Worked within credit product control, assisting with daily reporting of P&L, reconciliation between reporting systems, balance sheet verification and price testing.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The experience as a whole was good and I met some great people, but ultimately my enjoyment was limited by the fact that finance simply isn't for me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Naturally this varied from colleague to colleague. For the most part I think I was given a lot of respect and made to feel welcome, but occasionally I was treated like I was just getting in the way.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Again extremely variable. Sometimes I was talked through tasks in detail and given lots of guidance, other times I was given a task to do which had barely been explained to me and resulted in me getting confused and lost. For the first half of the internship my line manager was only in on 3 days or so, which made it difficult to find my feet.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the first few weeks I had very little to do and ended up sitting around doing nothing for hours at a time. Later on in the internship my workload varied wildly. Because almost all tasks I was given were urgent and would get sent to me at random intervals, my workload would fluctuate between me being snowed under and with have nothign to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was doing most of the main tasks of the other employees, minus a few of the more technical aspects, and often completely unsupervised. The work I was preparing I was sending out to managing directors in America etc. so there was a surprising amount of responsibility handed to me.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My Excel skills have definitely improved, but honestly I don't think anything else I've learnt is transferable to the things I am likely to do in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was reasonably laid back, but my social interaction with the team was quite limited. During the 10 weeks I was there I can only recall them going out after work once and even then not everyone turned up.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The program as a whole and the communication from HR was very good. The information we received before starting kept us well informed and prepared for the internship. There was a useful induction week and plenty of events to attend throughout the internship such as talks from senior management.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were a number of presentations at the beginnning of the internship and also a few scattered throughout the 10 weeks, however many of them I found to be somewhat interesting, but laregely irrelevant to what I was doing. Training specific to my role was almost entirely on the job and there wasn't much group training for the finance interns.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate program looks to me to be very well structured and well laid out, taking you through either CIMA or ACA. However for me it is not appealing as I have decided this is not an area I want to go into.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The finance interns all seemed to get on together really well, and we were encouraged to keep in touch by being given work to complete as a group and also by socials organised by our graduate 'buddies'. There was some interaction with interns from other areas, but this was fairly limited from my perspective.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It's London... everything is expensive. I was lucky and got a good deal on my accomodation through a friend, but most people should expect to be paying a lot for even the basics such as a place to stay and food.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again... it's London... there is pretty much everything you could want. Plenty of nice bars around the offices where other employees tend to visit, so good networking opportunities as well as nice ways to unwind.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
We all took part in some charity work at the start of the internship, helping children to draw illustrations for a book which was great fun. In addition to that there was a rounders tournament for all of finance, and various activities organised for interns. Most of these however were in the first few weeks, after which it quietened down somewhat.