Female Insight Week - Structured Finance
The first day was very general on RBS and a little bit boring, because there was only one interactive session. The second and third days however were brilliant! We got to speak to many employees and did multiple case studies. The HR team ensured we got to speak with seniors and juniors alike.
All members of staff treated us respectfully and many of them learnt our names. It was also surprising to me that some analysts that spoke to us over lunch remembered us and said hi to us in the office. RBS has a very friendly environment to work in for sure!
Some of the case studies and workshops were very rushed because we were running behind schedule, so the guidance was not great there. However, we were giving exent guidance for the assessment centre and the employees that conducted the sessions were great teachers, so it was easy to ask questions throughout.
I would say that my team work skills were especially developed during the internship at RBS. This is because we did at least 4 group work exercises, excluding the assessment centre. I got to know the other girls very well ans got to work with a range of personalities, which is not that common at university.
Overall the insight was pretty well structured. We did sessions on RBS in general on the 1st day and structured finance specific sessions on the next 2 days. The activities ranged from talks, to speed dating to Q & A sessions and workshops, so the week was fun and kept us engaged.
The atmosphere at the insight week was was pleasant to say the least. Some words I can think to describe it are welcoming, friendly, cheerful, relaxed, open, easy going and respectful. The employees made us feel comfortable and valued, which helped us feel confident in speaking and participating in activities. Also people were VERY open to questions.
Many employees came to talk to us and did workshops with us, which must have taken them time to prepare.
The insight week overall was quite helpful in showing us what working in RBS for structured finance is like. We got talks from all the different teams and had networking sessions with employees at all levels, senior to junior, which allowed us to get an insight about what working in the different levels is like RBS. Shadowing a desk would have probably been helpful as well.
The culture is very flat, juniors get a lot of exposure to seniors and they were welcome to ask for feedback and ask questions. We were treated in the same way. The Head of Structured Finance did a Q & A with us an he was so pleasant to be around. There was also collaboration between the different teams to best serve clients.
I am very indecisive in general, so I still don't know what I want to do after the insight week, but I definitely would not mind working for RBS seeing the welcoming and positive culture that they have. I very much enjoyed my time and met some lovely people as well!
We were given an allowance for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although lunch and dinner were provided for the most part. They weren't the most generous with their commute - some girls travelling from Oxford were asked to take the train everyday, instead of having a hotel booked, because the commute fell under 1.5 hours.
There were opportunities to network with the Head of Structured Finance, Heads of different teams, a speed dating session with 15 associates, a lunch with graduates and another with analysts. Lots of opportunities to ask questions at all the different levels and they were all equally welcoming and helpful which was great!
They were very insightful but also pretty intense. Speed dating for example involved standing for 1.5 hours and speaking to employees, 7 minutes at a time. They didn't even have name tags so it was very difficult remembering what everyone does, but I greatly appreciated the fact that so many of them came to meet us!
Employees are encouraged to organise charity events once a month, which I was very pleased about. They also have sports events and participate in work-related competitions, where they get to come up with innovative ideas that can be incorporated to the business. That seemed a lot of fun and it gets their spirits up!
I would one hundred percent recommend this insight to a friend. RBS is not your typical investment bank and it was refreshing to see something different. The atmosphere is not corporate and the employees are super friendly, which surprised me considering it is such a big bank. Give it a go!