I think that the way interns are spread across the firm ensures that everyone receives maximum attention as well as enough work to be entertained. The culture in the company is amazing, despite this being an internship we are supported to take some days off and not overwork. I asked to shadow at different positions and was always able to do so and adapt my schedule, so that I can get the best experience, which has not happened to me during any other internship.
The whole team was welcoming despite giving me challenging tasks. The culture reflected 'acceptance of errors' and I could ask anytime I was unsure. A lot of people related to the fear of starting an internship and supported me that way. The fact that there is someone on the graduate scheme in almost all teams makes it much easier to fit in as there is someone who knows exactly what position you are in.
I heard varied responses from the intern group in general. Personally, I had a great experience. The guidance was very effective due to weekly one to one meetings and spending time to set clear objectives at the beginning of the internship as well as choosing a past time activity that I would like to develop during my internship as part of well-being task.
Most days I was busy and did not lack work to do while having enough time to do my tasks. Very few times I had to ask for additional work. There is an internship project to complete on top of your tasks, so if I had a few spare minutes, I knew I could spend it on completing my project. Some days were very busy and I stayed overtime as there were some deadlines for the department. I was not asked to stay longer but did not want to let the team down. Any choice of mine would have been accepted.
The responsibility levels varied based on tasks and how advanced my skills were for each task. If the team saw an improvement in particular skill they would delegate more responsibility to me. I was asked during each 'sprint planning' how confident I feel carrying out different duties and that reflected the level of freedom I had in carrying them out. It was the perfect balance and show of hyow well can agile management work in practice.
Agile management tools are something that I definitely want to keep up in the future for the organisation of my personal and study time. I was interested in its implementation further and got some additional support with that. As I was able to always request additional training for anything that interested me, I gained valuable skills in programming, which I am not usually faced with as a law student. Thus, I believe that I gained valuable skills not only for my academic but also professional life which I would not have the opportunity to gain otherwise. I was treated as an individual with individual needs and I cannot be happier about their approach.
Depending on the deadlines it was very relaxed and fun most of the time, drinks after work were always an option. If some deadlines were ahead and the team was not quite ready, everyone was supportive and hard-working to be able to achieve the tea, goals. Again, the combination of grads and interns helped to create an open-atmosphere.
The Early Careers seemed to not have this well planned out but the detail was upon the managers, mine did an amazing job. What I was unhappy with was the internship assessment, which consisted of project and an interview. Multiple times we were told that the project will be specific for each department but in the end they gave the the same task to everyone, just changed the heading from Technology to Consulting etc. That was very disappointing because the project had 0 value for the company and we had to spend time on it, while there was real work to be done, which we had to leave to our colleagues.
I was allowed to dedicate 2-4 hours of week to training, I completed online training during my working hours. Further, I was always allowed to attend any workshops that the bank had on, such as Excel training. If there was a tool or method that I enjoyed using, I was also supported to develop that skill and usually got more work in that area to practice its application.
As much as I enjoyed the internship, it is not my desired job to work at a bank. I wanted to have an experience from the banking industry and I can confidently say that RBS has one of the nicest working culture. But I do not see myself in banking in general.
Definitely, a lot of socials in the beginning helped everyone to find someone to hang out with no matter your preference. I was quite surprised how much the grads mixed with interns, which was great because we got a lot of additional insight into working at the company from people who have done multiple rotations and have a great overview of the bank.
Edinburgh in the summer during the Fringe is quite expensive but some of the costs can be avoided by planning ahead. I would recommend booking the accommodation at least 3 months ahead and prioritise something close to the bank rather than in the city centre because the connections are great, so you can get into the city centre for socialising within 10 minutes and the living cost will be significantly cheaper. The cost of the transport (Ridacard) does not change during the festival.
In the area of work there is no night life as RBS Gogarburn is a campus 20 mins from the city centre. The night life in the city is great though and there is always a lot to do. Some people might even want to take part in the Fringe events, theatre festival happening the whole August, where some events are for free.
Corporate Social Resposnibility challenge was compulsory for everyone and a great opportunity to do something outside of work. Clubs are available as well as regular sports events. I especially liked the opportunity to go volunteering which is offered to employees twice a year, so my team went while I was there and it is a great opportunity to give back.
Internship (1-4 Months)
5th August 2019