Intern on the FRC (FX rates and credit) trading floor.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with UBS. We were warmly welcomed from the first day and the focus was very much on us learning and developing our skills professionally rather than having harsh expectations put on us which was nice. The people are lovely and I have learned a lot.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by colleagues and even senior members of staff were more than happy to help us or answer any questions we had. We were given lots of time by our teams and there were lots of people who would regularly check up to see how we were getting on. HR were also very good at being there for any queries or concerns.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support by both my managers and they were clearly both very keen to help me learn during the process. Feedback was always available when asked and it was nice to have a formal feedback session mid way through the process also to check how we were getting along. It was also nice to have feedback from the people running the programme on our projects such as group presentations as I felt they got to know us on a personal level and were invested in our development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I found that I generally always had something meaningful to do and it was good time management practice having to balance work tasks with additional projects and presentations as this is how it would be in real life doing the role. It was good that we were kept busy but at the same time it was very much emphasised that we ought to prioritise a work life balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
We were given a fair amount of responsibility in that we had exposure to senior members of the business and were given important tasks to do. Obviously due to regulation there is a legal limit on the amount that we can do to directly help the business but we were generally given tasks that would help us to support our teams.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The things I learned during my placement do not directly relate to my degree. However going forward into a professional career I have learned will be invaluable in future applications and roles and I have learned a lot about the line of work that interests me and where I would like to be in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
People in the office were friendly and always happy to help with anything. It was easy to build good working relationships and make friends also. People worked together to achieve team goals rather than working for their own initiative. Generally speaking emphasis was placed on helping the interns and just generally coaching more junior members of staff to help move the business forward.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was generally well organised with a good balance between desk work and spending time on the role vs. additional projects, presentations, and speakers to help us learn more about different areas of the business. The structure of having it split between two rotations with different teams was also good giving us enough time to get a grasp of two different roles within the division.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Lots of time was put into helping us all learn and was catered to the fact that we had all come from very different backgrounds. As mentioned the emphasis was very much on learning rather than any previous understanding and I think the approach was very much that we could be future members of the business and as such we should be trained and developed as much as an intern can be.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
UBS have always been very transparent with the hiring process and it is a place I would love to work if I am lucky enough to be hired. They fostered an environment that I would like to work in and have created a lot of opportunities for me even if this is not the case.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
UBS offered different social events for the interns along the course of the programme which was great. We were also often invited along to events with our teams which was a good way to get to know people within the business. The only difficulty was that as we were all in different departments with different schedules it was sometimes hard to organise more events. However the local area has a lot to offer socially and there were always opportunities to socialise after work with colleagues.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I would say expensive as is the case in London anyway especially as the building is located in a very nice area. However the events run by UBS were always paid for and if you need local accommodation UBS reserve some (relatively) low cost student halls near by which you can pay for so you know you have somewhere secured.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Apart from being quite expensive, the area directly outside of the building is a very nice place to socialise with lots of bars, and the local area has so many different types of place for socialising so the opportunities are endless. It was a very nice vibe after work in these areas with lots of people from the business out after work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
We could not access the full package that full time employees can, for example some of the volunteering time, but for the most part there were lots of events and activities to join in on and our teams encouraged us to do so. There are also lots of societies you can access which hold events both in and out of work time and are good to go along to.