1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my internship a lot! The structure and assessment was explained at the induction, everything was clear and the Early Careers team was very helpful. My manager and my direct team was great, I really bonded with them and I asked them endless questions. It might be a bank but I felt like working in one of these techy-companies in California.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team treated me as a part of their 'gang' from day one. They introduced me to their work, explained everything and never got tired of my questions. They facilitated me the foreshadowing of other teams and networking within our wider team. They have always been so nice to me and gave me work that was actually used by the client afterwards. I think People is the RBS greatest asset.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very helpful in organising my working hours so that I could take my exams in the 2nd week of the internship. She also connected me with many people in the bank which allowed me to get sense of the areas I might join in a graduate scheme. Although my manager was on an annual leave for 3 weeks during my internship, one of my colleagues took her role during this time so I always has somebody to do my 1-2-1s and ask when in doubt.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload of my team is not stable during the month. I was not very busy during the first 2 weeks. Then I was quite busy from Week 3 to Week 6 when I delivered a major piece of work to the client. After that I had more time to focus on my final presentation and learning opportunities. The work-life balance is very good at RBS, I usually worked 9 to 17, I stayed half an hour longer maybe 2-3 times.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Quite a lot but I was not overwhelmed. Although I worked on a piece of project for the client on my own I had all the support and guidance during that time. There were days when I asked a lot of questions when I got stuck but there were also days when I was working totally independently on my work and I only asked for feedback at the end of the day. There was one week when I was a bit bored and my team has not enough work so I just came up with a small project to do on my own and they were happy I was proactive and helped me with that.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I study Economics and large amount of my work involved managing large amounts of data so the skills that my degree gave me were very helpful. However, the internship gave me more practical skills than my studies, I learnt a lot about Excel, I learnt to use a completely new programme and I started coding. I also gained many transferrable skills, like project management, communication and teamwork.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very nice, all colleagues were very helpful and I did not experience a single negative thing during my internship. RBS is an easy place to network, I was based in Gogarburn and you can just come to any office here and ask a question, meet new people or offer help. The atmosphere is healthy overall, people take lunches together, take a walk afterwards and come back to work with a fresh mind.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was all explained during the induction days, we got all information by e-mail too. I knew what I was expected to achieve during the internship and what were the deadlines for the project presentation. At the beginning it sounded like to be a lot but my manager explained then in detail what she expected from me and set me 3 clear objectives for the internship.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were many learning opportunities available to us: AI testing, coding club, career development days, multiple webinars, lots of online training courses and evening events. The only challenge was to manage your time so that you could meet your objectives and take part in all the learning events you wanted.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The intake of graduate and interns is high and the bank has been on a steady path towards recuperation. I was in Technology and from what I have seen this is the area with a potential to grow and hire new people. The bank has now a focus on digitalisation of the services and I think it's a good place to land in the bank.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, there were a few social events organised by the bank any many informal events organised by the interns themselves. Honestly, I did not take part as much in those as I was travelling in the weekends but during the week day we often had lunch together or met at the learning events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in Edinburgh but I live here anyway so there was no surprise to me. To me, Edinburgh is million times better than London (and cheaper), it offers so much and part of our internship was during Fringe Festival. I never got bored, my colleagues recommended me various travel destination in Scotland I had no idea about so I travelled in the weekends.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Edinburgh is good but I do not go out so much so I usually end up in the same places. The restaurants in Edinburgh are amazing though, and if you are a foodie, you will enjoy this city a lot. Also, Edinburgh is very safe and nothing ever happened to me here.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, there were sports club and lots of volunteering/charity events. We were sent out information about those but the best way to find such opportunities was by talking to your colleagues. What was lacking to me was some on-site yoga or pilates classes. I did not buy the gym membership so maybe they were offered there but I would love to participate in such classes in Gogarburn.