Technology Intern at RBS. 10 Week placement working the anti-money laundering team.
There are lots of opportunities for growth and development. The bank host many events and panels as well as a culture of everyone helping everyone. I went for coffees with people in very senior positions and they were happy to give their time and offer advice. My line manager was amazing and helped me so much both in terms of my work for RBS but also my personal development and what my strengths and weaknesses were. The bank is also really flexible and keen on striking a good work life balance - even being an intern I was able to come in at 8 and leave at 4 which for a corporate company the size of RBS is really rare. The social side was also good, with about 50 interns there was always a group who were up for doing something after work or at weekends.
On the negative side I didn't find the work stimulating enough. There is a very rigorous assessment process which does not match the level of work. I was also not based in the headquarters - the office I was in was a very standard office block and I don't think my experience was as good as the other interns in Gogarburn.
My role involved delivering two projects both of which were solo. While my line manager and the team were all really welcoming my role did not involve helping or participating in any projects they were doing so I don't feel i added value to their work. There was not a social side in terms of my team as well as the length of the internship being 10 weeks meaning there wasn't much time to integrate, especially not working together.
My manager was great from the outset, despite having a very busy diary he always made time for me and gave me detailed feedback on my projects. I met with him officially twice a week usually for an hour each - which is a lot of time considering his workload. He was very keen for me to get the most out the internship as possible and helped immensely with my personal development which has improved my confidence in the work environment.
Only a daily basis I was fairly busy but the work was not stimulating. I had two projects which meant I had a good workload however with both these projects being individual I was often quite bored. I made myself busy by booking RBS events and organising meetings without which I don't think I would have enjoyed the internship. I appreciate it is hard to drop an intern into a project for a short amount of time but I think working on a project with a team would have made the work much more interesting.
I was given a lot of responsibility on my internship. I presented one of my projects to all the senior managers in my division as well as speaking the international monthly meeting which included about 30 people. I was also trusted to complete the work in time and wasn't checked up on. My only wish was that I had more involvement/ responsibility in other team projects
After the internship I am doing a MSc in management - something this internship has certainly taught me a lot about. The internship has shown me how a big corporation works - something I only had an idea about before - and shown me what I do and don't like about different roles. There is also a lot of emphasis on networking which is certainly a skill for life and I have made many contacts here which I hope to keep as my career progresses.
The general atmosphere was friendly but not social by any means. Most conversations were a " hello, how are you" as opposed to any depth making the place quite dull. The office I was in was very much a work zone with no social spaces, it seemed very different to the headquarters which has many breakout areas and coffee shops.
The internship was very well set up - I pretty much always knew exactly where I needed to be and where. The induction at the start was quite slow moving and patronising but the rest of the organisation has been good. To improve I would suggest more social events especially at the start to get the interns to socialise more.
My manager in particular invested a lot into my personal development in terms of taking the time to reflect and improve my weaknesses. There were also lots of events and networking opportunities which were left to the individual to take advantage of. I know graduates get a grant for training courses which I think is a great idea and it be great to see it rolled out onto the intern programme. I also met with someone high up in the area I want to go into and he was great at explaining what I needed to do to get to where I wanted.
Future prospects of employment are appealing for a number of reasons. First the grad job offers four placements in different businesses areas. I think this rotation is great as it would allow me to experience multiple departments and roles something that is invaluable at the start of my career and before I decide where to specialise. Second the grad scheme has a great salary and the number of other grads who would join would mean a great social experience too. As a grad in RBS as well there is opportunity to move around and network with lots of different people which is particularly helpful for someone like me who is not 100% where they want to go.
Yes there is a good social scene amongst the interns. The number of interns means there is nearly always someone who wants to do something. My only critique is that in my office there are not many interns so I miss out quite a bit with the majority of interns being based in the headquarters.
The cost of living and socialising is cheap for the most part. As in any city there are expensive areas but it is easy to have fun at a low price and there are lots of places to go for free or little money. Being based in Edinburgh the fringe makes August a much more expensive month but the festival and its atmosphere completely outweighs the higher prices.
The nightlife is good, there are lots of bars and clubs to go to which cater to all music tastes and budgets. Many of which also have student discount. With the fringe on in August as well there are lots of shows and gigs to get involved in - many of which are also free.
I participated in the touch rugby team however that finished very early into my internship. It would be good to see some more sports or societies set up because I know that I would have been keen to join them if they were available. I'm sure there are clubs available but they have not been made aware to interns something that could definitely be improved.