graduate program at Wells Fargo in September 2022 was nerve-wracking, but the support of a cohort of around 20 graduates provided a strong community. Group mentoring sessions with senior leaders were highlights, offering guidance on personal branding, career planning, and networking. These sessions provided a safe space to discuss challenges and aspirations.

A challenge I faced was my limited knowledge of areas outside corporate banking and ESG. The graduate program's monthly Professional Development Program (PDP) sessions, where senior leaders shared insights about their roles and career paths, helped me broaden my understanding. This exposure was invaluable in understanding the bank through an ESG lens and developing a five-year career plan.

What is the culture like at Wells Fargo, and how does it contribute to your professional growth and development as a graduate?

The culture at Wells Fargo, marked by approachable senior management and a supportive environment, was a key reason I returned after my internship. An example is when I sent an email to a top executive asking about our digital transformation journey and competition with Fintech companies with the rise of AI and was surprised when he emailed me back, responding to the questions and connecting me with the head of strategy/digital/innovation. This is a great reflection of how senior management is invested, approachable and keen to help.

Being involved in Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) like Women’s Connection and EIT has fostered inclusivity and belonging, helping me develop crucial skills like communication and public speaking. These networks also expanded my professional connections and provided opportunities for career development.

What are your dreams and aspirations for your future career within Wells Fargo or the banking industry as a whole? How do you see yourself progressing within the company?

As I’ve always been passionate about impact-driven work, I’m enjoying my time as a sustainability analyst at WF and imagine continuing in this area given the climate crisis and urgent action needed from everyone.

In the future, I would love to leverage my sustainability knowledge and skills and experience in corporate banking to progress towards a front-office role within sustainability as and when that area develops more. This would support my passion and support me in having more control over the impact I make being part of the change-making action.

Why would you recommend Wells Fargo as a starting point for someone's career in banking? What sets it apart from other financial institutions, and what opportunities does it offer for career advancement and personal development?

I highly recommend Wells Fargo as a starting point for a career in banking. The culture and people create a supportive environment for personal and professional growth. Wells Fargo offers extensive educational and training resources, networking opportunities, and diverse mentoring programs. Fun initiatives like wellbeing events also contribute to a positive workplace atmosphere.