So a little a bit of background. I applied to the Lloyds Banking Group summer internship in Technology and got placed at Group Transformation Mortgage Value Stream (which is under the Retail and Community banking business unit). In addition, the role I was assigned was a project manager assistant, so I was working on the product owner side of things in our team. It's also worth noting that I'm an engineering student and when I applied to a Tech internship in a bank, that's not exactly what I had in mind. That aside I got to work in the Leeds head office and live in the city for free (Lloyds pays for you to stay at a student accommodation).
Overall it was an extremely chill internship (too chill for me), and the working hours in my team were very flexible; you can work from home whenever you want and there are good takeaways around for lunch, so that 'freedom' aspect was the most enjoyable bit in my opinion.
I was the only intern in my team, and I got to meet a few more interns in the building but everyone has their own schedules so don't expect much socialising at work, except when you're working on the team charity challenge. Otherwise, I was living in a flat with other Lloyds interns, so that's the other perk I could think of - it was nice to share experiences from our first days with each other, since all of us were in the same boat and often had the same questions.
Other than that, I believe a lot could have been improved in terms of workload, shadowing, manager catch ups and general involvement.
Let me start by saying that the team I was part of was rather new - most people arrived just a couple of weeks before me so there was still a lot of ice around. We were also sharing the floor-space with another team so it took me a while to figure out who my team members are, especially since many of them were on holiday throughout my internship. It was quite hectic when I joined so I didn't get a formal introduction or anything until maybe week 3? I was meeting people on a day-by-day basis or whether a task required it.
Other than the occasional small talk, I didn't interact much with my colleagues due to some of them being away and the rest being busy. We had once a team lunch that will probably mark the peak of my social interaction with them. Overall I'd say I was getting along just fine with some of them, and at the end of the day, for a 10 week internship I can't expect them to become second family to me or anything.
When I arrived my manager gave me a breakdown of the Retail and Community banking unit in addition to an introduction to mortgages and what our team does. She was extremely busy, so she handed me over to another product owner that I was helping for the most of my internship. Occasionally I'd help other team members too with some small tasks.
I held a meeting with some people from my team that were project managers, business analysts and quality engineers so I get a better understanding of their roles. Some of them sent me helpful links and others prepared me short presentations, so I really appreciated that.
One thing I wasn't short off was definitely support - whenever I had questions I usually just went and asked a colleague straight away (it proved much faster than dropping an email since I'm quite impatient) and they were always happy to help. Whenever I completed a task, I'd get positive feedback, so for me it was important to know that I'm doing well (especially since I was new to mortgages and banking).
Over the first 2 weeks I was quite busy - there was just so much to do and to explore. New information was coming at you every second either for meetings, or initiatives, or tasks - it seemed like forever until I find my feet. Then suddenly, once I finally got the hang of it there was nothing going on - people were away, so naturally there was less work to be done.
I was proactive and went around to ask people if they need help with anything (every day) but they just didn't seem to find anything on my level that won't take me months to complete or need much background knowledge. So I'd say that after week 3 I was struggling to keep myself occupied. I spent quite some time on the development websites which I almost got sick of in the end since it was quite repetitive.
I reached out to a few people to organise a shadowing opportunity, but due to everyone being away for the summer, I couldn't get linked with anyone while I was there. In addition, it seemed like I was dealing with the tasks I was given quite fast, so nothing kept me occupied for more than a day. There was also the charity challenge to be involved with, but again, as an engineering student, it wasn't exactly my cup of tea.
In terms of responsibility, sometimes I was given none, and sometimes more than I expected - there was no in between.
On the 'wow' side of things I got to contribute to an incubation piece and then attend the actual incubation with the rest of the managers, so that definitely felt like an important project to be part of. Then I also produced a few tech operational pieces which were probably my most exciting tasks for the whole internship.
Other than that, I've done a lot of small 'organisational' tasks, such as: producing project delivery pipelines, pulling together a newcomer induction document, raising tickets on the backlog and recording updates.
Well I study engineering, so you'd think an internship in mortgages can't really benefit me this much, but I found this to be quite the opposite. It helped me develop a lot of my soft skills, such as communication, organisation, presentation, which further changed my approach to teamwork and productivity so I'm looking forward to applying what I've learnt for my next team project at uni or in the industry.
Nevertheless, it wouldn't have hurt to be involved in more tech projects, since at the end of the day I applied to a Lloyds Tech internship thinking I would end up in a DevOps team... but oh well sometimes you just have to work with what you've got and make the most if.
Well taking into account that most of the people were away in my team, it was very quiet. Usually on Fridays there would be no more than 5 people in the office since most work from home. Occasionally It would get quite lively when it was someone's birthday, but other than that it was on the dull side.
Well, there were times I wondered why my team has requested an intern at all - there didn't seem to be any tasks for me most of the time so I was quite bored. At the start I had quite some work, but once I was done with that it seemed like no one had thought of anything further for me to do. In week 4 I raised with the engineering lead of our team that I'd like to get a DevOps shadowing opportunity organised, but nothing came out of it for the remaining 6 weeks since everyone was busy/away even though I followed up on my request maybe more than 10 times.
Lloyds has a pretty good colleague development website which I almost exhausted out of resources (due to having too much free time), but frankly, at one point it gets almost sickening since it's just bare theory - nothing I learnt I could put to practice due to my team being more on the management/regulatory side.
I did get to attend a hackathon, which was one of my more exciting days at work, but other than that I couldn't get any other development opportunities going on, even if I tried (eg. shadowing).
I was extremely excited to join the gradate scheme with Lloyds but just a few days ago I found out that they won't be running any tech schemes for next year except for data science so I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Other than that, when you work for the bank you get progressively more holidays and perks the longer you stay, but I guess that's common sense. Some people have non-working days if they're busy with family, so overall a good work-life balance could be achieved. And of course, there's always the option to work from home.
Yes, I might have mentioned it before but Lloyds places all of their interns in the same accommodation so it's nice to come back home and vent out on other interns - I was so happy that someone can relate. Also you get to learn interesting stuff from the other interns about events or work opportunities so that was definitely a plus.
Not much socialising going on at work though. Often you're the only in tern on the team/floor so other in terns in the building have different schedules (and tasks) so you don't run as much into each other.
Lloyds pays for your accommodation, so rent is something you don't have to worry about. I love eating out, however Leeds proved to be a little bit on the expensive end regarding this one - most of the interns I know cooked at home. However, it was definitely possible to find something to try out in the city and Leeds' location was perfect if you wanted to go on a weekend getaway to York or Harrogate.
People definitely start partying early in Leeds - pubs and bars are full on Friday starting form 4pm so you can bet nightlife is one of Leeds strong sides. Unfortunately, the internship can quite tire you out so even if we planned a few nights out with the rest of the interns we ended up cancelling almost all of them out due just wanting to stay home and chill.
I know some other locations such as London have tried organising picnics and other activities for their interns, but I guess just because Leeds is a little bit on the quieter and colder side there isn't as much to do (at least outdoors). Other than that it's almost certain you could join hobby-specific groups at work and meet up with them weekly but I never got around to do that since I lived with other interns anyway and I preferred hanging out with them.