It's been an extremely rewarding experience and I'm very glad I did it.
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From the very start I felt like I was viewed as a valuable member of the team, not 'just an intern'.
My manager has been great at providing the right level of support without micro-managing.
Some days I was very busy and others not so much - I guess it balanced out?
I was given just as much responsibility as any team member.
I'm pretty certain the skills I've developed during my time at UBS will make my final year at Uni much more successful, and will be useful in any graduate job - plus it's helped my CV quite a lot.
The atmosphere in the office was generally pretty good. I can't say I spoke to everyone regularly, but most people were happy to have a chat by the coffee machine or go for drinks after work. Occasionally you'd hear someone having a bit of a strong discussion over the phone, but that's about it for any negativity.
The overall work placement was organised quite well, but there could have been more support from the placement people in HR. I know there were a number of interns, including myself, who emailed with questions regarding holiday time etc, and found that a lot of chasing was required to get an answer.
In terms of formal training, there are a lot of opportunities to do various courses with the 'Business University', which I didn't take advantage of as much as I wish I had. In terms of personal development, my manager was always very keen to encourage me to build on my skills.
UBS does have a very good Graduate Training Program, however it does not extend to my department, so for me there is no direct route to a graduate role. More broadly, future employment prospects within the financial services industry as a whole are not as appealing as they once were, and UBS is probably no exception to that.
There was not much of a social scene amongst the interns, unfortunately. The vast majority of the interns I met in the induction I never saw again, which was a real shame, and I think that's one of the main areas the placement could have been improved. It would be nice to have more of a network between the inters, maybe have some events set up.
Cost of living and socialising in central London is obviously pretty high. There are usually more affordable options if you look hard enough, but if you don't watch out, you'll find your money will disappear quite quickly. The cost of drinks is obviously pretty extortionate, but you'll also find your lunch bill racking up, so bringing in your own lunch could be a good idea if you're organised enough (I'm not).
While socialising in London, as above, is pretty expensive, at least there is a wide range of options to choose from in terms of nightlife. In the City you'll find much more in the way of bars rather than clubs. Broadgate Circle in particular is always buzzing on a summer evening, particularly Thursdays.
There are a few clubs and societies at UBS, but none that are very high profile. There are however a lot of volunteering opportunities, many of which are involved with the Bridge Academy – an independent state secondary school in Hackney which is UBS’s flagship community affairs programme in the UK.