I really enjoyed my placement with Handelsbanken. I initially was supposed to just do an internship of 2 months over the summer - but as I enjoyed it so much and I was doing well so they extended it to 6 months. All the staff were lovely and made me feel so welcome.
I felt really valued by the team. As soon as I started, they felt it was important to teach me about the bank and the way things were down. They gave me more and more responsibility which I believe enabled me to grow so much during the short time at the bank.
When I started at the bank I really didn't know much about banking. By doing the online training within the first few weeks, it eased me into the routine of the bank whilst learning about what goes on within the bank. My manager was always around to answer any questions whether it was in the office or on email if she was out. I was also looked out for by the regional HR team which was great as I felt they really wanted to know how I was getting on - and if I had any issues I couldn't talk to my manager about
Towards the start there were days that I was a little bored but as soon as I started asking for more to do, my colleagues made sure I didn't feel like I wasn't needed within the team. What I liked was I always had a set routine in the morning which kept me busy while everyone was sorting out what they needed doing for the day. Afterwards, they would make sure I had on-going work to complete.
I think I had the perfect balance of being given a good amount of responsibility so I felt I was important to contributing to the team, but they also didn't want to dump lots of work on me that I wasn't ready for. They were very good at delegating the different jobs around my team.
I learnt so much about banking that I didn't know about and the behind the scenes look was eye-opening. Also being able to go to the regional office to visit and see the different teams there helped me understand the wider dealings of the bank that weren't just within the branches. I also was able to grow connections with other interns and speak to more experienced bankers which I found very beneficial.
The general atmosphere was great. There were times when everyone got on with their work but also relaxed periods when we would chat or have meetings. I liked how because the branch is fairly small, everyone knew what each other were up to so it felt like a real team effort.
I thought it was very well organised. They had specific tasks they wanted you to carry out and learn about which were outlined in the pack. But also there was room for managers to make decisions about what was best for me in terms of what I was good at and what I was interested in
I had initial online training when I was there and also a training day in the regional office learning about different departments. In branch, I also felt I had continuous development as the staff were great at answering any questions I had about the day to day things i was doing or the bank itself.
I think future prospects are very good as they have already expressed an interest in wanting to keep me on within the bank. They seem keen to get young people up and through the bank and are keen on getting ideas of what they can do to keep us within the bank
There wasn't much in the way of social interactions from other placement students but we did all meet in the regional office training day.
The cost of living was fairly low as I was living at home. However the cost of travelling to work was quite high as my commute was about 40 minutes drive.
There wasn't much nightlife but I already had friends in the area which was fine.
Yes there was quiz nights, work nights out, a few young people in business meet ups, and birthday events.
Placement (5-9 Months)
6th September 2019