1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was an incredible learning experience and I was able to get involved in a great number of different projects with different colleagues. I learnt a great deal of both hard and soft skills that will be useful for my career going forward. There was sometimes a lack of work and our relationships with our managers were not very close. Those are the only negatives I can think of.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The interns were welcomed into the team. THe people we worked with were quick to answer questions and provide support. However, because it is quite a large team, it is difficult to get to know everyone. I found that even in the last few weeks, I was still meeting new colleagues and team members which was slightly bizarre. This being said, everyone was very welcoming to us.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I think that there was a great degree of variation in the support interns had from managers and supervisors. My "buddy" was my go-to contact and was absolutely fabulous. However, because my manager and I did not have any clients or projects together, our only contact was our 3 catch up meetings throughout the internship. This wasn't enough to truly form a working relationship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was a great deal of variety day to day. Given the nature of the work we were given, some days were insanely busy and required us to stay late/come in early. Other days we just had articles to read as there was not much work to give us. Overall, it was a managable amount.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
We were given a great deal of responsibility but everything was checked before going to our higher ups. This meant that we were not afraid to try to do our work but we were not set up for failure. It was the right amount of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was able to further build my teamworking skills, as well as my technical skills such as Excel and other Microsoft Office programmes. Additionally, we were exposed to a great amount of jargon that is used in the pension/investment sphere that will prove useful going forward. I also learned how to better act in a professional environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very positive, there are lots of office socials and events. Lots of young people, very welcoming. There is definetly an expectation to be social, which personally I loved. It helped the interns feel part of the team. It's not overly competitive but everyone does take their work seriously; it is a good balance.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well organised but the roll of the managers should either be less emphasised or they should have a bigger part of our day to day. My mentor was much more involved in my work and in my development than my manager, who often had to cancel meetings and catch ups for other work. Additionally, I think the social impact project could be better organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were many efforts put in place to help us learn. I think that a crash course in Excel and some other programmes could also benefit us. It was tricky because some interns had exposure to different types of reports, projects, etc. at different points. However, our buddys/managers weren't sure who had already done what and sometimes expected us to understand the material even though we personally had not had any exposure.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
They are greatly appealing but given the high number of interns this year, it is very hard to judge how many grad roles will be given. There is a strong grad scheme and the buddies who are part of it speak very highly of it. Aon's support for exams is also very good.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there was. There were an assortment of both self organised and company organised events. It would be nice to maybe have an intern/buddy social early on, where everyone can mingle in a less professional environment. Everyone got on really well and there were plenty social oppurtuities for all of us.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is an expensive city. However, just like anywhere else it can be managed. There were plenty of lunch specials, student deals, etc. and so we were able to keep costs down to some degree. Lots of the interns stayed at their family homes for the summer and so were commuting from far. Those of us who stayed in London saw most of our paycheck go to rent.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are plenty of opeitons for happy hours, bars, pubs, and restaurants. There are not many clubs near by but everything is a short drive or trip on the tube. There were options for everyone and for all price points. The office is quite centrally located.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some, but not many. Besides office drinks and socials, the only other activity we were invited to outside of work was cricket. As someone who has never played cricket, I did not join in. There could possibly be more out of work activities as this helps the interns integrate.