1 week of cross-divisional and division-specific training
8 weeks divided into two rotations. Mine were in Planning and Performance Management and Finance Change and Administration.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the wide expose given to us on the placement. We had two 4-week placements each, and they were in very different Finance divisions,
The people were very friendly (both team and other interns), and the hours were very reasonable, the location was great, and I really learned a lot.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Once I have build some rapport/trust, my colleagues started to value me more and more. At first it was a little slow, and there's only so much you can do in 4 weeks, but soon the teams were giving me some genuine responsibility. This really depends on your team, though.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Though this depends mostly on the team and manager, I felt that the two-rotation system makes sure that you have plenty of learning support and variation. It is very important, though, that as an intern, you must communicate your goals and learning objectives clearly to your HR and line managers.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied a lot. Sometimes it's up to you to manage your own workload/find ways to make yourself helpful, and sometimes you're busy all day. At no time did I feel pushed to my limits with respect to hours in the office, though. Which team you end up in also has a very big impact.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As mentioned above, this depends on the amount of trust you build with your teams, but by the end of the 4 weeks in each rotation I was given genuine responsibility. It is important to realise, though, that with 4 weeks of knowledge, your role in any organisation will not be critical.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Not really. I study economics, and the experience at DB did a very good job of framing the finance I've learnt in a 'real world' situation, but the work I do at uni tends to be a lot more on the theoretical side (and a lot less relevant). I would say that uni helped me in my interview.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
This depends on where you are sat, but I have found that everybody is up for a chat and a coffee if you find a time that suits. There is a genuine sense of camaraderie among the team, and the atmosphere is really nice. I may have been lucky with the people I was with, though.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Generally, the HR department did a fantastic job. There were a couple of small IT teething issues at the beginning (it wouldn't be an internship if this didn't happen!), but during the 9 weeks, we've had several very senior people come to talk to us, panel discussions, division-specific networking, and more.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As above, the internship included many very useful talks and skills sessions. The first week tackled a lot of soft skills training, and the technical skills were generally learned on-the-job. The main investment, though is that the internship is a gateway into the grad scheme, with many interns being offered grad roles.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
When I started, I wasn't sure if the industry was necessarily right for me, let alone DB. Having almost finished my 9 weeks, I have changed my mind completely - the banking industry is really interesting, and I really like the people-centric culture at DB (sounds corporate-speaky, but really, I think the culture here is far less aggressive than other, particularly American, banks, and it's much easier to get along with people).
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was good, though aside from the first week and the last day, interns in different divisions had no organised events to meet up. I saw a lot of the other Finance interns (mostly because we made a point of seeing each other), and caught up with a few others outside finance. Really, it is up to you to get in contact.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Unfortunately, this is based in the City of London - there are ways to circumvent the crazy-high prices around, but generally speaking, expect high prices. That said, DB pays interns very well, and I have many friends working around the same area with far less compensation, or even being unpaid.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I'm putting down an 8 because (shamefully), I didn't go out at all during my internship. That said, it is not because you can't do it, but because I'm an old man at heart. Of course, mid-week benders are not advised, but the area is full of some very well known clubs (XOYO, etc.), and many of my fellow interns did so.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There weren't many - most of these are organised for full time employees, and so they fell outside the summer (during holiday period). That said, there was a very enjoyable CSR day hosted in Clapham Junction (and other locations) for all of the interns, and it was very well organised and catered.