10-week internship with the London Sectors: Professional and Financial Institutions Team
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The internship was well-organized and really enjoyable. We all have been placed in different teams and we could meet with the other interns or even shadow other teams to find out more about the bank. The requirements for straightforward and help was always provided. There were also social programs and chance to network.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues have valued my insight and opinion from the first day. I have attended many meetings and contributed as much as I could. I think they had some doubts whether I can take on the more technical tasks that they do but when they realised that I fully capable to contribute, they got me involved in projects.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support was always given and I had a 1-to-1 discussion with my managers every week to talk about any issues and how I am doing in the internship. However, there were times where I felt that I have been left on my own to find work to do. I had my own project to work on but I wanted to work more for the team so I asked other members if I can help them. After discussing it with the manager, he tried arranging more tasks for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It really depended on the week we were in. As it was holiday season, there were some days or even a full week when we have spent every day in the office. Then I wasn't busy at all until I started going out to my colleagues to ask for tasks. But there were other weeks when I had 2 meetings daily and I could hardly breathe.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Because of the short span of the internship I could not get into very serious deals but the managers have trusted me to prepare the meeting notes, make some calls on their behalf. After a couple of weeks I have also done some important documentation which required more responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The financial knowledge will definitely help with my degree and now I have a greater understanding of what skills on knowledge is required for different divisions in the bank. This is helpful in figuring out what modules I need to take. We have been provided with thorough training, which was mainly personal and not technical. I am confident that the soft skills I have developed will be great help later on.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was always great. My team was really laid back and we had some great conversations as well. I didn't feel pressured at any time and I felt that I can always turn to any of my colleagues for help and support. I couldn't wait to come to work every day.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was really organised. We had a two-day induction where we met all the interns across the country and they laid out the whole internship for us. It was clear from the beginning what was expected of us and until when. My team was also prepared to take me on board and get me involved with their clients.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We have been given a lot of training material. Maybe even a little bit too much. Most of these were personal, conduct or behavioural online trainings and I would have preferred some more face-to-face technical training. This was not provided bank-wise because the different teams are involved in different project. I received some technical training from my team or from the company intranet.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
RBS is really a great place to work. Future employment prospects are appealing to me. I think there is a great opportunity to move around between divisions and teams so that people don't get bored. However, RBS has little international presence, which is a con for me.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The bank has many premises and I have been placed in one that was far away from our main building. This meant that I was only working closely with 2 of my fellow interns. This has made it harder to socialise but there were some events and whenever I visited the other buildings I caught up with the others. The people working on the same floors came quite close.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was working in central London which is of course quite expenses. Accommodation or meals were not provided throughout the internship but we all received a location specific allowance for costs. This is not enough to cover rent but it is helpful. Cost of living is quite high here but you earn money so it is up to you what you want to spend it on.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I mainly went to pubs or bars with the other interns or my other friends. I didn't go clubbing as I was living alone and didn't want to spend a fortune on Uber to get home. But you are in central London, so it is always very busy and buzzing.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some opportunities. We had some charity challanges going on that we could join. There were also some sports activities but for someone outside of the UK it wasn't too great as most sports are traditional British ones. The teams also organise some team meals or get-togethers outside of work, which is very fun.