1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at RBS. My manager gave me real responsibility from the very start, which can be challenging, but she was very supportive throughout and I thrived off this. The people are also great and everyone is welcoming and supportive. It can be quite daunting at the start but there are lots of people who are there to help, including a graduate buddy who has really helped me during my time at the firm. Furthermore, there are many socials and activities to get involved in outside the normal work which is great. Would recommend if you want to learn more about the various roles within a bank which you may not know actually exist. I would say be open-minded as the programme I chose was very broad so you could end up in an area which you know nothing about. But embrace this, and if you feel you want to learn about a different area then it's quite easy to find someone willing to chat.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The team around me have been very supportive throughout. I was given real responsibility from the start with many pieces of my work aimed at executive level - which for an intern is crazy! But my manager really appreciated my input and we would have regular discussions regarding the work I produced. I was reminded regularly when I did something good and my manager would kindly let me know during our one-to-one meetings on areas I can develop, which I found really helpful. I was never really seen as an intern but just a normal member of the team - which is good when settling in.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was worried about this aspect of my internship before going in but this was one of the main highlights for me as my manager was fantastic. Right from the start, we had open communication and set expectations of each other. This helped guide me so I knew exactly what was required to be successful. Furthermore, as I have a hidden disability, my manager was very supportive and tailored her approach to ensure my needs were being met. We would have daily catch ups to just check in and see how everything was and I understood my tasks, and then weekly one-to-one sessions which would review the past week's performance against my objectives and talk through any challenges I may have been facing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My internship started at a busy period for my team, so I was given work and real responsibility quite early on. However, I appreciated this as you soon realise the weeks fly. Some weeks were busier than others, but I found communicating with my manager was key to ensure I had the right amount of work to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
At the start of the internship I was set three objectives by my manager and this set the tone for how much responsibility I had. The level of work I was producing was for very senior executive level but my manager trusted me - which helped build my confidence. Furthermore, I got involved in other activities outside of my day role so held further responsibility too.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe the skills gained from the internship will certainly help me with my final year at university and beyond. Learning how to balance a full-time role with external commitments has been a steep learning curve. Time-management and prioritising workload to meet deadlines will certainly help with my studies. Furthermore, I have developed greater confidence and skills needed to work in an agile manner within teams. RBS had lots of learning resources from how to present, to managing conversations within a group. All key skills in university and the workplace.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It is quite a busy atmosphere but people are very approachable and willing to chat. There are always random discussions going on and fun challenges to get involved in which is great. Ultimately, you can be left alone to get on with work if you like to work in silence or you can put yourself out there if that's what works for you. You can make the atmosphere whatever you wish.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well organised. All the interns and managers were given a clear timeline of key events taking place with the early careers team sending out reminders regularly to ensure you didn't miss anything. However, my internship started a little later due to exams and I did miss the induction. As a result, I did find myself catching up and a bit lost in those early days.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There are many tools available on the intranet and sessions you can enrol on which is great. However, you do have to be proactive in terms of your own development and find the opportunities yourself. I would have liked if there were more skills sessions delivered to provide interns with essential skills needed to work in a large organisation.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am awaiting the outcome of my internship but my manager has signalled that the prospects are looking good.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were regular social events held by many of the graduates which is good. I would have liked more variety in the events however, to consider those who don't really drink.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was quite an expensive area where the office was located but it does make you budget a bit more.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I commuted back home every day so did not really experience this. However, from my experiences during the day, where it was really busy, I can assume it would be the same in the evenings too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I got myself involved in the innovation council and the graduate hackathon which was great. There are also the RBS networks which you can sign up for. You can find many opportunities simply through conversations you have in the office.