Finance Intern, worked in Group Finance at the Windsor Headquarters of the Group
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Really enjoyed the whole experience, from staying at Royal Holloway with all the other interns to getting stuck in with work together with my team. I felt valued by the team, I was given real work to do which definitely took pressure off the rest of the team and felt sad to leave as I had bonded with everyone!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very much so. There is an atmosphere of collaboration, trust and knowledge sharing that permeates the business and everyone is willing to give their time to help you with a task, share their knowledge with you or just sit down and have a chat about your career. Lots of opportunities to seek feedback and receive praise!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had weekly meetings with my line manager to discuss progress, and we stuck to having these meetings no matter how busy we were. It was an important time to receive feedback and gain some confidence, where we discussed development points as well as the things I had done well.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days obviously busier than others - there were some later nights with Deliveroo (paid for) in the office and some days where we'd finish at lunchtime and do team building activities etc. I liked keeping busy and feeling like I was working hard so that others wouldn't need to pick up the slack!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given considerable responsibility given that I was a summer intern, including generating financial reports for the entirety of the Interim financial results announcement. I was also able to go to Goldman Sachs on Fleet Street to watch the CEO and CFO announce the results to the market and hear the questions from the sell-side analysts, which was really interesting and a privilege.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I am studying for a science degree, so the particulars learnt will not really assist me in the rest of my degree studies. However, I learnt so many useful skills and built considerable confidence which will aid me in finishing my degree and as I enter the world of work.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
No one had their own office, even on the executive floor. The offices were all open and anybody was approachable to ask a question, and this created a much more collaborative environment where we didn't just communicate with each other via email. People were always friendly and talkative, and generally the atmosphere was very positive.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think the overall placement was particularly well organised, since we all were able to stay in paid for accommodation near the office. I particularly appreciated this as a summer intern as I didn't live in the area and there would have been substantial cost associated with finding somewhere to live otherwise. HR organised development days, final presentations and interviews but generally left us to our own devices with our line managers taking the lead.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had meetings with probably 20-30 people during my 10 week placement. Everyone, no matter how busy, was always happy to meet up and talk with me, about my career, about the work I was doing etc. So many people went above and beyond to share their knowledge and experiences with me.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The prospects with this company seem very positive overall. There is significant development throughout the Graduate Scheme offered, including opportunities to pursue professional qualifications which would otherwise come at considerable expense. The Graduate Scheme offers several rotations in different areas of the business, giving exposure to different types of businesses and lots of different people across the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was definitely a good social scene, mainly due to the fact that the company put us up in Halls at Royal Holloway University so we all spent most of the week together, both at work and then where we were staying. We would cook together, play tennis, do outdoor activities etc.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation was paid for by the company but otherwise would have been very expensive, since the offices are in Windsor. I imagine living in this area for the Graduate Scheme would be very expensive, though there is a joining bonus to assist with this. Socialising was reasonably expensive but nothing more than I am used to really.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Quite poor nightlife - central London better for a night out
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Plenty of opportunities - from socialising with the interns and graduates to being invited to Windsor Races, there was a lot going on if you were interested in getting involved. There were also several charity initiatives so it was great to have lots of fun whilst also raising money for charity.