1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my internship with RBS, although I would have liked to have had some more say in terms of which department I was placed in. I have really enjoyed getting to know my team in commercial coverage, but after my two years of studying Accounting and Finance there are some specific areas of the bank that would have suited me better to have spent more time in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues are all really friendly, and I have enjoyed speaking to them about their work and attending client meetings with them. However, as time progressed I do not feel that the level of work I was given progressed in terms of responsibility. I was probably given more responsibility by teams I spent less time in, such as structured finance.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was really great to speak to, one on one meetings with him were always very productive and I felt I got a lot out of them. He also provided me with other contacts in other departments which I was interested in so that I could spend time developing knowledge in other teams too.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were much busier than others. Generally speaking Tuesday-Thursday I would be out on client meetings, then I would spend Friday doing my reflection reports and other admin work. Some days however I wouldn't be given any work despite asking for it, so then I would spend extra time working on my intern project.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given tasks mainly involving research. I never felt much pressure as I felt there was not much responsibility with these tasks. However, when prepping for meetings I would put more responsibility on myself to ensure that I could actually contribute and have a good knowledge of the business should any questions arise that I could answer.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My course (Accounting and Finance) at University of Bristol is fairly theoretical so it was really useful to see how some of these theories are used practically. For instance how structured finance apply the Modigliani and Miller theory, and how Coutts use modern portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model to structure investments.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was really good in commercial coverage. Everyone was able to have a laugh but at the same time everyone seemed to be getting their work done. Matt runs the team in a really great way, he is firm but also really friendly. So despite him being incredibly busy I always felt like he could make time for people.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was confusion at the start of the internship in terms of our project brief, so that could have been made much clearer to us abnd our line managers from the outset. Also, I think I should have been able to have an input as to which department I was placed in. All the departments are very different, and with my background in finance I think there are other teams I would have been better suited to. For instance I know Coutts Bristol said they are very keen to have interns and graduates join their team.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I took part in a number of courses as part of my training, which allowed me to get a certified women in business accreditation. We also had to complete a number of GPL courses as part of training- but these are mandatory for all staff so not specific to interns.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would certainly accept the grad scheme if it were offered to me, however I would feel much happier knowing in advance which teams I will be working in. For instance I have no intention to take a full time permanent role and create a career for myself within digital, so I feel it would be a waste of mine and their time to spend 6 months of a graduate scheme working in there. Ideally I would wish to work in Coutts, specifically wealth management as this has been my passion at University. I understand that some grads would wish to experience all teams but I feel personally quite set on what I wish to pursue.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is a really good social scene here at RBS, especially among the graduate, apprentice and intern community. We have attended Bristol Young Professional events, as well as having more unofficial ones organised for us. The early careers team have also been fairly generous giving us budgets for events throughout the internship.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in fairly high in Bristol, however I am relatively used to this as I have studied here for 2 years already. This means I already had accommodation sorted in city centre Bristol ready for University next year.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife is fantastic in Bristol- Motion club being the best club in the UK in 2016! I also know the nightlife well through being a student here
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were lots of opportunities to get involved in activities outside work. For instance sporting activities (mainly table tennis), socials with the other interns, Bristol Young Professional events, Pub crawls with plenty of colleagues, Bristol Balloon fiesta and many more. Bristol is a very vibrant city so there is always lots to get involved in.