Intern in the MSS Division, completing two rotations in different sections of the business.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Each desk had an extremely different environment, in terms of the general atmosphere of the desk as well as the type of work given and level of involvement of the manager and supervisors for the placement. This sometimes made it a struggle to become accustomed to each environment, especially as in some cases it seemed like the managers on the desk were not aware of the purpose of the internship or what the intern's role needed to be. Nevertheless I found a lot of the work challenging and engaging, and also got on well will the other interns which in particular made the whole experience extremely positive.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Perhaps it was just because the desks I was based on were both private side and had more of an "office cubicle" atmosphere than the open plan and long rows on the main trading floor, but at times I found it difficult to introduce myself to my colleagues without feeling like I was interrupting and slowing down their day.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers were away on holiday or on out-of-office conferences for most of my time on the internship, so I was not able to catch up or learn from them much at all. However, the other members of the desks supported me, though at times it felt like they didn't have the time for me which was frustrating.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My days would usually vary between being far too busy or having nothing to do at all. On the days with nothing to do I could focus on the internhsip Trading Game or on my own admin but it did feel like tasks would come all at once or not at all. However I think this followed the general flow of the work on the desk and the variation between extremely complex or confidential work and taska they felt comfortable giving to me.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
It felt like I was given real tasks to do which made an impact on my team, and the tasks I was given were interesting and diverse as well. I also had the opportunity to attend meetings and listen in on phone calls, which gave a well-rounded view of the jobs of my managers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Especially the new skills I learnt in Excel, but also general skills of time management and communication, will definitely assist me in my studies. I'm sur my experience on the internship will also prepare me well for my future career, whether it's at the company or elsewhere in a completely different field.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It wasn't particularly fun or boring, it just felt like everyone around me was getting on with their own work and not contributing to a wider interpersonal atmosphere. The constant use of IM to communicate sometimes made it difficult to get to know people or feel involved in conversations, but from a business perspective this is understandable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Although I missed some of the training week it felt like there was support for me when I joined the desk so I could get up to speed. However HR were sometimes quite difficult to get in touch with - our Recruiter left midway through the placement and it was not immediately clear who had replaced her. As well as this, at one point I tried to arraneg a meeting with an HR rep but after an initial reply confirming this would be possible no one got back to me to set a time or place, which was frustrating.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
A lot of the work had to be done independently and at times feedback we received from different trainers or managers was contradictory or didn't make sense - for example in the Trading Game which was supposed to improve our business knowledge and prewsentation skills. It would have been good to have more networking opportunities later on in the internship.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would consider a job at the firm however I'm not sure if I've found a place that fits me perfectly yet. I also found that I was a bit uncomfortable with the emphasis that every employee seemed to put on earning/making money as opposed to forming worfk communities and personal growth.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I got on really well with my fellow interns and enjoyed spending social time with them both at lunch as well as after work. I was grateful that there were so many opportunities to meet and connect with the other interns after the initial training week, which I could not attend.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was very expensive to socialise and although I did not live in the area during the placement I was aware that both housing costs and other living expenses such as food were very expensive too. I usually would not eat in the office cafeteria but go somewhere cheaper instead in order to cut costs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was a variety of bars and restaurants nearby which offered a good range of choices for interns after work. It was good to be able to meet interns from other firms and divisions in the local bars as well. I would say the office was well-located for nightlife and was also connected on public transport to more central areas.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were no opportunities to get involved with activities offered by the company, and the working hours generally made it impossible to participate in any activities on weekdays after work. On the weekends I was often too tired to do anything and also used the time to complete my admin tasks left over from the week, as on weekdays I would usually go straight to bed when I got home due to tiredness.