I really enjoyed my internship as I was able to learn a lot in just 10 weeks. Having never done an internship before, I felt that this gave me a really accurate portrayal of what a career in investment banking is really like and allowed me to see whether I would be a good fit for the job and HSBC.
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Despite having never dove an internship before, I felt very valued by my colleagues during the 10 weeks. Although at the beginning, I frequently had to ask for help and ask for advice or guidance on how to do things, people were always willing to sit down and talk me through the task which enabled me to improve and learn a lot very quickly and they always seemed appreciative of my efforts.
All of the people I interacted with at HSBC seemed very willing to give me guidance. In particular the members of my team would frequently sit down and explain to me something or help me with something if I asked, even if they were busy. As well as this, people such as my buddy, line manager and mentor were always contactable and I knew that if I had any troubles or queries I could talk to them about it.
This varied a lot throughout the internship depending on the deal flow/what live deals were occurring. There were times where I was extremely busy and had to stay late and work weekends but there were always days I was a lot less busy. This is to be expected in an internship and in investment bbanking in general I believe. I personally preferred the days that were a bit busier as they allowed me to learn a lot more.
I felt like I was given a fair amount of responsibility throughout the internship such as in completing tasks I was asked to do and being held responsible for any mistakes/ensuring there were no mistakes and meeting deadlines. I felt that the work I did do did have a contribution to the deals and were helpful for my colleagues, even if it was a small task. The responsibility I was given I felt was at the right level throughout the internship as it was not too much and not too little.
I believe that the skills I have developed will be useful in my degree as the internship allowed me to develop some of the skills I previously had (such as research and writing skills) whilst also increasing my ability to do things such as work well under pressure and time management. Beyond my degree, I believe that the skills I developed throughout the internship will definitely be applicable to any job or career I may have. Other skills I developed like networking skills will be always be useful.
I felt that the atmosphere at HSBC was very friendly, especially for an investment bank. It was a lot less competitive than I had thought it would be as there was more of a collegiate environment, where people were all trying to help each other. It was also a bit more relaxed than I had expected. Although of course it was very corporate, it was a very nice culture and environment to work in.
I felt that the internship was very well set up and organised and everything ran smoothly. Emails and communication from HR was fairly frequent but this was good as it enabled us to accurately plan out our weeks and schedule things accordingly. There were a lot of HR events such as talks that were given to us, that I felt were very enjoyable and allowed us to learn a lot about different areas of the bank. There were also some HR events that were more fun such as the mid internship and end of internship events that I really enjoyed.
I felt that the firm invested in us a lot. For example, at the beginning of the internship we were given an extensive week's training in corporate finance which was extremely informative, particularly for those who had never done corporate finance before. Of course, most of the training occurred on the desk and with everyone single person I worked with, I felt that they were all willing to and wanted to help me learn and improve the skills I was developing, even when they were busy or under deadlines.
I think I would really enjoy a career in investment banking at HSBC. After the 10 week internship, I really believe that I am a good fit both for the bank and the particular role I am interested in. The culture and atmosphere at HSBC make it a really really appealing place to work.
There was a decent social scene amongst fellow interns and colleagues as it felt like everyone, as well as wanting to develop their skills and do a good job, also wanted to make good connections. Interns and colleagues would often go for drinks on a Friday night after work for example.
As the internship was based in London, I think that the cost of living and socialising was high as to be expected. Rent is fairly expensive. The cost of socialising can vary as there are many events or places to go which are cheaper and many that are more expensive. In Canary Wharf most bars and pubs are averagely priced for London.
In Canary Wharf itself, nightlife is decent. There are a large variety of pubs and bars to go to. Of course, being close to the city centre and other parts of London meant that other options were easily accessible and for example, if people wanted to go somewhere else, they could do so very easily by getting a tube elsewhere.
There were opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work if you had the time and spare capacity to do so that we were made aware of during the internship. However, I believe that most investment banking interns were too busy to do so.