My internship was a very enjoyable experience where I encountered great people who had a multitude of experience. I came into the Credit Risk team with minimal knowledge about the credit risk process, and feel I am leaving with a significant amount of information regarding the function. It has been valuable in the sense that it has given me a narrower view of what I want to do in my career, since there were certain aspects which I very much enjoyed.
My team made me feel very welcome from the first day. I was in a team of 9 people, and most each took some time out to talk with me during my first days at the office. I was given 'actual' work to do, rather than unnecessary tasks which I know often happens on internships. My manager often asked me what my opinion was of certain things, and I was given a good amount of responsibility in my role.
My team members were essential in this, since when my manager was unavailable (in meetings, on holiday etc.), they supported and guided me when I needed help. That being said, my supervisor for a project often checked in to see how I was getting on and we had weekly meetings, and my manager also checked in every few weeks during the 3 months.
As with all roles, some days were busier than others. But I would say that I always had something to do during the day, no matter how menial the task was (such as tidying my desk). The summer is generally the 'quiet period' in the industry anyway, so my colleagues did mention that it wasn't a good representation of how busy it could get during busier months.
Whilst I was given time to settle into the role, I would say I was given a good amount of responsibility since day 1. Part of my role was to review counterparts by means of doing financial analysis, KYC and checking background of the counterpart, and whilst there was an analyst who double-checked my work, I would say I was given this responsibility from the beginning.
Since I have finished my studies, the knowledge I have received will be brought forward into my next role. As mentioned, my knowledge of credit was minimal before this internship, and so I expected to come out with a good overview of the process, as well as knowledge on what other functions within EDFT do, which was aided through the Lunch and Learns every week (where colleagues from other departments presented their departments/functions to the intern cohort).
At times my section of the office was lively, especially on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Generally though, it was quite with people getting on with their work or in meeting rooms. In other parts of the office though, it was livelier. That said, when walking around the office, most people would say hello, and some would even stop to have a conversation with me, asking how my internship was going. During my internship, I did some fundraising in the office via a cake sale. I ended up raising over £180, and this also sparked conversation when walking down hallways, with colleagues asking how fundraising went and what I was doing it for.
The organisation was good, and my team were ready for me to join them when I started. My manager had actually sent round my CV prior to my arrival, so they all had a bit of information on me before I came which I found helped me settle in better. In terms of my desk, I had everything I needed, or I knew where to get extra things. I also had a desk assessment when I first arrived, to ensure my chair, keyboard and screens were in the most suitable positions for me. In regards to the overall internship process, it was simple and just right for the needs of the position. It was one of the only applications where I did not have to do a numerical test, which I know was key in a lot of people applying.
During my 3 months, the only training/course was on presentation skills, where an external organisation came in for the day. This was good, since we were preparing for our own end-of-internship presentations, and I know some of the other interns found this helpful. There was also a company-wide training session angled towards improving your communication skills, which I really enjoyed but I understand that not all of the other interns got to attend (since they had not yet started). Again, there were also lunch and learns, but I don't feel like this added anything to personal training/development and was solely to give information on different business areas.
Unfortunately there is no graduate scheme, so hires are directly entry-level. I would like for there to have been perhaps a 1-2yr grad programme in order to also experience working in other areas of the business. Because of this though, if you have done an internship and there is a role available, you are in a good position to get the role. On the other hand, if there is not a role available, you will simply have to move on after your internship.
Amongst the interns, we tried to arrange a few nights out, and with my team we also did a team activity, which I had the pleasure of organising. We went to the escape rooms, which was great fun and a good team-bonding experience. I would have liked more social activities to have been organised for the interns by the company however.
I had the fortune of living with my parents in London for the duration of my internship, so I am unaware of the cost of living. But if you know where to look, socialising can be really cheap in London. I used Groupon, o2 priority, 16-25 railcard theatre website, and an app called Drinki to get good deals on drinks, food and entertainment (such as theatre, cabaret shows, Up at the o2) around the area (Victoria), and I was able to have a great social experience for un-Londonlike prices. Also looking up 'quirky' things to do in London will bring up a load of things for free/cheap to do around the city.
Nightlife wasn't so good in my area, but other areas which weren't too far away such as Soho were very lively and always busy (due to tourists but also people going for drinks after work).
Unfortunately, it didn't seem as if there were any societies/clubs in the company (such as a Women's group or Ethnic Minorities group), so there was not really any chance to get involved in activities outside of work. If there were such groups, they were poorly advertised. There was one activity- a run, organised by J.P.Morgan, which a few different companies took part in, but this was the only activity organised.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Banking - Investment, Banking/Finance, Energy
17th August 2017