1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a great summer at the Bank of England, met a lot of really nice people and had some great work experience. My team was really friendly and keen for me to get as much as possible out of the experience. It also has a great working culture – it was nice to have an office gym. The only reason I put 9 instead of 10 is that I don't think I would want to go into the area in which I worked (HR), but it was good to have the chance to try it.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I had regular meetings with my manager and other members of the team, who gave feedback on my work and made sure I was happy and doing things I found interesting. My manager also made sure that any good work was passed on to the team leader so she knew what I was getting up to and achievements were recognised.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Managers in the team set up meetings with other teams so I could find out more about what happens in other parts of the Bank and get advice on best practice. They also set up regular catch ups to check on my progress and make sure I hadn’t encountered too many difficulties.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload did vary quite a lot, and especially at the start of the placement I was often unsure what I was supposed to be doing. However after I built up the confidence to ask for more tasks, and got a better idea of how things worked in the team, I was always busy. I was never so busy that I had to work longer hours, although I did work through lunch a few times.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
By the end of the placement, I had been given a lot more responsibility than I had expected. I was giving presentations to large audiences and arranging events for potential applicants to attend, contacting external partners and universities, and meeting with senior staff. It was a fantastic experience in terms of the range of work I was able to do.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I don’t think the skills I developed will impact my degree, but I’m sure that they will come in handy for future jobs and job applications. It’s also a very prestigious organisation which will look great on my CV, and I want to work in the public sector so having exposure to the internal workings will also be useful.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Of course people worked very hard and there were definitely high expectations over what you would achieve, so at times it could feel quite pressurised. However all my colleagues were very friendly and eager to help, so that was never a problem. The working environment was relaxed and open, with good facilities for staff.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the internship was well organised once we arrived at the Bank – these was a formal induction process where you could meet the other interns and some staff from different areas came to gives speeches on useful topics (payroll etc). However before we started there wasn’t much communication, and a number of people were not sure which division or team they would be working in.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It varied a lot depending on what team you were in, but I was lucky and my team were really keen for me to get as much out of the experience as possible. I met with colleagues from around the Bank to have briefings on what they did, and I was given stretching tasks to develop my skills set. There were lunchtime briefings for the whole intern cohort, but these were not that useful on the whole unfortunately.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would definitely consider going on to the grad scheme at the Bank, as there are a wide range of interesting roles which you could take on. The pay is not as high as the private sector, but the work-life balance is much better and for me that’s a bigger priority.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We all started on the same day and ended up getting to know eachother pretty well. We met up for lunch most days and also went out after work about once a week. The HR staff managing the internship were also really friendly and made it a great social experience for us by putting on social events etc.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
To be honest it is really expensive to buy lunch or go out for drinks in the area. There is a really well subsidised staff canteen, which meant you didn’t have to go buy lunch outside, but to go out for team drinks was expensive. Also the cost of rent and/or commuting was high, and for some people not covered by the salary we received.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
It’s central London so there are a lot of places to go but these can be very pricey. We did go out a lot as a group of interns, which was a real advantage of all starting at the same time and knowing one another. There was also a subsidised social at the start of the internship which was a nice way of us getting to know eachother (and not having to spend too much money).
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are volunteering and sports opportunities within the Bank, but I didn’t really get involved with them so I’m not sure how active they are. The Bank also has different ‘networks’ (e.g. LGBT+, Carers’ network) for people to meet others in a similar situation as them and get support or just socialise.