“People say this a lot, but we really do have the best culture. I wouldn’t consider any other workplace at this point.” — Blake Ward, Lead, Home Loans
It doesn’t take long to figure out that sports are a big part of who Blake Ward is. As a natural athlete, he’s played at least ten different team sports throughout his life, including soccer, basketball, tennis, cricket and AFL.
“At one point I even played representative AFL, and was considering going down this path career-wise.”
“It might be surprising that I’ve chosen a career in an office,” says Blake.
But if you know much about Blake’s career at UBank, it’s not too surprising at all. While he’s had a few different roles, almost all of them loop back to coaching others, finding areas for improvement and working as a team toward one shared goal.
Until recently, Blake worked as one of our business analysts, but is now one of our Leads in the Home Loan Hub, managing an eight-person team who look after home loan application queries and processes.
When asked about his proudest moments, his team player instincts are on full display as he points to more collective success. “I’ve worked across so many projects and teams, it’s hard to pick something specific. I’m proud of my broader impact over the past 12 months – how we’ve all worked together to create a consistent customer experience and meet targets, even throughout COVID-19.”
“It’s also good to see others develop their skills and move up.”
His descriptions of UBank often come back to a united team working together across all levels and a diversity of backgrounds and experience levels. “It’s very easy to communicate with other functions,” says Blake. “The main goal is to make sure customers and employees are happy. It’s such a good place to work because of that.”
“People say this a lot, but we really do have the best culture at UBank. People genuinely care about each other and nothing’s ever too much to ask. I wouldn’t consider any other workplace at this point.”
Away from his team, Blake’s downtime has involved a lot of socially distanced activities to keep his mind and body active. That includes upskilling through Udemy, an online learning portal that UBank provides for employees. Along with leadership and management courses, he’s recently finished one on operational efficiency.
He’s ready for something a little further from home, though. “I spend a lot of time planning future holidays since I can’t go on one now,” explains Blake. “Possibly somewhere in Sri Lanka, India or back to Vietnam since I had to cut my last holiday short.”
Wherever Blake ends up, whether on holiday or in his career, we’re very sure it won’t involve him standing still for long.
A few fun facts about Blake:
- Along with his usual sports and exercise, Blake spent lockdown playing a lot more chess, both with online opponents and his dad.
- Spotify is his non-negotiable app, with music playing a major part in Blake’s life. “Lately I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Tool as well as rediscovering some of the older classics, such as Pink Floyd, Queen and Rush.”
- After years of not getting his mum’s Kath & Kim obsession, he’s now bingeing it – and loving it. “I realised there were a lot of jokes in there you wouldn't understand as a kid.”