1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I throughly enjoyed my experience! My team were amazing and were very accommodating and supportive as I eased into this role. In particular, my line manager was very supportive and always took the time to ensure my experience was as valuable as possible but also supportive of the other projects I undertook outside his line of work. All the intern induction meetings organised by the grads were also very useful in making sure I had a basic understanding of how the different parts of the bank came together.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very! I felt a part of the team on Day 1 when I was invited to a social event. Some members of the team were keen to get me involved on any exciting projects they were working on and take me out to customer meetings where possible. This was not always possible, but the team tried to get me involved in phone meetings instead. Almost all checked up on me during the internship.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager and team were very supportive and were always there to explain everything. The first week consisted of a lot of jargon and terminology that I was unfamiliar with but the team were always happy to explain these. I had weekly one to ones with my line managers where I accumulated anything that I didn't understand during the week, which he was happy to explain. I also used this time to talk through other projects I was working on, where he was happy to give me advice/guidance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The first couple of weeks were pretty slow in terms of work load but I needed this time to get used to the team and the systems etc. My line manager soon gave me lots to work on but I also engaged with the rest of the team to work on projects outside my immediate team. This was key to ensuring that I was busy but also learn loads during my time at RBS. I should mention the rest of the wider team were always happy to give me work where possible. However, some of the work given to me by the wider team did not enrich my experience at all. Overall, in terms of making sure the intern is busy, it's somewhat down to the line manager and team but also the intern themselves.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a fair amount of responsibility. I was able to contact different internal contacts depending on whatever project I was working on. I was also able to contact different clients too via email and phone and appreciated that my line manager and team trusted me to do this.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I don't think many of the skills I adopted would help me in my degree studies but they were certainly important skills in whatever line of work I decide I take. A lot of the knowledge and insight would put me in a great place should I decide to take the grad offer.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly. There was a good balance between working but also chatting to one another. I felt quite comfortable going over for a chat with other interns. Also, everyone was happy to help one another, and it wasn't as high pressure as I'd imagine but I think this will differ depending on which part of the bank you work in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall internship was well organised. The induction was structured well and transport, accommodation was sorted out well etc. After the internship started, there was no structure as such - every week was different. But there were key dates which we were aware of such as the CSR day or the presentation day etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, the Early Careers sorted out socials as did the grads in different areas of the bank. The induction was also a good platform to meet the different interns. The CSR/sustainability challenge was a good way to meet different interns and the end of internship event was a nice way to round of the internship.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising (as well as transport) in London was pretty expensive as you would expect. However, the RBS salary was fair considering we were just interns, and was more than enough to cover this for me. However, going forward, this will play a key role on whether I take the grad offer in London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?