Intern in the risk division for Lloyds Banking Group
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The internship provided a great insight and it was nice to meet new people and work in a new environment. However, the team I worked in wasn't the most social and many (including my line manager) often worked from home meaning I did not get to interact with them as much as I would have liked. This caused the experience to feel less enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Roughly 50% of the work I completed during my internship involved working closely with one colleague and helping them with their tasks, which made me feel valued and like the work I was doing actually added something to the team. However, the other half of my work felt like tasks that were cobbled together at the last minute just so I had something to do. This wasn't an overly positive experience.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was friendly, approachable and we had a few catch ups which was nice. Despite this, they often worked from home or in another office, and were on holiday for 3 out of the 10 weeks I was with Lloyds for. This forced me to use my initiative and be independent (not a bad thing!), and meant I didn't receive as much guidance or as many opportunities as others.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were better than others! When I was given tasks which felt more involved with the team, I found myself busier and seeking more work and opportunities throughout the day. However, I did find myself very bored and filled my time asking questions, shadowing members of the team and researching other places I would like to intern at or have a placement with in the future.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the placement, I was given very little responsibility and my progress was not checked regularly, meaning I felt like I had little accountability for my work and that the work I did complete had very little importance. More responsibility would have allowed me to be more engaged and find greater enjoyment from the internship.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
During the internship, I developed my independence, initiative, resilience and problem solving skills, and I now consider these some of my best qualities. This is a big positive that I can take away from this experience and I feel that I was able to make the best out of the opportunity I was given. A better organised and more involved internship would have allowed me to develop skills which apply to the more social aspects of a business, such as leadership, communication and teamwork.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My office, whilst friendly, was very quiet, with normally only two or three people working in silence most days. The tasks the team worked on normally only required one person to work independently, meaning teamwork, communication and an upbeat working atmosphere were lacking. The individual members were perfectly nice and friendly but the overall office was dull and depressing.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I feel personally that the organisation was poor. I had received an application form in which I had to specify the location and areas I am interested in working in, in order for Lloyds to place me appropriately. I received this prior to any information relating to which areas would be available to interns, meaning I had already filled out the form and sent it off. This lead me to be working for 10 weeks in an area of little interest to myself. Along with this, I took almost a week for me to receive a laptop, a week to receive a mailbox and I still do not have a phone. Along with this, I had been paying too much tax for the entire internship and have been unable to claim expenses for a train journey to London as all interns have to contact the third party company Lloyds use to pay us. This third party are useless and impossible to get a hold of.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At Lloyds there are a lot of opportunities for an interns to find using their own initiative, such as the training software and shadowing opportunities. In terms of 'investing in me', I feel that this is not the case and instead just a way for Lloyds to improve their social responsibility by giving sub-standard opportunities to students from less financially stable backgrounds, with the additional caveat of forcing them to complete 100 hours a year of volunteering in order to, again, provide the company with a great public image. Aside from looking good on a CV, Lloyds as a company did little for me and I did not feel invested in at all.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As new interns, we were told that those which perform highly may be put forward by their line manager for the graduate programme which guarantees a job after university and seemed very appealing. However, it is now clear that this is not the case and I have not heard anything about this since. If the graduate programme is anything like the internship experience then it is not appealing at all.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I lived reasonably close to the location of my internship meaning I was not eligible for accommodation with the other interns. This meant the only time I met other interns was during the charity challenge meetings which were once a week in the office. This means my social experience was not great but I expect it would have been better for those living together.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The company ran a charity challenge for mental health uk, which required interns to raise money and awareness for the charity in their teams. This added a different aspect to the internship and made the weeks less boring and repetitive. Outside of this, there wasn't anything else organised which was disappointing. An intern social or something would have been great.