1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The people at the company were really nice and welcoming, and I have not had a bad experience with any of them. However, the role I was working in (Finance) was fairly boring, and I do not believe fully utilise the Excel skills I was told would be useful for the role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was welcomed to many different parts of the team, including more senior members (directors etc.). They were friendly and a good laugh! With regards to the daily work I was doing, I struggled somewhat more, as I sometimes felt as though my work was pointless/unnecessary at the time, and so not valuable to colleagues/company.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a meeting with my Line Manager every two weeks - initially setting goals for the internship and what we thought was achievable. The following meetings were giving feedback against these goals, showing where they believed my strengths/weaknesses were. Where there were weaknesses, my Line Manager offered suggestions for how to improve my performance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My work was only particularly busy during the "month end" periods - the first week or so at the start of every month. Beyond this, my daily work was sparse, and what I was doing was not particularly engaging. I have asked for additional work, and this has been offered. However, due to the short time frame you have working (10 weeks), there is little interesting work you already have the skills (or access) for
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I would not say that I felt like I had a lot of responsibility. I was responsible for the day-to-day working of two reconciliations, but these were extremely small and did not seem like a large amount of work. In addition, it was difficult to see how these were related to anything, and so I often felt like what I was doing was having no impact.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Studying Economics in University, I thought that the Finance internship would suit my degree and offer a related practical field. In this I was wrong - my role involved using Excel, but not being involved in the sorting/automation of any of it, instead just filling out boxes. I do not believe I learned any new skills that can be applied to my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There is a pretty relaxed atmosphere. The office in Bristol is open plan, with large banks of desks. As such, people are very sociable and happy to have an informal chat or help you out with your work. There is also no formal dress code, which helps for a more relaxed atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Poorly organised. I was on a 10 week internship, and did not receive a laptop in my first week (and so could do no work). In addition, the work that interns have been doing varies depending on different teams, and there was no formal plan for what we were meant to be working on when we start - almost as though they were surprised to have interns. The outsourced HR and application process was also terrible.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
With an employee email you have access to a number of online training sources, most useful was Lynda.com. This was great for personal training during quieter times in the office, as there is a huge number of courses that you can do. However, I was not convinced by the training that was done for the role itself - this was minimal and informal.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are a number of Graduate roles that pay particularly well. The Grad role is pretty competitive when comparing roles at Banks, and so is fairly appealing (if that is what you are looking for). In addition, there are a number of different roles that you can apply for after your internship, and these are not limited to the area of the company that you undertook your internship.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Interns in Bristol were given accommodation on UWE Campus, living with 5 other interns (two flats, so 12 in total living close together). This was pretty good, and so meant that you were instantly friendly with the other interns. Other colleagues were also friendly and welcoming, going out for the occasional post-work drink
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Bristol is pretty expensive as a city - thankfully our accommodation was paid for. However, where we were living was a £20+ taxi ride after a night out, which was pretty shocking. There are ample cheap lunch options nearby the office - a Tesco, Wetherspoons and fairly cheap canteen among others.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Bristol is a great city for nightlife - loads of really good places to go out, as well as a bunch of really good clubs. Some of them can be pretty expensive, and getting back to UWE Campus was surprisingly pricey, but that is part-and-parcel of a night out in Bristol.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?