Supporting my team in doing journals and various other tasks, and designing our internal site page.
There were definitely positive and negative aspects to my placement! I liked the people I met, including the other interns and everyone in my team, they were all so lovely! However, I was not well-matched to my strengths at all when allocated to my department, (although this was due to a third-party company, not Lloyds), but this meant I was way out of my comfort zone and felt totally inadequate and ill-prepared for the sort of work I had to do. Especially considering the time I put into writing my application, specifying my strengths and preferred areas of work!! Nevertheless, I used this as an opportunity to learn new skills, but I have to say it made it a struggle at times to get to a job that I didn't always enjoy because of how different it is to what I actually like!! I wouldn't say this is Lloyds' fault though, my team tried their best to support me and set me up placements in other departments that I might have enjoyed more!
My team were very kind and helpful and accommodating, considering that I didn't seem at all suitable for the department I was placed in! I feel like my team tried their best to make the most of having me and tried to give me the best experience possible, with my line manager really taking the time to have 1-to-1s with me, and organising for me to shadow other departments that I may enjoy more.
My line manager was brilliant at arranging 1-to-1s with me to have regular check-ups on how I was getting on and arranging more opportunities for me. He was very helpful with any questions I had and helped me set up laptop systems at the beginning. Unfortunately, being that it was over the summer, he did go on holidays for about 2 weeks, as did a few members of my team, so during those times I was a left a bit to my own devices, but that was okay as before he left, he had arranged for me to work with another department a bit as well!
This really varied, depending on how busy my team was. During the busiest times I was sometimes lacking in work, because my team didn't have time to stop and sit with me to explain how to do something, and because I was out of my depth and had no pre-existing knowledge of most of the work, they couldn't give me much to get on with. However, my line manager was keen that I use this time for my personal development even if I wasn't doing direct work for the team, so because I had access to the Lloyds application 'Lynda' I could do some online courses and training for my own personal development. Sometimes, people in my team would sit and take me through work once, and then try to get me to do it myself another time, which worked quite well because I felt trusted with work and could work at my own pace as long as I got it to them by any deadlines.
I wouldn't say there was any particular project that I was able to take ownership of, and because I didn't have many skills needed in my department, I couldn't take on any big work tasks without supervision. In the end, I've ended up doing more bitty tasks here and there for my team to save them some time, so nothing too high level, but manageable for my skill level.
Honestly, my placement area was nothing to do with my degree at all, so doesn't help me at all going back to university this year!! However, the Excel skills I developed may come in handy in future. I suppose in terms of working in an office setting, I have further developed skills in writing polite emails, with a signature and an out-of-office reply and my manner on the phone, to sound professional and helpful. In terms of the training, I would say some of the content about risk, insurance and fraud is good to know about in general, but I wouldn't say much of what I did or learnt on the placement will help me in my studies.
In general, I would say the atmosphere was much like you would expect in an office, especially quite on Mondays and Fridays with people working from home, and everyone individually working at their computers. My team were always warm and lovely whenever I approached any of them with questions! I would say also the fact that there was free tea and coffee and a fruit basket delivered on Mondays meant that morale was kept high. Also, when I went round selling donuts and a sign up sheet for our charity challenge as part of the internship, everyone in my office was supportive and encouraging.
Overall, I felt that the placement was very poorly organised, from before it even started! Not all of this is the company's fault at all, but more the 3rd party company that was hired to organise our placements for us. In the first instance, before the placement I had emails from the company informing me that they couldn't find my paperwork, including my signed contracts and bank details, which I had done weeks earlier! Then during the internship, we had lots of trouble getting set up with laptops, which took up a lot of time in the first few weeks! Finally, there were lots of communication issues relating to how much tax and National Insurance we should have been paying, with lots of people getting different information from different parties. When discussing this among the other interns, we also realised that we were all being paid differently, despite not being told about this in advance of the internship, and it was a bit distressing to hear within the same building and while working the same hours we're all being paid differently! Overall, I'd say a lack of communication and organisation has meant the internship has been less well set up than it could have been!
Some of the training has been somewhat useful in terms of my personal development, such as to do with insurance, fraud and risk, however I would say the most personal development I've achieved has been when I've had free time around work and have used the resource 'Lynda' available from work to do courses for my own personal development.
There definitely are good prospects with Lloyds for employment, if you're looking for this kind of work! As part of the internship, we actually had to do a team challenge about the finance graduate scheme that Lloyds offer, and it shapes up very well compared to many other grad schemes. I think if you go for an internship and the graduate scheme, there are opportunities for progression to stay within the company, and there are plenty of incentives!
Most of the interns on my placement have been lovely, so I have spent time together socially with a few of them at lunches and after work. However, I don't go out a lot after work, as I'm always too tired after work, so when we have spent time together it hasn't been for long! There definitely have been some socials though!
I know more about this through going to University in Bristol than because of the internship, but I would say Bristol is expensive compared to other cities (except London!) although it really does depend on what you do and buy, and where you live, as there are big differences across stores and accommodation in Bristol.
I only know this through going to Bristol University, as I haven't been out on the internship as I'm too tired most days after work to go out! However, the Bristol nightlife is amazing, compared to other university cities I have visited, there's always different bars and clubs depending what music you like!
There were plenty of opportunities, however I didn't really join in many of them. I know Lloyds here have a partnership with Nuffield Health and a few socials at local restaurants, as well as bar nights too. I know the interns organised a couple of events for fundraisers too, which were really fun!