1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I quite enjoyed my time at Deutsche Bank, particularly the challenge of working within COO. I appreciated the work I was doing and the people I was working with, all of whom were very welcoming, but at times I would have preferred slightly more guidance on some of the topics that were new to me. I did find living and working in London difficult however and I'm not sure it would be the place for me on a personal level.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I did feel very valued by my colleagues, and I felt that they always treated me with respect and as an adult with some years of experience already rather than someone still at University, for which I am really grateful. They were also welcoming and made me feel included.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Initially I was given excellent support and guidance and really felt that I benefitted from such, however a couple of times I did find parts of my work challenging and if my manager was absent then it was harder to get the support I needed. Overall however, the supervision was good, not too overbearing and not too distant - usually the correct balance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Due to the nature of working in COO this did tend to vary, so I can't really give a definitive score. Essentially you get very engrossed in solving one particular problem, or writing one bit of code, which is great because I was able to work on this at my own pace and ask for assistance if necessary. Then when a solution has been found, and the specific problem has been solved there tends to be less to do until you can get started on the next thing - expanding on what you've already done or working on something different entirely. Therefore I would say at times I had the perfect balance, and at times I was less busy at work - but I would never say that I was too busy or overworked during my time here. However, I actually really enjoyed this style of work and didn't find it to be a problem at all.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt like I was actually given quite a lot of responsibility - from the outset it was made clear that my supervisor was hoping himself to learn from the work that I would be doing, so it felt really important to me to maintain high standards in this work that I was doing. It was often challenging because if I did have a problem, then neither of us were necessarily familiar with the software so the onus was often on me to exhaust all different ways of coming to a solution before raising a concern with my manager. Having said that, I really enjoyed the opportunity I was given during my time here to prove myself and show that I can learn and apply myself easily to new skills and concepts.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have rated this quite low because I don't think the technical skills will be of much use in my degree in Physics. However, I do think they are absolutely transferable to future jobs, it's just due to the nature of academia they are not so relevant at University. By contrast however, I believe that the 'soft skills' I have picked up during my internship - such as presentation skills, inter-personal skills and the way that I come across to other people - will be invaluable in all walks of life and I am really grateful to Deutsche Bank for providing me with the opportunity to develop these during my time here.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Since I was working in a relatively small team of people who also sometimes worked from home on various days, the atmosphere in my office was usually rather quiet, but the advantage of being part of a small team was that I felt that I got to know my co-workers much better, and got on with them better, than I perhaps would have done in a much larger team of people.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall I thought that the internship had an excellent structure: we were given a thorough set of training days during our first week, there were extra-curricular activities throughout the internship which helped keep us motivated, the communication between HR and the interns was generally really good and they always made sure we were informed during what can be a confusing time for those new to the world of work. I also thought it was a good length of time: 9 weeks is just enough time to give you a flavour of what it's like to work for Deutsche Bank. I also had very few issues setting up my computer, phone, email, pass or any such thing on the first day, which is always going to be a challenge when there are ~180 interns to get started.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I do think that Deutsche Bank invested a lot in all of their interns, it was nice to be given divisional training, soft skills training and training in presentation skills. It also reflected well on Deutsche Bank that we were each respected and valued as individuals - we were all given opportunities to talk about any issues we were having with a variety of people including mentors, buddies, product champions and Lauren Orme, who did an excellent job as head of HR for COO. This kind of pastoral care showed that they were serious about investing in us as individuals and not just as a group as a whole.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would be interested in working for Deutsche Bank - but perhaps not necessarily in London.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Most of the other interns were really nice and interesting people, I'm lucky that I got to know just a few of them quite well.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I managed to avoid the exorbitant cost of renting in London by staying short-term with various friends and family members. Life in London is expensive - as is commuting in from outside of London - which is one of the reasons I'm slightly reluctant to live here. However, a graduate job with Deutsche Bank would be sufficiently well-paid that this would be less of an issue.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I really enjoyed being able to meet up with friends easily and sample a wide range of drinking establishments during my time in London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Deutsche Bank did provide a lot of opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities, such as the Corporate Social Responsibility day at Beckenham Place Park and the hackathon. In COO, the working hours were reasonable and allowed for opportunities to have a life outside of working hours.