1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Most of the work was making Excel documents to make processes slightly more efficient for my team. I did not understand the point of most of the data I had to deal with, nor did I like the tools we were given to do the project. I had quite a lot of data to handle (which most of my colleagues said was useless anyway) that could not be processed properly by the laptop I was given as it was underpowered. Most of the work was very repetitive and unexciting as I had no motivation in the eventual outcome making completing a project unsatisfying. I am certain that my job could have just been done by a robot
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
While everyone was very nice a lot of the time they seemed to be too busy for me. I would have enjoyed more social events so I could get to know people better and feel more relaxed with them, but I would imagine that it would have been difficult to coordinate as most people worked from home most days.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
While my line manager did give me work and clear objectives, no one seemed to really know how to use Excel nor had much interest in learning beyond the very simple knowledge they already knew, even though their entire job revolved around it. This deeply concerned me as it made me worry that what I had created would be too complicated and would eventually be thrown out.
I only learned about how to use the system from a group of graduates who ran a two hour training session, I feel like something like this should be given to all employees using Excel rather than just interns.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I spent a lot of time on my phone either with nothing to do or just procrastinating. Luckily there were a few extra tasks we did which included raising money for Mental Health UK with a group of other interns. This did not take up a lot of time however though it was the most fun I had here.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt as if I was at the bottom of the company, this was not really surprising as I was just an intern but there were a few things that I would have appreciated that were denied to me. Most importantly I would have liked to have had the ability to work from home, which every employee had and used very often, especially as my commute to work was about an hour each way. However the bank is so wrapped up in security that it takes a few weeks to get clearance to use your laptop at home, I was told this near the end of my internship even though I had brought it up before several times, this meant that I had no time to get the clearance to work from home.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I did learn a bit about Excel that would probably be useful for my degree and personal life in the future. However I probably could have learned this in a week rather than ten. It also confirmed the fact that I never want to work in a bank when I graduate.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Nobody seemed to like their job, there were not a lot of social events going on that were not set up by the interns. The desks seemed to be messy with old keyboards and monitors that couldn't be removed making me feel quite claustrophobic. The outside area had ducks though which was nice.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The laptop did not work properly until about a week into the placement. My line manager had no idea why I was even here and that I was forced to do this as part of my scholarship. The application process originally had me given no accommodation even though I had requested some as I had no where to live for the first month of the internship. Luckily they did eventually find me a place but the fact that they did not give me anywhere in the first place was quite scary.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
All the "learning" we did was just listen to the least charismatic people I've ever had the displeasure of listening to talk about their career. To be fair we had a training session on how to use Excel, however it was very basic and was not even the firm who organised it, rather just some graduates who has been in our shoes once.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am certain that what I have been doing could have been done by an AI and probably will be in the next ten years. I would imagine most of the jobs here would be replaced in the decade leaving very little left unless you are particularly skilled in programming. While I do intend on learning skills like this there are multiple other companies and projects I would rather dedicate these skills to than here.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I got along with all the other interns and we would occasionally have drinks outside of work and meet for lunch. I was also lucky enough to have another intern in my department who was probably the only person I could have a normal conversation with at my desk. This is probably the only thing that kept me from going insane here.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation was provided for free however I chose to live in my student rented accommodation when I was able to move in. Bus fare was cheap enough and the food and drink was about average price, though I grew up near London so what I consider average could be seen as expensive to others. I would say that the canteen seemed a bit much, but the food wasn't great so I rarely went down their to eat their food anyway.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There were some good pubs where we were that seemed to attract a decent crowd. Spent most of my nightlife where I lived though which was in a different city so it is hard to comment.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?