I speciliase in the simplification of the operating model/process
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was very enjoyable. The work itself wasn't anything to scream and shout about but the office culture here at Lloyds Banking Group is amazing. Its totally the opposite from what you would expect from a corporate bank. They will provide you with a very conducive working environment where you will not be discouraged from trying new things.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued from day one. I worked in business design which is quite a niche field and I had zero experience in it beforehand. My team did not just throw me in the deep end from day one. They provided thorough and tailored training for me and after I've gotten up to speed, they started to involve me and let me take the lead on pieces of work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support here is fantastic. They sent me on courses and held weekly 1-2-1 sessions with my managers to identify and develop the skills i required to succeed. They also put me in touch with the relevant people when I wanted to do some shadowing outside of my day job and that was very enjoyable.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The bank underwent quite a big restructure during my placement year here and my team was quite affected. It was fine the first few months (Jul-Dec) but after that, the direction and strategy of the team was up in the air due to the restructure. And because of that, I did have quite a few slow days at work and there were lull periods as well.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Once you've gotten up to speed with the nature of the work, you're pretty much treated as any other employee. You will be give responsibility according to your level of competence and will be expected to meet deadlines, deliver milestones etc. There aren't any occasions where I've seen placement students act as a glorified personal assistant.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Since business design is a very niche field, there weren't any technical skills that overlapped between work and university. Most of the overlaps were the soft skills that you would expect to develop during your placement. From time management to presentation skills to teamwork, these are the invaluable things that you can take back to your final year in university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very generic. There wasn't anything too big to rant or rave about. Whilst it wasn't a boring corporate office, it also isn't one of those new-age offices that you see in tech companies where there are nap pods and such. Pretty much bang on average which you can't complain about.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was fairly well organised. We had our induction week in the first week and that introduced us to the culture/nature of the company, the do's & don'ts etc. From then on it depends on which team you get posted to. Different teams deal with different type of work so the structure/organisation of the placement will be unique for everyone
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The do invest a huge amount in you. This is very much team dependent though but I don't know of anyone who was denied a development opportunity. They will send you for courses if they need to but you could also request to go on a course which has no relevance to your day job but would help you develop a skill that you don't have. You just have to be able to justify it to your line manager.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
They do let students who've done the placement scheme get their applications to the graduate scheme fast-tracked. You just have to do a interview when you're leaving instead of having to do the whole process of tests, assessment centre & interview. They do mention that it is competitive though and not everyone will get accepted.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
This will vary across location. Being based in Halifax, there is hardly a social scene after work and everyone basically keeps to themselves. Its fine during work as people would interact and such but once you're done, you pretty much just head off and thats it. I would imagine this wouldn't be the case if you were based in London.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Again, this varies with location. I'm based in Halifax so everything is super cheap but i would imagine that my costs would probably double or even triple if i were to live in London. You do get paid an extra 1000-3000 is you are based in London though so that might help cover the extra costs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Halifax has a very unappealing nightlife. You could take the train to Leeds which is about 30 minutes away but it is quite a hassle as the trains only run every hour, and getting a taxi would be quite expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are many activities. Most of them are to do with charity work. From helping out to refurbish a local park or painting a school. There are also some sports activities as well but i never really got into any of those.