1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my internship. I felt part of the team and was given real work to complete that were to be viewed by senior stakeholders. This made me feel valued and trusted to contribute me own ideas. As a result, I developed tremendously and my confidence improved greatly. I always felt happy to go into work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I always felt valued by my colleagues and was never made to feel like less important than any of the full-time staff. I was always personally given recognition for my work and no one tried to claim it for their own. The team also tried to include me in the social aspect of their team, inviting me to social events they were going to or planning.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I constantly felt supported by my manager and the senior leadership around me. They made me feel like they were there for my development and were always friendly in their approach. They even encouraged me to apply to other companies to gain a variety of experience and determine that this company was for me. I felt comfortable talking to them about my career plans. They offered me practice interview sessions which I greatly benefited from.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the beginning, I had a fairly light workload and did feel bored at times. However, I soon began to receive more work and became very busy. At times, it was hard to manage as I didn't expect the role to be that demanding but I came to enjoy the challenging atmosphere of the team. Towards the end when I was handing work off, my days became quiet again.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility to produce deliverables for senior stakeholders such as the Commercial Banking COO. I was able to help run an induction event for incoming graduates and presented in front of them. However, I didn't present to senior stakeholders or attend any client meetings. In fact, I had no client exposure.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe I have greatly developed my skills. I am now better at working at pace, a challenge I often struggled with before. I have also learnt valuable Microsoft Office skills that will undoubtedly be useful in my career and during my degree. My confidence in communicating has increased which will help my when presenting at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was professional but had a relaxed atmosphere even though colleagues worked very stressful jobs. The attire was smart but they had 'dress-down' Fridays. People were friendly and made it a point to get to know everyone - This was evident during my first week when people actively approached me as they recognised a new face in the office. There were break-out areas and pods for meeting or to switch up ways of working. It was generally a nice place to work in. The only problem was that there were times where there were no seats as people hot-desked.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was well organised. There were cohort induction events and challenges like the charity challenge or the case study competition. This all provided opportunities to get to know other interns and develop outside of you desk job. It was also another way for the company to assess you fit for the graduate scheme and offered a chance to highlight how your skills fit into the Group's culture. The only negative would be that the central HR team was quite slow in relaying information.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As a part of the Scholarship team, there has been a lot of investment in my development from the company. Not only was there financial aid during university helping me afford it, there were also efforts to help me develop through a mentorship scheme. All of these things have helped me gain an insight into the professional landscape and position me to succeed.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future prospects with the company look appealing. I will be returning to the company next Summer to intern again - This time I was be eligible for the graduate referral. I am seeking this as the organisation looks like a great place to work and develop; the benefits are competitive and the graduate scheme offers great opportunities for further learning.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As we were all living together, the interns got to know each other pretty well and I was able to make great friends. People were keen to socialise and did not view each other as competition. There were always something happening on the weekend and during the evenings. It felt like fresher's!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Working in London is always going to be expensive but we were given free accommodation and were paid more than the other interns working in different regions as an adjustment. I never felt like I didn't have enough money to go out and saved a lot of money. However, I do live in London for university so it wasn't any difference to me. Other interns who had previously lived elsewhere did complain about the prices.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was great in London. The accommodation that all the interns stayed in was a walk away from Shoreditch so we often went to the bars there. We also had great access to the central, popular clubs. There were lots of social event that were hosted by the company during the internship, the highlight being the boat party on the river Thames.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The charity challenge allowed interns to raise money for mental health by doing a range of activities. One group climbed a mountain and someone even jumped out of a plane!