1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the summer internship. Firstly, the nature of the work carried out was very interesting, ranging from commercial/marketing tasks to technical/valuation exercices. It really is up to you to steer the work you are doing towards your preferences. Personally I was very interested in getting technical exposure, and this was very welcomed and encouraged by the team through giving me indicative valuation scenarios to play around with, along with the implied exercices such as sensitivity analyses and ratio calculations. Secondly, I got along well with many members of the team, which made the whole experience enjoyable, regardless of the difficulty and sometimes challenging working hours.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Personally I have never had to ask myself this question: from day one you are a full member of the team. People trusted me and regularly checked if everything was ok and/or if I needed help with something. I have also had the chance to attend client meetings in their office, which was an amazing experience.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The team staffer always made it a point to check if I had enough work, but also if I had too much work to handle. He also made efforts to follow up with analysts and associates on the team to watch over me and see if I needed guidance or extra support on things I had not had exposure to before.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Throughout the day different team members followed up with me to check if I had extra capacity to take on their tasks. If not, they would gladly come back later and run through what they needed help with. The great aspect of team staffing at the company was that people did not feel the need to give me unnecessary tasks when there was relatively not much to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
At this firm you really feel like you make a real contribution, with a direct impact on clients. Also, colleagues trust you to deliver quality work, which creates an atmosphere where every team member has the responsibility to uphold the standard of excellence that the firm embraces and realises in an unparalleled fashion.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I can say with confidence that I have acquired a variety of skills. The type of training you get at this firm goes beyond the realm of quantitative, strictly task-based skillsets but equips you with qualitative know-how that you can use in the finance industry and beyond. I feel I have become a better analyst on both analytical and impersonal levels.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was one of camaraderie, where you are welcomed and encouraged to ask questions and interact with your peers. I personally enjoyed it because everyone was friendly and the team was so diverse, so it's never a dull day at the office if you're willing to take the initiative!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well organised compared to some of the other work places I have experienced in the past. The program provided the opportunities to interact with other interns and senior bankers, as well as events and challenges to break the ice and broaden our skill sets. I was honestly impressed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
From day one, you can see that the firm invests in you, through the time that team members put aside to explain and share their industry or company knowledge. Furthermore, the quality of databases and program at my disposal showed that the firm is willing to take the extra step to ensure I can do the job to the best of my abilities, which is in both the firm's and my interests!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would be more than happy to invest myself in a firm that invests in me. I truly feel this is a firm that will help me reach my potential and equip me with the skills necessary in becoming a well-rounded investment banker. The people at the firm are great, and I would love to work in such an environment.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The firm provided a variety of occasions to 'break the ice' and get to know each other in an informal setting. Although we were all different, a lot of us shared many things in common, hence it was a lot of fun getting to know people and organising events together on the weekend.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Although the prices around were not the cheapest, the fact that we had a subsidised canteen and gym helped a lot. It really depends on what type of social scene you are seeking, but the company does all it can to help you out with other things so you do not need to worry about infamous London prices and costs of living!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
London has it all. The office is very central, so it is easy to get around and make it to bars. London itself is a very vibrant city, and has a lot of things to offer - for all tastes. I personally really enjoyed the summer thanks to the variety of things I could do in my free time, from restaurants to nice piano bars.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Definitely - I personally enjoy doing sports, and successfully planned it around my work schedule. The proximity of gyms and leisure centres also made it very easy to fit these types of activities around my schedule. As a result, it is really what you make of it, depending on what sports, hobbies or activities you wish to engage in.