Career story: from graduate to chartered in banking

14 February, 2022Juno Baker

Dunston Pisani has been working in banking for five years and is already chartered. He shares his story of working towards the Advanced Diploma in Banking & Finance (AdvDipB&F), how it’s helped perform in his job and helped him progress his career.

Dunston Pisani and Rob ThompsonWhen he joined HSBC UK Contact Centre after higher education, Dunston Pisani knew he wanted to progress.

“I got my first opportunity to study with LIBF 12 months after I started working at HSBC,” he says.  “I was introduced to LIBF by HSBC, HSBC offered to pay for my course, so I went for CertRBCB.” The learning gave him “valuable insight” which helped him in his day-to-day job – particularly coaching and leading people.

“The accreditation made it easier for me to land a management position. Passing the exam gave me a sense of accomplishment, I wanted to experience again.”

So he started looking at other qualifications and realised he could use the Professional Qualifications Framework (PQF) to tailor his own pathway to becoming chartered in banking. It would mean years of study –first to achieve the Professional Diploma in Banking & Finance (PDipB&F) and then the AdvDipB&F.

“It’s a long journey but I knew eventually, step by step, I’ll get there.”

Five years later, Dunston is the first person in Malta to attain chartered status and now sits on the committee of the Institute of Financial Services in Malta. So how did he go from graduate employee to chartered status so quickly?

Fitting study around work

“Sacrifices, hard work and a lot of planning,” he says.

He set aside time during the week and at weekends to study. “Then closer to the exam I’d book two weeks leave so I had more time to prepare for the exam itself. It was pretty much sacrificing a bit of leisure so I could do more studying.”

After CertRBCB, Dunston studied the Certificate in Risk and Regulation in Banking (RRB) followed by Professional Conduct and Ethics (5PCE), which is compulsory in the PQF.

Dunston found 5PCE invaluable. “Being exposed to different ethical dilemmas and practical scenarios, different decision-making frameworks, helped me mature and learn how to make better decisions.”

He took advantage of the flexibility LIBF exams offer, sitting them when he was ready rather than having to wait. “That really helped me,” he says because he was able to progress at his own pace.

For stage 2 of the PQF, Dunston chose:

  • Strategic Management and Innovation in Banking (SMIB)
  • Managing Operational Risk and Governance (MOPR), and
  • Financial Risk Management in Banks (FRMB).

He particularly enjoyed FRMB “because it had a lot of analytics and I like working with data and telling a story with data. That course really went into detail on how to make better informed decisions by looking at what the data is telling you”.

How studying helps career progression

As Dunston worked through the PQF and achieved the Advanced Diploma, his reputation began to precede him. “It put me on the map. People I hadn’t interacted with knew who I was. That’s why I say it improved my professional status.”

It’s helped on a practical level too.

“I’ve built tools for managers so that they can make better decisions and make their lives easier,” says Dunston. “This is what I like about all these courses – you can adapt them to various roles.”

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