1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This placement was a great way to kick off my professional career, giving me a taste of the industry which has proved useful when thinking about my future career options. I enjoyed learning in depth about the industry and the product specific area to which I was assigned. The people are friendly and helpful, and LBG is well set up to deal with placement year students.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Other colleagues value you just as much they would a full time employee. You will become an integral part of the team to which you are assigned. You are encouraged to speak up and participate in team discussions, and often ideas you have will be shared across the team and put into action. You are valued on your knowledge, skills and work ethic, not on your age or contract type.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Coming in as a student, the learning curve is quite steep. You are taught a lot in a relatively short amount of time. Everybody is very keen to help you, and genuinely enjoys doing so. Asking questions and challenging other colleagues suggestions is not only allowed, but actively encouraged. Before long you will be the person who new people come to when they have questions and need guidance!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload was very varied. We worked on a 1 month reporting basis, so BAU work tended to dominate roughly half of each month. Deadlines were tight in this period, and reports often were prepared for very senior colleagues, so it was rare to have much free time. During the rest of the month however, the emphasis was more on project work which lent itself to a far more relaxed schedule.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the year, I was treated as a full time analyst. I was given the opportunity to own pieces of work and regular BAU. I was allowed and encouraged to make them my own, and make changes where I saw fit. You will not be making the tea and coffee etc as is the common perception of an internship - you will be gaining real, hands on experience.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
During the year I developed both my soft and technical skills. I regularly presented pieces of my work to senior audiences, improving my communication skills. SQL, SAS and VBA were integral tools needed to carry out the work required, all of which I learnt on the job with no prior experience. I will carry this skills forward to the remainder of my degree!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was an agile environment, with hundreds of employees. Generally it is quite sociable, yet quiet enough to get on with pieces of work when needed. However, there are more employees than office spaces so colleagues are expected to work from home at leat once per week on average.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The scheme has been going on for years, and this makes the process fairly smooth. However, the onboarding process is carried out by a recruitment company, and occasionally feels disjoint from LBG itself. Whilst this was not a problem once through the door, there were often miscommunications in the vetting and preparation stages.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
LBG allowed me to attend conferences, training days, shadowing days, work experience .. and the list goes on. They have a genuine vested interest in your development, and generally allow you to undertake any training you see fit to develop yourself (as long as there is at least a loose connection to your role).
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
LBG encourages returning to the company after your year in industry. You'll get the opportunity to apply directly to the risk graduate scheme, or be preferably referred to another graduate scheme. The company invests so much in you because it wants to keep you on and help you to progress your career.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Both were very expensive. This is London after all and although the salary is good for a placement year, it requires a lot of careful planning and budgeting to be able to afford rent, socialising, travel etc. Most placement students live at home and commute into London, saving significantly on living costs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife is great. You'll be placed in one of five offices in London, all of which are located in the city. Shoreditch is a regular haunt and always a good night out. Socials amongst students, and team nights alike will all head here, and the selection of pubs etc around the city is very good too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?