1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
There was great effort from the company to make the internship as enjoyable as possible. This includes organizing relaxed networking events at places like the Shard, taking us to Essex for philanthropy day and hosting a formal goodbye party with the interns from all divisions. This made getting to know the other interns and staff very easy.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I did feel valued at every desk I rotated in. This was because the internship consisted of a combination of intern projects that helped us learn and real work that added value to the desk. Therefore, rotations were reciprocal in the sense that people were willing to teach you in return of your hard work. I never felt that I couldn't approach someone, no matter how senior they were.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Everyone was approachable and helpful, both for professional and personal support. However, due to the fact that it was summer and people were on holiday, some desks were short-staffed which resulted in people being too busy to give us time. This did not happen often but it made the experience vary between desks.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was always something to do, especially as the bank encourages proactivity and entrepreneurship. We had the intern project, real work and also had to network with people outside of our desks if we were interested in doing the third rotation with them. On top of that, we had a portfolio challenge that ran from the beginning to the end of the internship and so you could do research on more stocks to add during any free time. Overall it was very busy but gave us a good idea of the pace of work in an investment bank.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This varied wildly from desk to desk depending on the nature of the work. In structuring roles, the level of responsibility was high as you were contributing to the basic analysis and performing due diligence, as well as attending client meetings. In flow desks the level of responsibility was lower but this is because legally we are not allowed to put trades or execute client orders, so shadowing was a bigger component. I think the level of responsibility was always as high as it could be, and if you did well then you got to be more involved.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Attention to detail, especially when you have a tight deadline, is one of the main skills I have developed here and that will help me anywhere I go. I have also developed my ability to absorb huge amounts of information and filter the noise in seconds, which again is a great skill for fast-paced environments. In terms of actual knowledge, I believe that I know have a much better understanding of how the world works and why we see companies rise and fall, which will make my studies in economics much more interesting.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was very welcoming. From the minute you arrive everyone says hello and tries to find time to spend with you. There is not strict sense of hierarchy so sometimes you feel like you are talking to a friend even if they are a Director or Managing Director. I felt like people actually wanted to get to know me and this was very much appreciated.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Everything ran very smoothly. We knew from day 1 what type of activities we would be doing, the type of work expected in each desk and more importantly what they were looking for. We had clear points of contact in case we needed support and received constant feedback from our desk and the recruiters.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had a full week of training where we learnt about the financial system and the basics of equities and fixed income markets. We also had an excel crash course which was extremely useful. Afterwards, we went to the Bloomberg offices to learn how to use the terminals. Public speaking workshops were set up during the internship to also help us develop soft skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Credit Suisse is one of the leading investment banks and just finished a restructuring process which means they are looking to hire more than before. There are some teams which are amongst the best performing in Europe and because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the firm, anyone who is good and willing to work hard can do well. Also, because the teams are smaller compared to other bulge bracket banks, your work gets noticed.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The first day there was a gathering were food and drinks were provided. This was a great opportunity to meet everyone and start making friends. Some desks organized dinners, after-work drinks, or football matches where interns were invited to go. I think the social scene was great, but at the same time you were never pressured to go to anything you did not want to.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is a very expensive city, so living here will mean that you spend a lot on food, drinks, and especially rents. Credit Suisse provided subsidized accommodation but it was not that close to the office, unfortunately. I do not see this as a disadvantage though because, as any other bulge-bracket firm in London, you get paid well enough to cover expenses.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
After work, people from all banks socialize in the pubs around Canary Wharf which was one of my favourite things to do. Nightlife in the area is non-existent because it is a financial district, but it is well connected to places where younger people go out and it is a safe area, so coming back late was never an issue.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?