General admin including the Onboarding of New Starters (collecting references, conducting background checks etc.), updating departmental KPIs and preparing presentations for board meetings. Organised projects including the 12 Days of Christmas, University Career Fairs and the Placement Student Assessment Centre.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the placement scheme at RCI Financial Services. All placement students in the business are fully valued and treated the same as full time members of staff. Working within the HR department, I was given multiple opportunities to try new things and to get involved in different areas of the business. In my role, I was able to work with people of all different levels, across the business. I assisted with the general admin of the HR department, including Onboarding of New Starters, and worked on projects including University Career Fairs, organizing our internal Christmas events for employees and working with colleagues in Renault UK to put on our first joint Work Placement Assessment Centre. The best part of my work placement definitely was the people at RCI - everyone was friendly and approachable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
RCI Financial Services has a fantastic working culture - everyone is really friendly, and everyone is treated equally. The department I was working in fully integrated me into their team. I felt the work I did was appreciated and the hard work I put in recognised.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had bi-weekly one to ones with my manager who went through my work with me. Outside of this, all the team were always available to help with any queries. I was given lots of independence to carry on with my work, but lots of feedback and guidance at the same time!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As the HR intern, I was supporting a very busy department. My role was usually quite busy, with busier periods during the year. However, when times got busier, or I felt very busy, my team would help me prioritise my workload. Although the role was busy, it was always varied and interesting. I never felt bored!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Once I had gotten used to the work I was doing at the beginning of my placement year, I was given the independence to manage some projects myself. Whilst the team checked in and were there if I had any queries, they pushed me to be independent and take responsibility for projects/tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The experiences I have had at RCI Financial Services have given me skills for life. My attention to detail, time management, prioritization skills have all massively improved. Additionally, being able to prepare presentations and present on different occasions, including to our Executive Committee, my confidence and presentation writing skills have improved. My increased confidence in speaking to colleagues from all different levels across the business will massively aid me in all future endeavors. The time I have spent at RCI Financial Services has been invaluable in numerous ways!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
RCI Financial Services has a friendly culture, with a fun atmosphere. The Company encourages a work-life balance, and puts on different events throughout the year for staff to enjoy. Because of this atmosphere, coming into work everyday was always enjoyable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
All the Placement Students had a fully defined role within the department they joined. When the placement year began, we followed an Induction Programme that was spread out over a month, including a team building exercise and product training. We had three reviews/appraisals over the year with our line managers, who set us objectives and discussed how we were getting on.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
When the Placement Year began, we had a full Induction Programme that included Product Training. Interns did have the opportunity to sign up for training courses that took place in the business, but the majority of our training was on the job training. In my role, my team helped to push me to learn about different things, for example updating internal policies. During my year, I worked with our internal recruiter to learn about interviewing and recruiting and by the end of the year I was able to conduct my own interviews with our managers.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects with RCI Financial Services are very appealing. They have a good rotational Graduate Scheme, along with other department specific Grad Schemes. Future employment prospects at RCI are appealing as the company pushes individual's further development. There would be lots of opportunities for career development within the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Interns were encouraged to socialize together through team building excerises at the beginning of the year. Before the placement year began, all interns were added to a Facebook group, so we could get to know another before we started. This was especially helpful for people who needed to relocate. As a group, we all got on really well.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
RCI Financial Services is based in Maple Cross, Rickmansworth. The cost of rent in the local area is quite high as its just outside of London. More reasonably priced accommodation could be found in Uxbridge and other surrounding areas. The cost of socializing and living was reasonable, there were a big variety of supermarkets in the area to suit any budget!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There were nice pubs local to the office and in the town were lots of different night clubs and bars. Being so close to London, it was easy to head to the city for a night out as well. There were lots of different restaurants, and activities like the cinema and bowling available as well.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
RCI had a Running Club and a Football Team that people could get involved in outside of work. Departments often organized regular social activities for their teams, and had annual team building events, some of which included activities such as abseiling! The company held events including a big Christmas Party in London and a Summer Family Festival that had food and fairground rides.