I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience working for RCI Financial Services. The working environment, culture and employees make you feel comfortable and allow you to push yourself to the best of your ability. I have been involved in various project and given a lot of responsibility from the get go.
Every department welcomes you and treats you as an equal member of the team. Even though you're an intern, you're treated as if you're a permanent member of staff. You are always presented the opportunity to further your skillset and to expand your knowledge. You are given the opportunity and platform to voice your opinions and contribute towards projects and tasks. The team is approachable; you are able to voice any concerns and there is a permanent platform to ask for help.
Support and guidance are always readily available throughout your whole placement experience. The HR team are extremely friendly and approachable. Your relationship with your manager is an open door and they will always be your first point of contact. From the very beginning of the placement right until the end, your manager will always be there to support you in your learning, and encourage you to take on tasks and work outside of your comfort zone.
Every day is different. As an Internal Control intern, I rarely ever have the same day. I am always on my feet liaising with all departments and employees of various grades. On top of my daily compliance monitoring, I am involved in copious projects that involve individual research/analysis as well as leading meetings creating a final report/project. Projects can extend from a few weeks, or even take up the whole placement.
From day 1 of the placement you are given an immense amount of responsibility and therefore opportunity to prosper and develop your learning. Even though you have a lot of responsibility, it also comes with a lot of support and guidance. You are given the lead on projects, taking your own initiative on how to plan and execute each task. A large part of the role is interacting with other departments and senior levels of management, you have an important responsibility to ensure efficiency and responsibility when liaising and managing time effectively.
The skills learnt throughout my placement I will not only take on with me and develop through any chosen career path, but they are life long skills that will benefit me in any situation. I am able to grow and develop my skillset and applying it throughout my career and life time experiences.
The atmosphere in the office is very open. There are no individual offices and everything is open plan. Senior management and Directors are sat amongst the team and are always approachable. For individual work or a quiet working space there a 'bubbles' that you can sit in if you need to focus on a piece of work in complete silence. The layout and open plan space in the office directly reflects that of the culture at RCI Financial Services. Everyone is approachable and people of all different grades sit with each other at lunch.
The placement is extremely well organized. For the application process, they look for the skills that you excel in and place you in the role that they think you will be able to grow and learn the most, developing a wholesome skill set (of course considering your preference as well). You are given the opportunity to go on skills courses. Through project work with all departments you are able to understand all business functions. Notably, the first six months of the placement you attend 14 half an hour mini presentations for each department so you can understand every department's function and how they contribute to the bigger picture of the business. After attending all fourteen sessions you can form a wholesome view of the business and how all business functions work together creating a complete understanding of the firm.
There are continuous opportunity to attend training courses that range from excel, presentation, management training etc. Your line manager will always encourage you to take the initiative to attend these training courses that may not directly benefit your work at the moment, however the skills will benefit you in any career path and lifelong experiences. The first few weeks of the placement there is one to one training and for the rest of the placement they will be your first point of contact. You are always given the opportunity to work outside your comfort zone; your manager will encourage you to challenge yourself. Every three months there will be a mini review where you receive feedback and a platform to ask any questions (even though you can ask at any point during the placement).
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
After completing the placement, the firm would hope that you would apply for the graduate opportunity. They would treat your placement year as a year long interview and the firm would know you as an integral part of the team. Therefore placing you as a strong candidate for the graduate opportunity. Working with a such a supportive team and firm, with so many opportunities to develop your learning and take on challenges, I have strong future employment prospects with RCI.
One of the best parts of the placement was that there were at least twenty other interns around a similar age. We often went to the pub after work and on a Friday we would organize a social event. We went bouldering, mini golf, clubbing etc. There are a lot of activities and places to visit in the area. We organized to go to London on people's birthdays but for a small local night out we would go to the nearby town - Watford.
I was fortunate enough to live at home during my placement so I saved a lot of money. In terms living in the local area, I would say it is slightly above average price, not as expensive as living in the centre of London. In terms of socializing, I would say that it was average price.
There is the local town Watford that has 3 or 4 popular local nights out. A lot of the time we went into London as public transport is very convenient. Getting to town is very quick on the train (Metropolitan/Chiltern line) from Rickmansworth or from Watford Junction there is the overground. There are also quite a few really nice pubs in the area around the office site which are really nice for a drink or even a bite to eat for lunch or dinner.
There are a lot of activities to get involved outside of work. There is a run club which is open to all experiences. There is a weekly quiz night were you can make teams or join other teams and have a good laugh. The winner of the weekly quiz gets to create the quiz for the next week and it can be on any topic. There are staff events such as the Christmas party held in the Centre of London. Also to get involved in are Christmas activities and activities such as bowling or bouldering.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
23rd October 2017