Model Risk Management intern as part of the risk internship program.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Fantastic experience in a great team. Was given an incredibly interesting project to work on. This challenged me and also gave me the opportunity to pick up a lot of new skills whilst also learning alot about the risk function. Would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to get into banking but isn't up for the hours of IBD.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was asked to present Chapters from a Machine learning book to the team on two occassions as part of of an initiative to get the team up to scratch on machine learning techniques. I feel that these presentations were well received. I have also written a lot of code that may be useful to the team in the future.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager ( and other members of the team also) were very approachable. Whilst the7y were very happy to leave me to figure things out by myself, if I did have issues, I felt completely comfortable asking any member of my team for help. I also had many useful discussions with members of the team about their experiences and more generally just asking them for advice on how to make the most of the opportunity.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The hours are very nice compared to many other divisions in a bank ( I work in Risk). My day to day varied greatly. Some days I would have plenty of meetings. Other days I would have a more free calendar which would give me the chance to get on with some of the more technical parts of my projects. Almost always had time for a nice lunch break though!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given quite a bit of responsibility I would say - I was left alone and trusted tow ork independently to do the necessary research for all my tasks (although as mentioned above support was always available if necessary). I was also able to present to some fairly senior colleagues within the bank on several occasions to present my findings. Granted these presentations had been reviewed beforehand by my manager, but I was still trusted to present well!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have been very lucky in terms of the project I spent most of my time working on. I have picked up a lot of programming skills and also knowledge about machine learning. This will be very useful in my future career I imagine! I also have been given a lot of insight into Model Risk and more generally the wider risk function and the bank as a whole.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
So incredibly friendly. Everyone is really approachable. The work hours are far from the monstrous hours we are all told bank employees are forced to work so that's great! It is very easy to go and talk to new people - even if they are significantly more senior than yourself which is a great way to learn more about the bank and how people progressed through their careers.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The training at the beginning (I found at least) to be very helpful. I have since then had 8 weeks in one team. This was enough time to really get stuck in to some of the more technical aspects of the job. There were also many events organised by HR that allowed me to meet new people and learn more about different areas of the bank and how it all fits together which was very helpful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The time and resources invested by my team were certainly not trivial. A lot of people were very willing to take time out of their days for chats/ to help us learn/ I would like to think i gave back and was a useful member of the team so that this investment was worth if for Barclays!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
in such a large company, there is always the opportunity for mobility if ever you do get bored of your role. hwoever, even just within risk, there is such a diverse selectyion of roles that one could certainly find somethign that appeals. Personally, there are many different roles that I would be very interesting in learning more about.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes. I had plenty of dinners with other interns. We also went out for drinks on occassions. There were also social events organised by fellow itnerns for us to spend more time getting to know each other. There were also some nice drinks organised by HR which is always a great opportunity to see some new faces.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Honestly, for me not very expensive as I lived within commuting range. Furthermore, Barclays does give a grant for accomodation/general living expenses on top of the nice salary. Food is however not so cheap in the canteen. There are plenty of restaurants nearby at pretty reasonable prices sot aht was also certainly a perk.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The only nightlife i really experienced was going to the pubs/going out for meals. Canary wharf has plenty of nice pubs though so this was more than good enough for me. I don't thinkt hat there are any serious nightlife options nearby though - might have to go slightly more central.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There could have perhaps been a few more events organised than there actuall was. However, between all of the different networks within Barclays, there would be plenty to keep you busy if you wanted to! I think it was quite nice that this wasn't all forced upon you and there was the freedom to choose.