1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was overall an enjoyable experience. The first week training was really convenient and not only served to catch up of things you might not have known but to also meet the rest of the interns, who I found to be really friendly and approachable. The team and the people in the company also tried to make the whole experience both relevant, enough hands on work, and enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
It highly depended on the current deal flow and with how much work you were assigned. There were moments when everyone was too busy to spend enough time guiding you through the process, although more often than not, they would make the time and help you bring value to the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout the whole internship, management and supervisors were always open and supportive, and would make the time to talk to you if you felt the need to. More importantly, the whole team and everyone in the company were approachable, willing to give useful advice and offered further support if we needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As previously mentioned, it was highly dependent on the deal flow. On some days you had to stay late helping out the team or finishing up tasks, while some (rare) other days were spent working on the intern project or learning about previous transactions and doing research.
However, it was the days you were assigned or requested that extra work, when you really felt you were contributing the most.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a fair amount of responsibility. Not only regarding meeting deadlines and completing the assigned work in a proficient manner. But above all the fact that you knew much of what you were doing was going to be used later on, made it feel like you had more responsibility. Additionally, you were encouraged to listen in on client calls and follow the whole deal/ transaction process from the beginning to the very end.
In the end, the amount of responsibility given was proportional to ones ability to cope with it.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Like everything in life, there are skills that are easily transferable and skills that you might never get to use in other situations. However, the general ones such as a positive work ethic, continuous effort and resilience are ones that will serve you and I believe were greatly developed over my time here. As for the more team/industry specific skills, this can be acquired with experience over time and I believe some of them will be useful if you remain in this industry, in addition to having been interesting to learn.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The overall environment was a mix of what you would expect from a company in this industry and you teams personal touch. The former was quite a dynamic environment, were everyone was most often busy but still approachable if you needed their time. Moreover, my team had a great atmosphere, cultivated by our manager who really encouraged team bonding activities and further improved by the general friendliness of everyone within it.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well organised in my opinion. The first week was training which covered the basics required for the job and added a few things on top. This was followed by 9 weeks on the desk, with occasional training sessions and a summer project we had to present on the penultimate week. Hence, it was a good balance between real-life work, some training and some socializing with other teams and interns.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As I said before, the first week training was quite useful especially for someone who didn't come from a financial background such as myself. The rest of the learning was done on the desk, by exposing yourself to life deals and asking questions when you did not know something. Training workshops covering softer skills were also provided which were a nice change.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Will know in a weeks time from this post. Hopefully, positive.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Interns as a general rule were really sociable and tried to interact as much at and outside of work. Lunch and dinners were usually eaten together and drinks after work, when we had time, were organized. Many interns, especially the ones coming from overseas, made the most of the weekends when they had the time, enjoying London.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Expensive, as expected of London. Average rents anywhere close to the offices (London centre) were quite high, while drinks and food can become quite expensive if done too often.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Decent nightlife, close to all the decent areas. However, not cheap either.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Time for activities outside of work was limited. However, there was enough time every week to pursue at least one if truly committed.