Providing advice on pension investments to trustees of pension schemes.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I got real work to complete for real clients. This allowed me to learn a lot within the 9 weeks I was working there. Although the learning curve was steep, colleagues were always more than happy to help answer my (many) questions.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues seemed to really appreciate the help, this was especially true for the graduates who have a very heavy work load at times. I worked on tasks directly for managers too, it was nice to feel like they trusted me to complete the work to a high standard for them.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support and guidance we received was continuous. I could ask questions to any member of the team at any time and receive a full and enthusiastic explanation. We also had regular private catch up meetings with both graduates and managers, so we could ask questions in a more private setting. Asking questions was really encouraged.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The nature of the work meant it came in ebbs and flows. However, we had a team charity project to work on which helped fill any gaps in our day. Towards the end of the internship I was very busy, which was great. It was a little slow to start with, but I think that is to be expected.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
We were given real work for real clients which was a huge responsibility. We also had to check other colleagues work (grads mostly) before it got sent to a manager which felt like a lot of responsibility for an intern. Overall the level of responsibility was higher than what I had anticipated which was a positive thing.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Skills such as leadership, creative thinking and presentation skills have been focused on hugely during the team charity project. These skills will help me really stand out in university group projects when I go back to study next year. My Microsoft excel skills have also improved massively, which will help with the technical aspects of my degree. The 9 weeks was a steep learning curve and definitely a worthwhile investment of my time.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atomosphere was very laid back. The team operates a hot desk policy, meaning nobody has an assigned desk. This meant you could be sitting next to another intern one day and a partner in the firm the next. The team in Bristol was quite young and everyone was keen to socialise together. I felt very comfortable and was warmly welcomed into the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The charity project was an incredible piece of organisation. Every team had a different charity and we worked closely with a representative from that charity in establishing their needs over the 9 weeks. This culminated in a presentation day at the end. They did organise a last minute session in London for people wanting to know more about the business as a whole and how other teams fit into that. I was unable to attend as it was so last minute. If they run the same Session next year I believe they will notify interns at an earlier stage.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The 'Aon university' online courses were what consumed my first week as an intern. There was a technical training day with members of the business too which was very useful before starting. During the 9 weeks the investment in me was notable. Any particular areas of work I was interested in were made available for me to work on. Any questions I had were explained without Issue.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The training Aon provide to their graduates is exemplary. I would relish the opportunity to work their in the future. They are one of the best firms to complete CFA or Actuary professional qualifications with, allowing as many as 40 study's days per year. The career progression within the firm seems good too, with managers actively encouraging people to 'move up the ladder'.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene amongst students in Bristol was not as good as the London office. This is due to the fact that we only had 3 interns in the office. We did socialise together, but mostly the socialising was done with the team as a whole. The team regularly did lunches out and had drinks together after work. This strong bond within the team really shows when working on different projects together
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation in Bristol was very expensive, with a one bed rental close to the centre coming in at around £700/month. The general cost of living wasn't too high when referring to food/drink and entertainment. King street which is the main area for after work drinks was relatively cheap. The pay isn't really that high for interns so be prepared to live on a bit of a budget.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
From my first day I was asked to play 5 a side football with colleagues. Other activities included 'Aon fives' which was an internal football competition hosted in Sheffield. The firm paid for travel l, accommodation and expenses. Colleagues seem to engage in many activities outside of work throughout the year, with mud runs, bake offs and marathons mentioned throughout my time there.