1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall the placement was enjoyable - I liked the company's culture and working environment such as dressing for your day, flexibility to work from home etc. I don't think the content of what I was doing suited me 100%, but I found a lot of the work interesting and engaging. At times I felt slightly ignored and not prioritised by my line manager, and wasn't given much work to do or any feedback/guidance. Other colleagues were however very friendly and would make time to speak to me over a coffee.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My line manager suggested networking and learning more about the business by making meetings with different employees, and all employees were happy to share their experiences/journey with me which made me feel welcomes and valued. However, I think more could have been done to make me feel comfortable in the office e.g. introducing me to everyone instead of just a few people - as going up to new people as an intern is extremely nerve-wracking, and some people who sat right near me I never spoke to the entire time. The work I did felt valued most of the time, but there were occasions were I felt I was given work to do for the sake of it such as making presentations which were not then presented to anyone in the business, which felt like I waste of my time
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I think I could have received a lot more support from management. My line manager often gave me tasks to do with little offer to support me or ask if anything was new. If I asked for help my manager often was happy to provide it, but it would sometimes take a long time to arrange a meeting to discuss this. My manager worked between two offices in London and sometimes several days would pass without seeing him as he was constantly in another office, which did make me feel quite unsupported.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were a lot of occasions where I had nothing to do. My manager would give me quite menial or short tasks to do such as checking a spreadsheet, emailing a colleague, printing a document etc which took very little time to do, but he would only give me a few tasks to do each day. I think more preparation is needed before scholars arrive where work is already prepared for them. Tasks definitely picked up more towards the end of the internship but I did have to proactively ask for work to do, and sometimes it felt like I was just trying to make myself look busy. I didn't enjoy this as I wanted to learn skills which I could use in the future, but felt like I was actually just given mundane tasks to do to take some load off for my manager, like a PA.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Even though I wasn't given as much to do as I would have liked, the level of confidentiality of the work I was given was a big responsibility. I dealt with highly sensitive and confidential data and was tasked with emailing some senior colleagues, which was good. However, I wasn't given much responsibility in terms of being given sole responsibility of an important project/task - a lot of the work I did was quite menial and felt unimportant/without an impact.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think I have learnt some skills for the workplace such as how to talk to colleagues, improving my spreadsheet/presentation skills somewhat, and some business insight which is very valuable. However, I don't feel any skill in particular was developed hugely. If I had been given more work to do and more responsibility then I think I could have learnt/developed a lot more in my time here.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office was friendly, and the flexible working arrangements of Lloyds means everyone was relaxed but still hard working which I liked. I don't think the people in my office were very bonded or did much to include me. Because it was summer and a lot of people were on holiday/working from home, it often felt quite empty in the office, especially on Fridays. It might have been improved by having some sort of music or some other way to improve the atmosphere on a Friday.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think it could have been organised a lot better. More preparations could be done to ensure there are projects and work planned for the interns' arrival, so that the line manager doesn't just given meaningless tasks to do. There was very little collective guidance after the induction event, although I did enjoy this and thought it was a fun way to start the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt like nobody wanted to spend the time developing my skills too much and would rather leave me to figure things out for myself, which for the most part was good and developed me in its own way, but often meant I did not achieve my full potential or learn as much as I could have. When people did sit down to explain something to me, it was sometimes quite rushed. However, there were a few colleagues who were happy to point me in the right direction or sit down and explain things like how the business operates which was useful.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I like the company's culture but I'm not sure I would enjoy working with this organisation or in this sector in general. I wouldn't rule out the graduate scheme but think it is unlikely I would apply, partly because I'm not sure working in a bank (specifically HR) is for me, but also because I didn't enjoy my internship here as much as I had hoped I would.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I personally did not live in the accommodation option they gave scholars so I did not have a good experience of this. There was one intern who goes to the same university as me who I bonded with, but opportunities were not provided past the induction to encourage social interaction with other scholars. The charity challenge was not organised very well and sometimes caused more tensions than friendliness between intern.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is an expensive city and as I was commuting from home travel was very expensive. I was not reimbursed for travel so this took a lot of money out of the placement. I was surprised at the high costs of coffee/food in the building's canteen as I thought it would have been subsidised, yet sandwiches cost more than pret a manger down the road (which is still very expensive).
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I did not live in the accommodation so I did not experience this but I know from living in London that the nightlife is good and fellow scholars went out to bars/clubs and karaoke bars. I think more could have been done to make sure the interns commuting from home still had a chance to socialise with the other scholars.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I was not given any activities outside of work. We had the charity challenge but I felt like little support was given to do external events. For example, my team were unable to obtain a contactless card machine even after emailing the people responsible for doing this centrally, and were informed scholars are no longer allowed to do this. On fundraising events, several dozen colleagues told us they would have donated if we had a contactless machine, so this provided an unnecessary obstacle to our fundraising goal.