1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the Barclays internship overall. The culture at Barclays was amazing as it was very flexible, relaxed and collaborative. The big stand out for me was the people as they were so helpful, welcoming and supportive from the first day that I joined. There was a lot of responsibility given on a day to day basis as well.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt really valued by my colleagues and the team. They always gave me opportunities to develop myself and my skills such as by providing Excel work. The work I was given contributed to the bigger picture of the team. The team also took me out for lunch to get to know me on a more personal level outside work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a buddy who I would have regular catch up sessions with, a senior mentor who was really supportive especially as she resided outside the team I was working with. I was also given a line manager who I could voice any concerns I had. I also had a mid and end internship review with my manager.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The first 2 weeks were quite dull, as a lot of it involved getting to grips with IT systems and completing compliance training. After that, I was given more responsibilities and an independent project I could work on in my spare time. I also delivered some knowledge shares which I had to prepare for. HR organised senior led speaker sessions, around 3 per week.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was definitely given a lot of responsibility and there was a steep learning curve. The work I did contributed to the bigger picture of the team's work, so I did feel like I added a lot of value during my internship. The team also stressed the importance of the tasks I was working on. However, as an intern there were some tasks I could not do as I was not experienced enough.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have developed many skills from learning how to manage stakeholder expectations and its importance within the workplace. Also I have developed my excel skills which will assist me at university and in finance as a lot of tasks uses Excel. I also learned to make professional presentations and improve on my presenting skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was very calm and relaxing. Everyone in my team was really friendly and would make an effort to talk to interns. Once in a while each person within the office would bring in treats. At times when the team had deadlines, you can sense that everyone around you is stressed. There were a couple of socials outside work, but more would have been good!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the internship was well organised. The senior led speaker sessions were the best because these involved VPs and Directors across Treasury and Finance. The meetings were set up in advance and you are told the topic they will talk about so you can prepare questions. HR also organised a 10 minute recruiter catch up, once in the middle and once towards the end. There could have been more social events with all the other interns because they only hosted one leaving party.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They definitely invested a lot in terms of personal training and development. You are given a lot of responsibility as an intern from the beginning. There are also optional Excel training courses which you can sign up to. You are given objectives at the start of the internship so you can track your progress with your line manager to ensure you are on track to meeting them all.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
From the internship you have an option to convert it to a graduate scheme. The prospect of future employment with Barclays is very appealing because they give a good bonus, good training and development, you can do the ACA/CIMA/CFA and the programme is rotational. Each rotation lasts for 3 years so you get good exposure to a range of teams.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was definitely a good social scene amongst other interns, especially as they were all so friendly. There were socials organised every 2 weeks such as bowling or mini golf. It was a good opportunity to meet the other finance interns. It would have been nice if HR could have organised more social events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising is quite high because the office is located in Canary Wharf. However, you get a decent enough salary to afford socialising,
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is good around Canary Wharf, it is always buzzing and people are always socialising over drinks or dinner.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were not many opportunities provided for this in my team specifically. Some of my other colleagues were involved in cricket or netball.