1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The internship experience has been enjoyable overall. Situated in an HR team, I have been set a range of placement objectives as well as an individual project. I have had good support while working on these, but also the freedom to learn about the bank and other teams/functions. On top of this, we have participated in a range of team projects, though these have been less interesting and more restricted overall.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have felt very valued by my colleagues. I have been given the responsibility to achieve my goals independently, but in the knowledge that I can reach out at any point to my team and they will provide the necessary support that I need. Beyond my immediate team, everyone has been very friendly. Generally, employees are happy to talk to you and willing to offer their help or time where possible.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
By manager has been extremely helpful throughout my internship. She sat down with me at the start of the 10 week period to set my goals and make sure I understood how to achieve them. Since then, she has supported me with all my work and has also encouraged me to take opportunities outside of my immediate objectives, such as taking part in hackathons and intern/grad events.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In general, I am happy with how busy I have been each day. My work has been on a project basis rather than day to day tasks, so it has been my responsibility to manage my time in order to achieve my objectives. Beyond this work, I have still had time to arrange meetings with interesting colleagues across the bank and to take part in intern events.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I have had a good level of responsibility overall. I have been given tasks and activities that actually matter, and I have been able to see the consequences of my tasks directly. This has proved to be very motivating and to help me feel valued, despite only being at the bank for 10 weeks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The training at the bank has been very strong. There has been a great emphasis on offering sessions which you can sign up to voluntarily, and fortunately I have had the time to participate in many of these. I have developed many core skills including communication skills and presentation skills as well as a better understanding of how banks function, and the role of HR within that.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was very positive. Everyone is very friendly and whilst there is an appreciation that everyone has work to be doing, people are always up for a laugh. Food is also frequently shared throughout the office creating a more relaxed atmosphere. The offices are open plan and everyone hot desks, increasing the levels of communication and interaction.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the internship was set up well. The team was well briefed on my role and the objectives to set for me. However, there are a few areas which could be improved, such as the team competitions which were very restricted and felt like something we had to complete just to tick a box, whilst the social events could also have been better organised. Despite, I am happy overall.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The bank heavily invests in its employee development programmes and there have been countless opportunities to learn and develop my skillset. I have been provided with access to a range of tools, and actively encouraged to use what is available to improve my self. I have taken full advantage of these and feel I have gained many skills and learnt some invaluable lessons.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Employment prospects are very appealing. The pay is fair and reasonable, and there are great opportunities to move around internally within the bank to find the best role for each employee. The bank is overcoming its previous negative legacy, and moving forward in the right direction. There is a strong culture and almost every employee is driven to see the organisation succeed and serve the customer well.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social opportunities have been amongst the intern group, though these have been largely setup by the interns themselves, rather than as part of the intern programme. People are always very happy to recommend places to go and things to do in the city of Edinburgh. The graduates within HR have been particularly helpful when we were first trying to integrate into the bank through social events, and informal lunches during working hours.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living is very moderate, and overall I am happy with it. Socialising can be expensive in some of the more tourist dominated areas, but overall you can have a lot of fun without spending masses of money. Edinburgh is a great place to explore and to socialise in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was good, with a range of bars and clubs to go to. The internship also takes place during part of the fringe, meaning the city gets very busy and there are many events on every night, increasing the general buzz of the place.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some opportunities to get involved in charity days and other similar events, which were offered by RBS. However, beyond there was not too much offered directly. There is a gym on site which also football courts and a tennis court, which you can make good use of, though the prices are not too cheap.