Created internal webpage for new governance team. Ended up creating internal webpage for the division also subject to positive feedback.
Initially, I wasn't sure what to expect going into a bank like Lloyds Banking Group. The first two weeks were difficult for me given that I was not assigned with an email, so I wasn't able to reach out to people as effectively as I wanted to. However, looking beyond that I do feel that I have met a lot of people and understood that there was a role for everyone within the Group, and it helped me decide which area I would like to go in. The culture was extremely friendly and all questions or favours that I asked would not go unanswered. Overall, it was a very enjoyable placement and this is largely due to the fact that the team were so willing to support me with many opportunities.
This was certainly the biggest advantage that was felt over this internship. I was put in a relatively new team, and they made me feel as if I was on the same level. Even my senior managers were very easy to talk to and understood the position that I was in having been University students themselves etc. They were extremely generous to me - always buying me coffees given that I am a student I was very appreciative of that. Again, I gained from the culture that it was a really friendly bank and colleagues would usually ask how I was doing - every week, my manager would check in with me to see how I was settling in and making sure I was on track with my development goals.
I was given a lot of support and guidance by my manager, and 2 senior managers. As mentioned, weekly check-ins were held to ensure that my development goals were being met. My manager was always willing to help me out, and especially prior to the start when I wasn't sure how to really take advantage of the internship in terms of networking - I gave him a ring after hours and he was more than willing to provide me with advice, which gave me an indication that I was going to get the right amount of support I needed throughout the internship.
To be honest, it was a mix. Some days I would be busy enough talking to other areas of the bank or working on my deliverable, whereas other days I would be struggling to find much to do. However, I would be proactive in finding work for myself that I could do to add value to the bank, and I believe this is what many colleagues are like at the company. As an intern, it was really difficult.
I was given a deliverable which I was allowed the freedom to take ownership of and use my creativity to produce and present something that the managers and senior managers gave really positive feedback on. I then used this to produce something for the division for which the team sat under which was accountable to some senior people. I also did some paper casting and was allowed to spot errors that would have gone to senior people as well. So overall, I would say that as an intern I definitely got enough exposure and responsibility to showcase my abilities.
I think that many of the skills i have learnt in my degree I was able to transfer to the placement, and not the other way around. For example, being thrown in the deep end and the eagerness to learn new things. However, two things that I will note that will assist me for the future: One, was the need to plan out the timeline of my work so that everything would run as smoothly as possible - which worked wonders for me during the placement; Two, was the need and ability to network with other areas of the bank to assist me with a) knowing what I want to do in the future and b) knowing the route to get there.
Relatively speaking, it was not as corporate as I expected. There was open plan desks and hot desking in my office - these have their own pros and cons, I think it depends on personal preference. I think the people are friendly, but there would be a tendency for teams to stick with each other. That being said, I managed to talk to most of the people at my floor doing doughnut sales for charity and all of them seem very friendly - much more than I was expecting.
In my opinion, this was the weak point of the internship. I was supposed to be set up with a laptop, an email and a work phone for the placement. The laptop was given on the first day which was good, but my email was not assigned until the end of the second week, and I didn't get my work phone until the sixth week of my placement. I only had 10 weeks here, so I think they could have planned this beforehand.
I also was told that I would be expecting to hear from the team who set this up about the next steps after the internship in about week 4 of my placement, but didn't receive any communication until week 8 - which was difficult because now I have less time to prepare for the online tests coming ahead.
That being said, they did organise one induction event for my division, and a charity challenge which I was able to meet other interns and work in teams to participate in a fundraising challenge. It was still structured to some extent but there were definite areas of improvement that would have made my intern journey smoother.
I think it was nothing more than expected to be honest in terms of training. They did set up an online course which is mandatory for all colleagues at the Group. As you'd expect, this would take up at least 2 days since the banking industry is heavily regulated. They would give each intern a line manager, which was great for myself - but others may have found it differently.
In terms of development, it was better than I'd expect and they would tell each intern to set their own development goals which we would have to track with our line manager.
Need to go through an online test and assessment centre to land a job with the organisation. It does seem like a struggle after having impressed over the last 10 weeks - at the same time I do actually appreciate that they are trying to be fair to each candidate. I think I personally would like to work with the company having seen how good the environment is within the bank.
The offices were based in London, so all of the interns who were not based in London were put into one halls which I think was great for them. For myself, I was based in London out of term time so I commuted from home but there was a lot of opportunity to get out there and enjoy the nightlife in London with other interns. For example, there was a boat party with other grads and this was not limited to interns. We had an induction event in a nearby bar/table tennis venue called Bounce. With colleagues, there were drinks that were held towards the later end of the placement.
This was the limiting factor of working in London - lots of stuff to do but at a major cost! It came to the point where I would bring my own lunch and meet other interns outside where we would eat near St Pauls cathedral. As mentioned, the team were really generous since they would buy coffees/drinks if I wanted any.
Plenty of bars - clubbing was more for areas like Camden, Clapham, Shoreditch etc. That being said, there are some really nice bars and even restaurants around St Pauls Cathedral that you can explore. For example, I never went but Madison would give a good view of St Pauls Cathedral, Duck&Waffle would be 20 min away in the 40th floor of Heron tower which would give you a nice view of the surrounding area of the City of London.
During my time there was not that many opportunities that I was aware of - but that's not to say there wasn't any. It largely depends on your interests and what you would like to do - you could always set up drinks with your colleagues if that's what you'd like - or I heard from one of the other interns, that one team would jog at lunchtimes which definitely is not my thing! However there are so many things to do in London if you feel that the company is missing something you would have a platform to share it in - there is an internal website which almost acts as a social media with events listed for work.