I was in a project management team. The teams that we managed were in Technology so we would manage the finance and governance for those teams.
I really enjoyed working at RBS over summer. They offer so many different opportunities, events and talks that really allow you as an intern to get a small taste of lots of different areas of the bank and develop your learning. I enjoyed the vast majority of the work tasks that I was set and was given a good amount of work as well. I had enough to challenge me but not so much that I was having to stay late or going home stressed that I had not finished things.
My team made me feel so welcome from the first day and would make sure that I was always involved. This made me feel like part of the team from the first day and even if the task they gave me was small and may not have that much of a significant impact on their work, they would always give me praise or constructive feedback so that the work I was doing always felt as though it had a purpose. They had clearly thought about the work they would give me in detail before I arrived and continued to support me and check up on me. They were so friendly and this is true for everyone that I met at the bank.
My line manager was really supportive. No matter how busy or stressed she was herself, she would always put that aside to check on me and put aside time to discuss how I was getting on. She really cared about my development and how successful I was during the internship and went beyond her role to guide me with my work and assessment.
I know that this varied a lot depending on the team you were in but I had a very good work balance. This was largely down to my manager because she never wanted me to be bored or be doing pointless tasks but was also very conscious not to overload me either. There was a couple of days during the internship when I was slightly stuck for things to do but out of 10 weeks, this was rare. Often, there was always something to be getting on with and it did get busier as the internship went on and you could do more complex tasks.
I was given a decent level of responsibility. I felt like some of the work I did was quite important (like making a new SharePoint site for my team), but none of it was absolutely vital to the team's functioning. However I was glad of this because the internship is still a relatively short time (10 weeks), I would have felt too overwhelmed if I had been given control over some of the team finances for example because making a mistake doing these would have had a significant impact on the team. Therefore, I enjoyed the level of responsibility I had. The work I did mattered but not to the level where things would be bad if I made a mistake.
I would say that the skills I learnt at RBS are more related to the work place rather than my degree. I definitely improved my Excel skills a lot but I was starting from quite a low place. But the majority of the skills I developed were more soft skills, but equally as valuable. Learning how to deal with people and issues that arise in the workplace, organising events and prioritising your work are all skills that I hadn't really used at university but will be essential for working in any company in any environment.
The offices are open plan and are not really exciting but not really boring either. However, the open plan does make it easier to see and talk to your colleagues. The team I am sat with are fun but less so in the rest of the office. The reason that I have scored it slightly higher is that The offices may not be exciting but the building as a whole is. There is a huge walkway that connects all of the office spaces (a bit like in a shopping centre) and it is filled with shops and cafes where people relax and can have informal meetings. I really like this space as there is always different pop-up stalls and is a good connector for the whole building.
The internship felt very well organised. Before the internship, you receive update emails if there is anything that you need to sort out. Then the internship begins with a two day induction to help you get a feel for the bank and refresh your knowledge about it before you start in the office. The Early Careers team arrange various events throughout, particularly at the start to allow the interns to get to know each other and develop some connections during this internship. They have various activities and challenges e.g. CSR challenge to fundraise for charity, that help to give you a broad range of tasks so it is not all purely work focused and brings a bit more variety to the internship.
Again, in such a large firm, this does depend on the department but across the bank, everyone has to complete online learning modules to be trained in aspects of bank safety and regulations (these are more interesting than they sound!). They also have a site called Skillport which is available to all employees and allows you to take online courses in work or at home on a range of different topics. There are also various courses promoted to encourage learning and training. For the interns, they held a coding club that taught you how to code or helped develop you coding skills if you already knew how to. However, for many employees there often isn't the time to do this and it didn't seem that time was put aside much for training other than for mandatory courses.
I have really enjoyed my time working here and could definitely see myself working here in the future. The only reason it has not scored higher is because it would depend on the team that I work in. Although I really like the overall environment at RBS, the team and people that you work with do make a big difference. Also, I still don't know what career I would like and I would like to try working in other sectors and companies first so that I can make a better comparison.
There are a lot of RBS interns based in Edinburgh and the Early Career's team really try to encourage you to go on nights out from the start. They have a few events at the start so that by the end of the first week, you know quite a lot of the other interns and are already beginning to really get on with some of them. From this foundation from the first week, there has always been multiple nights out and day trips organised every week that has made us all increasingly closer. The only thing with such a big group of interns is that it does begin to split off into cliques so after the first few weeks, people are going out in smaller groups rather than altogether.
Although a lot cheaper than London, Edinburgh is still pretty expensive, even working full time on good pay. The rent is really expensive and is often around £150-£200 a week, especially if you are renting anywhere near the centre. Buying single tickets on the transport is also quite expensive but the travel cards give really good value for money. I could have been more frugal with my money but the number of nights out etc. meant that I spent more than I intended but I did have a really good summer and have made some really good friends.
The Edinburgh nightlife was ok. The World Cup was on whilst we were there so there are a lot of good pubs in the city. There seemed to be a lot of bars too although I imagine these were probably expensive. There are a decent number of clubs but compared to other cities that I have lived in (Leeds and Manchester), I was a bit underwhelmed by some of them. They weren't bad but I didn't have a night out in a club that I loved, maybe as a lot of the clubs were quite small and the music was quite average (but that is probably my taste). There is a lot of choice and the pubs are really good so overall it has been fine.
In Edinburgh there are so many different things to do when not at work, especially as it is quite a touristy city. This just means that there are loads of different tours, activities and events to appeal to lots of different people. I didn't get to do as many things as I would have liked but mainly because there are so many to choose from.