1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The culture at the FCA made the whole internship very enjoyable. Within my team all colleagues were very approachable and as a consequence I felt that I could learn a lot from them given their relevant expertise. The internship is very well organised. The HR team is very active in ensuring you development throughout the whole of the internship and often go out of their way to give you opportunities, such as being able to work shadow within different divisions in the organisation.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
All of my colleagues gave me the opportunity to make an impact within my division by giving me a high degree of responsibility through working alongside stakeholders such as the Bank of England. My colleagues always ensured to take the time to give me feedback which is extremely valuable as a intern, alongside giving be useful career advice and guidance.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a high level of support during the whole time of my internship. When joining my division I was assigned a 'buddy' who was very approachable and we had weekly meetings to ensure that I was happy with the work that I was completing. My line manager was very involved and interested in my development during the internship. Each week he would ask about the relevant skills that I wished to develop and subsequently found work within different parts of the policy team to ensure that I got the most from my internship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During my internship I was working on several projects, some with longer deadlines than others. Consequently, I had to allocate my time accordingly to each project to ensure that I met each deadline whilst also ensuring that other project leads understood the other responsibilities that I had to agree an appropriate deadline. As a result, I always had multiple tasks to be working on which all focused on me developing different skills which was a very valuable outcome of the internship.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As I worked within a relatively small policy team I was giving a large degree of responsibility that had a large amount of impact on the organisation. To give an example, I worked on a Board paper that would contribute to the future regulatory framework of the organisation and was responsible for briefing the rest of the policy team on this matter.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As I worked for an economic regulatory (PSR) within policy I used my economic skillset to develop arguments within the reports that I was responsible for writing.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a policy of hot desking which encouraged everyone to move around and resulted in me being able to speak to a large amount of people within my division and understand more about their role. This meant that I built relationships with more members of the team and contributed to a friendly and lively environment which was great to work in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well set up, with a great attention to detail. They were very keen to receive feedback which indicates their commitment to interns and graduates alike.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm had a Learning Centre and I had the ability to sign up to any courses that would further develop my skills. My manager was very keen for me to develop and this was the general attitude across the FCA. They allocate a huge amount of resource and effort into the skillset of the workforce which has definitely led to me developing a greater knowledge of financial services following my internship.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects are promising as throughout my internship I was given information about the graduate scheme which appears to be very well setup, including a secondment which will give industry experience. This reinforces FCA's commitment to personal development which was a very large part of the internship.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Within my division, there was a social event on average around every fortnight, which more frequent events for closer friendship groups. The internship was very good for the social scene because you had other interns to socialise with and share many experiences with, whilst also having the graduates too who were always there to give helpful advice, alongside having the friendships that were formed within the divisions.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
With the FCA being located in Canary Wharf, the cost of living and socialising in the area is very high. As a consequence, I lived with family in Kent to avoid the high rent prices in the area.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Living in Kent did diminish my Nightlife experience somewhat, however London offers some of the best clubs and bars in the world and therefore you would never be short of a place to go when you wanted to celebrate after a successful week at work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many opportunity to get involved in activities outside of work, not only including social aspects but also sporting events such as football. During my first week within the division I was signed up to be playing 5-a-side football each week which again was a great way to form friendships within the division and get to know them on a more personal level.