I enjoyed my ten week internship a lot, from start to finish. What was good about this was that my line manager and team regularly checked in with me to find out if I was enjoying my work and if not, we collectively found ways to vary tasks more and find a way in which I could learn and develop my skills in an engaging way.
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From day 1, I was made to feel like a valued member of my team. I've spoken to every colleague in my team about their work and they've been very welcoming about this and valued any ideas and queries that I've had. There have been a few times over my internship when I have been recognised on my team's 'huddle board' with a gold star, as a colleague has acknowledge a success. This has been a good part of the role as feeling valued has vastly improved my confidence and helped me to identify my strengths.
Support from my line manager, supervisors and team as a whole were very good. In the first week, I had a meeting with my line manager to discuss my personal goals and what I wanted to get out of the internship. Tasks that I have been given since have reflected these objectives, and I feel that I've developed throughout this role, as my team and Lloyds Banking Group as a whole wanted me to get as much out of this internship as I put in (if not more). Also, any questions I had were quickly answered in a constructive way.
This varied as my specific role focused on weekly and monthly reporting. This meant that early in the week/month I'd tend to be busy (although never too busy and my team were happy to take some of my workload if it became too much). However, on Thursday and Fridays in particular, there often weren't many if any tasks for me to complete although this was more due the nature of reporting than a failing of my team.
I feel that I was given a good amount of responsibility during my placement. After being trained to do a task I was left to do it independently, with help only if I needed it. A large proportion of my work was completed without a final check by a colleague as I was trusted with the responsibility of meeting deadlines and producing work of a high quality. However, these did tend to be relatively simple tasks, and responsibility relative to my team's work generally was quite low.
There was a strong focus on me targeting the skills that I wanted to develop. I wanted to choose skills (e.g Excel skills), which would help with my Economics degree and career afterwards and my colleagues were very accommodating of this. Also, they encouraged me to do public speaking to large groups of colleagues, something which I was initially hesitant about but feel helped massively as a transferrable skills, for both my degree and beyond.
There was a friendly and chilled out atmosphere in my office, as well as my building. There was a 'Dress for the Day' dresscode, where most days people could wear anything they want to work. This helped to create a calm and chilled atmosphere. This atmosphere was calm and one where I felt comfortable asking questions and didn't get stressed when things went wrong.
When I joined, there was a clear plan of action about what I was expected to do and there was a strong support network set up within my small and wider team. Unfortunately, IT issues plagued my first few weeks so I didn't feel like they were ready for me. In week 10, I still haven't been able to get access to some key programs and files and it took me a week to get a laptop or email address. Despite this, my team were aware that this is a regular issue at Lloyds Banking Group and tried their best to help sort this, although this still ruined a large portion of my internship. To summarise this point, my colleagues set it up as well as they could with the IT constraints.
Lloyds Banking Group provide paid volunteering during working hours to help to develop skills. On top of this, all line managers promote shadowing other departments as much as possible as they focus on developing my skills (even if this was at the expense of the team). Also, interns have the opportunity to be involved in large scale (regional or national) shadowing and insight days.
These future employment prospects are very good. I'm on the Lloyds Scholars Programme so will have another internship in 2 years, which will help me to find out more about the banking group and gain a greater insight about their work. Also, as an intern/scholar I will be fast tracked to the final stage of the graduate scheme recruitment process. They do this largely because of the experience that I gained during my internship(s) and there are regular sessions with current graduates to ask any questions and find out more about this scheme.
Lloyds Banking Group's choice to pay for most interns to live in student halls at the University of the West of England should have promoted a good social scene amongst interns. Unfortunately, this was not the case with many not joining in social activities and most going home every weekend. Nevertheless, a small group of interns did meet sometimes for lunch, although this became less frequent later on.
I worked in Bristol. The cost of living was very low as Lloyds Banking Group Emerging Talent paid for my accommodation for the 10 weeks - without this I may not have been able to afford this internship so this was vital. Bus tickets are relatively cheap for students/young people and as would be expected from a large city, there is a wide range of low budget eating and drinking options.
I worked in Bristol. The nightlife was very good. There are several clubs (too many to count), all of varying styles, sizes and genres. Also, in the area around my workplace there were several pubs where we could go for many drinks after work. However, as the internship was in summer outside university term time, we often found that many clubs were empty so the nightlife wasn't as good as it would have been at others times in the year.
Yes. As part of the internship there is a compulsory Intern Charity Challenge where groups of interns compete to raise as much as possible for charity. This involved several meetings and fun events, which we could complete as a large group of interns. Also there have been events with graduates (e.g lunch, drinks) which helped to build a community and network.