1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
During my internship, I was able to complete two rotations within different teams. In each team, I was treated as an actual new hire and was given responsibility for multiple tasks and projects, which were useful for the business. I had plenty of exposure to senior management. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. The collaborative culture of the firm is one of its main strengths, and it does truly live up to its values.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As mentioned above, I was given tasks which were relevant to the business, which made me feel like an actual employee and made me feel valuable to my colleagues and seniors. Additionally, I have been receiving frequent feedback from my managers and team members, both formal and informal. This also made me feel like I was appreciated by other employees of the firm.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Due to the flat hierarchy of the firm, I have had plenty of exposure to senior management. For each of my rotations, I was assigned a manager who oversaw my daily activities as well as provided some of the training. I was also able to attend meetings with the managers, and if I was not sure about the issues discussed during the meetings, I knew I could always ask them for clarification. All the managers encouraged asking questions and following up if I wasn't sure if I understood the tasks correctly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were busier than others, depending on the time of the month. On less busy days I would always seek opportunities to learn new things - e.g. I was encouraged to seek shadowing opportunities in other teams/departments or I was able to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts Course. Whenever I had some free time I could also work on improving my own projects.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During both of my rotations, I was treated like a new-joiner and had my daily responsibilities. Similarly, I was able to present the results of my project to senior management. While I was not able to have more responsibility due to my lack of professional qualifications, I felt like I was given enough responsibility as an intern.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have learnt a lot about how the investment banks operate from the front office to the back office. I was able to develop my excel and VBA skills as well as learnt how to use the Bloomberg Terminal. I had plenty of exposure to both front and back office, which helped me understand what tasks other departments cover. Finally, I have learnt a lot about different asset classes, interpreting financial statements and the financial markets overall, which is extremely useful for both my university subjects and future career development.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office is extremely friendly and always open to help you. All the senior managers have an open door policy and can be approached whenever. They are always open to meeting with the interns for a coffee or lunch to discuss their roles and responsibilities. Everyone also appreciates a fun personality and it was extremely easy to make friends with both interns and actual employees.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall, the information about the internship was provided to us in a timely manner, so that everyone knew what is happening and when. We were sent invites to our Outlook calendars so that we knew when the intern-specific events were happening.
The only drawback was that not all of the technical set-up has been done prior to the start of the internship and so not everyone was able to start working on their tasks immediately. This is because we had to wait for IT to grant us access to the software.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
All interns have initially been given a two-day training on the financial markets and investment banks and each department's role, which was conducted in a very interesting and entertaining manner.
Later on, as mentioned above, I was able to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts course, which I would not have been able to complete otherwise. During slower days, I was also given time to work on my VBA or excel skills or to read about Bank's lines of business.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Overall, RBC as an amazing culture as an investment bank - it has an extremely flat hierarchy and so interns have a lot of exposure to the senior management. As an intern, one is given a lot of responsibility, both over daily tasks as well as his/her own projects. All the employees are really friendly and have interesting personalities, which makes it a great place to work especially given the long working hours prevalent in the industry.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Both back office and middle office interns have been given the initial training together, which allowed us to make really good friends with each other, especially thanks to the numerous socials organised by the HR team. We were also able to meet front office interns as we were all working on group presentations that were delivered at the end of the internship. I have personally made really good friends with some of the interns and I am still keeping in touch with them.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is known for being expensive, however, the pay was more than sufficient to have a social life. While the bars in the City are relatively expensive, the interns from London would often show us places that are a bit cheaper, which was great for us to hang out together and socialise.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again, London has an amazing nightlife scene, so everyone can find something to do, especially in the summer. There is plenty of famous clubs or pubs that one can go to. Additionally, there is plenty of events taking place over the summer - concerts, theatre plays, movie marathons, etc. - so it is extremely hard to pick one!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
London offers a wide range of clubs, societies or networking/volunteering events that are open to everyone. If you were looking to get involved in a particular activity, you could easily find something that interests you. I have personally joined a boxing club, which was great as I haven't been able to do it in the town where I study.