Careers that make a difference to the UK economy

Colleague case study - Sophie Dale-Black

"I love seeing new products and services reach users and customers, giving businesses new markets to help them to build for the future. "

Sophie Dale-Black
Director, UK Network

A typical day sees me collaborating across the Bank and working with our network of contacts at organisations also working to support smaller businesses in accessing finance.

The UK Network team represents the entire Bank on the ground in England’s regions and the devolved nations so it’s important that I’m up to speed on the very latest from the organisation.

I originally trained in chemistry, including achieving a PhD and undertaking postdoctoral research, before rethinking my interests and moving into relationship and communication driven roles.

This took me on to project consortium development in universities, before holding strategy and communications roles in a national innovation agency.

Most recently, I was the Midlands Director at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

I wasn’t looking for a new role, but because of the great network of contacts I’ve developed through my various roles, I heard about this role with the Bank and had to apply!

Looking back at my first week, I’d recommend meeting with as many people as possible quickly, to get a feel for what colleagues do and how the organisation knits together.

Shortly after I joined, we had a UK Network team away day that gave me plenty of opportunity to learn more about my colleagues, as well as to contribute to new projects.

With past roles working on business-driven programmes at universities and for Innovate UK, I’m motivated by supporting innovative business growth.

I love seeing new products and services reach users and customers, giving businesses new markets to help them to build for the future.

I’ve worked remotely for nearly a decade, and it’s really important to my role that I am out and about across the Midlands and the North of England with my team, meeting with our key stakeholders and speaking with businesses about the finance options available to them.

I lead and contribute to projects right across the Bank, collaborating with many different teams, so being in our Sheffield and London offices occasionally helps with this, alongside our virtual connectivity.

My husband works for a cycling company, so I have grown to love it and we go out together and as part of groups.

One thing I really like about the Bank is the encouragement of volunteering.

I volunteer at the University of Leicester as a Trustee and have recently become Vice Chair of the Governing Council.

This is both great for giving back to my home city, and allows me to develop my skills in strategy, finance, and governance.

I aspire to being a non-executive director of an innovative, science-driven business as my career develops.

Our recruitment guidance

We use a repeatable, four-step process when it comes to recruiting. And, as an equal opportunity employer, we can and will make adjustments to our process depending on what an applicant needs.

We’ve pulled together a useful outline of what our recruitment process looks like, along with some recommendations - and frequently asked questions – for anyone who wants to apply for a role with British Business Bank.