Working within the independent audit west team, I went and visited commercial banking risk client using or looking to use the banks invoice discounting facility. Whilst onsite with Clients I would analyse their financial data and complete testing to ensure the risk exposure to the client and the bank is at an acceptable level. A full report of this onsite audit would then be completed.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My year on industrial placement with Lloyds was brilliant, with the team that I was based within enabling me to gain full exposure to their role as well as having full access to see other areas of the business upon request. This meant that I was able to gain knowledge and insights into a sector that I hadn't previously experienced with a fantastic team of people! On top of this the potential to be put forward for the graduate scheme and potentially stay on at Lloyds is an opportunity not to be missed.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team were extremely welcoming from the first day, making me feel extremely comfortable and confident in being able to have open and honest conversations. For example my line manager was very supportive with allowing me to shadow any other areas of the business I was interested in. Within the team itself and with other colleagues, I was made to feel that the work completed whilst on placement and the feedback that I could also give as someone new to the business was valued to help them improve as well as growing my own skills and knowledge. I also felt that I had their full trust to work within the role and speak to business clients, which helped to grow my own self confidence massively!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager and colleagues that I worked with on a daily basis were extremely supportive in allowing me to take full control of completing the tasks required within my role and if there were any areas that I wanted to target all I had to do was ask. I was also given full support to see other business areas to ensure that I made the most of my placement. All members of my team were always available to contact for support, not just regarding the day to day job but also general advice to ensure I made the most of my time at Lloyds.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Given the nature of my role on placement the workload for the day to day job came in ebbs and flows however there was always something to do and if my workload was lighter I was able to request to be able to work on other areas to target for my own personal development and get involved in other projects for the department.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During my placement I was given full responsibility to complete the job that other colleagues well above a placement grade would be expected to. For example I was able to speak to clients on a face to face basis and write up reports to the standard of my experienced colleagues, throughout my placement as my confidence, knowledge and skills grew I was able to request for more responsibilities knowing that my team would be fully supportive of this.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Over the course of my placement I was able to complete specific ABFA courses in relation to my role, vastly growing my sector knowledge. My confidence, analysis, communication, networking and industry knowledge have all grown massively which will be hugely beneficial for my return to university for my degree work alongside the opportunities that this year has opened for me within the financial workplace.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The environment within my team was excellent, with everyone being good fun as well as getting down to work. The general environment within the office was friendly with colleagues being welcoming however communication between departments not always being the best.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement itself was well organised by Adecco, with monthly calls arranged by my placement coordinator as well as the ability to phone or email them whenever needed. My manager spoke to me before starting the placement via email correspondence and over the phone making me feel more comfortable before I had even arrived. Within the bank itself knowledge of placement students is not always widespread, with it sometimes presumed that you are a graduate however the bank is constantly trying to improve the process with all feedback appreciated.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My manager was extremely focused on ensuring that I made the most of my time on placement, with him supporting me in the completion of ABFA courses as well as getting involved in new software development. There was also a big impetus on developing my independence and confidence, as well as any areas that I specifically requested to target. All of this was possible due to my brilliant team and line manager, with not all other teams being as supportive of their interns depending on their role.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There currently is the ability to be referred via your line manager for the graduate schemes, of which you can specify before going through an interview process. This opportunity is fantastic, with the potential to obtain a graduate role before you have completed your degree and in an area that you like due to the ability to choose. There is currently a large focus on the scheme and developing the skillsets of employees for the future and therefore future opportunities within the organisation looking bright!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The industrial placement charity challenge means that you get to meet other placement students straight from the off, that you may otherwise have not met due to being in different departments. This meant that you are able to socialise from early on and have a good social life. I was fortunate enough to be based within a very sociable team where we would go and do things together as a team making it easier to settle in to work from the beginning.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Having to move to Bristol due to the location of the role meant I had to pay more for living expenses etc than if living at home. However the cost of living was reasonable and nothing that the salary paid for the placement didn't cover meaning I could still have a social life and manage to save.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Living in Bristol city centre, the nightlife is excellent with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. There is also a huge range of other things to do if that's not your cup of tea such as theatres, cinema, galleries, gym and greenery up on the Clifton downs.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Looking at notice boards around the office there are clubs and teams that you can get involved within, however given I wasn't based in the office regularly with a large amount of travelling this was not a possibility for me. However if you have a good social group as part of your IP charity challenge group, there will always be opportunities to go out and socialise together outside of work.