I thoroughly enjoyed my ten weeks at Handelsbanken. The time spent here was very insightful and it was great to get professional experience within the banking industry. It was also very interesting to see how the bank positioned itself within the market, and how their business model and strategy helped it to achieve high profitability.
From day one my colleagues were extremely welcoming and I immediately felt at ease. From the Head Office in Birmingham to my branch, everyone I met has been really pleasant. My colleagues haven't made me feel like an intern, which was a big worry for me before starting. Instead, I have felt valued and as if I am contributing positively.
Throughout the first week I shadowed some of my colleagues to help me settle in. However, I like to be thrown into the end as I think this is a great way to learn, so I began doing things more independently each day. If I ever needed any help, everyone was more than willing to answer any questions.
I'd say I had a healthy schedule during my internship, meaning I had enough to be getting on with at all times whilst not being drowned in work. Of course there were times where I got a bit busier but it was always manageable and I never felt to stressed or under pressure.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much responsibility I was given. I had access to almost all of the systems and trust was put into me to use these. I had various role to complete each day so I'd say the level of responsibility was adequate considering the nature of the banking industry.
Although my internship didn't completely tie in with my degree programme, it was useful to see how the bank operates, and of course ultimately the bank is a business too. I also learnt a lot about corporate customers, which will undoubtedly help me with my degree studies in the future.
The office was relatively small where I was, only eight of us and being holiday season we were rarely all in the office. However, the atmosphere was always pleasant and there was a healthy combination of work and life chat around the office. Everyone seemed to get on really well and the atmosphere was generally really good.
I think the internship was set up really well. From day one the Human Resources team made everything really clear, and the interview and assessment process was really logical. The transition period was also really easy and I hardly encountered any problems in terms of organisation. I'd say overall it was very well organised.
When I first started I had to complete a wide range of courses and modules which acted as training and development. In terms of longer term development, my branch manager kept me informed of any development programmes that are available within the bank should I ever decide to return. It was hard for the bank to really invest in me given the short period I was here, but if I came back I would feel comfortable that personal training and development would be excellent.
I would definitely say future employment prospects are somewhat appealing. I can see that it is a great company to work for and it is the type of organisation that I would want to be involved in. I can also see the clear progression that is available within the bank.
All the other students were spread across the entire region, meaning it was hard for us to meet regularly. However, whenever we were in Birmingham together the social scene was good amongst a few of the fellow interns. It is however something that could be improved going forward for the company.
I lived at home throughout the internship so I didn't really experience any differences in the cost of living and socialising.
I lived at home throughout the internship so I didn't really experience any differences in the nightlife.
From my time here I never really heard of many activities available for us to get involved in outside of work. There could well have been such opportunities but I never saw these first hand. That is something that could be improved throughout the organisation, as a healthy work life balance is increasingly important.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Administration/Secretarial, Banking - Commercial, Banking and Finance Law, Business Analytics, Business Management
30th August 2019