Female insights week with RBS
The programme was a great opportunity to gain insight into the innerworkings of the bank and the work-life balance of some inspirational women who volunteered to guide us throughout the week. I really enjoyed the structure of the programme and the opportunities it opens up for prospective candidates. It was a great chance to network with RBS employees and learn from them.
The company dedicated resources for our involvement, such as food, accommodation and travel. And most importantly, employees took time out of their busy schedule to help us learn and share their expertise in their respective fields. Everyone I interacted with was very interested in learning more about me as a person and it made me feel really valued.
All interns were supported fully throughout the process, every employee was very considerate of the terminology they used and wanted to help us with advice for the assessment centre at the end of the programme. The organisers made sure to brief us on each step of the process and were considerate of our personal circumstances.
I found the programme very useful for discovering and developing passions for finance and business. However, my degree doesn't have anything to do with that (BSc Physics). Nonetheless, the programme offered a great stepping stone into the business world for someone coming from a science and maths-heavy background. I created some very vital contacts within the company and made genuine friends, which was great and it helped me learn a lot about the business sector.
The organisers set out a planned timetable and activities, some of which were too extensive for my liking. I thought the induction day was too long and some of the presentations were unrelated to the point of the insights week. The networking with graduates was awkward as it wasn't well planned and a lot of the time the people volunteering to help us would struggle to come up with things to talk about. It would be better to plan out shorter, more concise exercises and presentations.
The atmosphere was rich in female empowerment, inspiration and inclusivity. Which is vital for young undergraduates who want to enter the banking and business sector. The company had not only a focus on the customer but on its current and prospective employees, treating our opinions and time with respect and letting us get that vital insight. I felt very welcome into RBS and I'm looking forward to developing closer bonds with the company in the future.
The company set aside resources for our training and delegated some key employees to talk to us and lead us through the company offices, their own journey and the opportunities the interns have. Some employees took us through their day-to-day tasks and others sat down and talked to us with advice and insight.
A lot of employees showed us through their offices and took us under their wing as they went about their meetings and everyday work. Some others sat us down in the more public rooms of the office building, so we couldn't get a good grasp of their specific work life.
All employees were keen on telling us about their personal journeys at the company and what the company has given back to them. I got consistent impressions of the company culture from each employee and they all culminated towards the same description. Meaning all employees we encountered had a good impression of the company and were keen on communicating that.
I managed to network with employees from vastly different sectors within the bank, which gave me insight into many possible career paths and I was able to ask questions to give me a better idea of what I would like to work in. Interns were given many possibilities to network with sectors they wish and ask as many questions as possible.
The company covered my travels to and from London. It provided 5 pounds for breakfast, 5 pounds for lunch (on days when lunch wasn't provided at a company event) and 15 pounds for dinner. The company also covered my hotel accommodation costs and public transport tickets (Tube and bus respectively).
There were many opportunities to network and meet people, some were organised, others were improvised by people that volunteered to have us shadow them. For example, one employee that I was mirroring introduced me to her line manager, who was keen on giving me extensive knowledge into capital management and the work he does in his role.
We could network with employees and people on the graduate scheme. We had a specific graduate networking event and around 10 employees came to talk to us about their journeys, the company and their sector of work. It was really inspirational as the grads were very close to our age and we could relate to their experience.
I was able to ask every employee I encountered about how they manage a work/life balance and what opportunities the company offers for maintaining it. I was informed about all the development schemes that are freely available for all employees and the amount of resources they have access to for personal and professional development.
I would definitely recommend this to a friend, it was a very well organised programme with a pure intention of helping interns narrow down career path ideas and gain contacts and insight with RBS. It was not only useful for that, but also for gaining sector-specific knowledge into some of the company's many departments.