1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the placement, as I was located in a small team and given work relevant to my skills and degree. There was continual support and discussion opportunities with different members of the team. It was particularly enjoyable participating in the weekly team meetings, where people discussed their recent work and anything interesting they had been researching in their own time that they thought other people would be interested in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Although I spent a lot of time doing my own individual project and research I felt particularly valued when other members of the team would come over to chat about my work. They should a really interest in what I was doing and even asked to have a look at my work throughout. They also frequently ask for my views and opinions during discussions.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very relaxed and always located nearby, or through text message. This meant that although she wasn't checking in on my work every day she was always on-hand to answer any questions.
She was also very useful in providing feedback or having quick chats about my progress whenever I asked.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the initial weeks I didn't feel like I was very busy, as a lot of my time was spent getting registered for accounts and other admin related tasks. This was quite boring and it would have perhaps been a better time to start working on the CSR challenge, as by the end of my time there it was very busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There was a large amount of responsibility in regards to the overall intern work, such as the charity challenge and individual project. However, in terms of my team I didn't have any responsibility for anything other than my own personal work and research. You are however responsible for making the most of your time there. If you wanted to sit and do nothing all day then nobody is going to chase you around. However, you are likely not to leave a good impression and it won't go unnoticed.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
In regards to my technical skills, I have dramatically improved my python programming skills. This is mainly due to the amount of time spent on it and the constant help from colleagues.
The internship also provided an invaluable opportunity to see the variety of positions that are available within technology, and the varying levels of technical knowledge required.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in my office was fantastic. It is very bright and open with everyone very friendly and approachable. My office had a casual dress code which was great as it made the office very relaxed. My team had the same desks throughout, which I know isn't the case with all the different areas of the bank but made the thought of finding a seat less daunting.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall internship was well organised and all events were well done. I initial felt like there could have been more structure to my individual work, as I was left to look into what I thought would be relevant or interesting which turned out to be a lot harder than I thought.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were fortnightly training courses, which were useful to gain a high level understanding into what different areas in the bank are working on. There were also compulsory online learning modules but these were more of an inconvenience as they took a lot of time.
I particularly benefited from my departments 'Lunch and Learn' events, where guest speakers from other well-established companies gave a talk and their was opportunities for discussions.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The prospect of working at the bank seems good. The most appealing aspect is their working from home opportunities and the 25 days holiday. There is a very relaxed culture with an emphasis on also being able to maintain a social life.
I would however be concerned about going into the grad scheme, as I have heard some people have been very unhappy in their first placements due to being put into teams they are not interested in or have no relevant experience in.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Since there is a large intake of interns there is plenty of opportunity to make friends. Near every weekend there was people doing things and exploring the city, as many of the interns had moved to Edinburgh for the first time that summer.
There is also a variety of events organised by the current graduates after work such as sports clubs.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of accommodation in Edinburgh is very expensive during this time and their is no help provided by RBS to help you find reasonable flats/rooms to rent.
The salary should be enough to cover it with plenty left for entertainment and the weekends. You also need to consider travel costs, which can be quite expensive. It is worth getting a Lothian travel card for the duration of your stay.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was good. There was always a group of people going out at the weekend and up for trying a variety of places. I was here during the World Cup and there was also a huge group going out to see the games. You won't be bored and you never have to leave late from work which gives you most of the evenings free.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are many after work activities but they were mainly sports such as football.
A few people also used the weekends as an opportunity to travel and see other areas of Scotland.
There was also the occasional free cinema trip available to employees of the bank.
A lot of the activities however were organised in smaller groups of friends, as it is hard to find somewhere that caters for so many people.