1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The people were amazing - all really approachable and helpful, which made settling in at the bank very easy. The projects I was working on were varied and interesting, but there were times where I had spare capacity, even after asking for more work multiple times. However, you can easily be proactive in setting yourself more work, for example I managed to set-up sessions teaching workers how to use zoom because I could personally see not everyone was clued up on this platform.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Like aforementioned, everyone around me was so friendly and eager to give advice and support. They treat you like someone who is as important as everyone else, even though you're new. Also, from my experience, people treat you as a friend and show an interest in your out-of-work activities too.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Had one-to-one meetings with my line manager once a week, which was useful to ask any specific questions to someone outside of my team, or simply to get general advice. For instance, I asked my manager how best to approach asking for feedback from colleagues, as I knew how important this was. This enabled me to approach various people to help with my intern assessment question.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During the middle of the internship, when I was settled in, received my team project, and could also work on everything else (e.g. CSR charity group project and individual intern presentation and report as well as team project) I could dip in and out of different things, so remained busy and engaged. Towards the end of the internship, when all these tasks were finished and there was only bits and bobs / my additional project I set myself, there were more frequent pockets of spare time. However, overall I still remained busy and I expected to occur when wrapping up at the end of the internship.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Got tasked with being the author of the business case my team was working on , so received full autonomy and responsibility to work on this during my placement. Also, with the individual intern tasks we had, we had full ownership again and it was up to us to decide what direction we wanted to head in with that.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt general things like how to behave in the workplace, how to approach different people, how to deal with certain situations for instance when people aren't responding to certain emails that need an answer, i.e. chasing individuals etc. and these are all valuable, transferable skills. Also did multiple mind-set training (e.g. around agile) which are useful and can be applied elsewhere, as well as got to grips with Visio software which may be useful with my degree studies and beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Relaxed, even when people were stressed, it didn't show. This isn't saying people weren't focused or worked hard, they definitely were and did, they just didn't show signs of being fed up e.g. heavy sighs/moans etc. which altogether culminated in a positive environment where people could remain happy whilst working on important work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Everything was very clean and mainly de-cluttered, forming a pleasant and spacious looking environment. Some cabinets were jam packed with documents and random items which wasn't ideal for when people had to gain access to a specific thing and couldn't find it. However, this got sorted during the course of my placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They gave me free reigns a lot of the time with regards to the team project, encouraged me to get involved in various things that were going on in the bank for instance spotlights, MOP's etc. which aided my learning of how the bank works. Also received encouragement to to agile specific learning modules and workshops, which aided my development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing, especially the graduate scheme. Not only because I could reconnect with people I have met during my placement and become friends with, but also I can build on the bank specific knowledge I have established since being here, and gain further knowledge about different areas within the banks, especially thanks to the 4 rotations across 2 years, as part of the scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, we went for drinks and hung out after work on multiple occasions, as well as sat with each other during lunch time almost every day. The graduate council also organised at least one social every month that was part paid for and planned properly to include activities, which most of the interns went to and was good to connect with some of the grads too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living and socialising in Manchester city centre is reasonably high, but that is obvious and expected. it also didn't affect me as i was able to live at home and get a 30 minute metro to work every day, which was about £100 for a month of travel, which is reasonable.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was always lots going on in Manchester and lots of different places we could socialise at. This included outside bars when the weather was nice, for instance a place with a big outdoors TV where you could watch Wimbledon, as well as bars/restaurants next to the canals, that were pleasant to look at when sunny. Various other bars/clubs for later on too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In addition to the graduate team-organised social events that the interns could get involved in, there was the option to play football with the grads every week on a Tuesday, as well as a football tournament that took place towards the end of the internship too that included drinks afterwards.