I really enjoyed my internship at Handelsbanken because it allowed me to see what working in a bank was like. It also gave me first hand experience of how effective decentralisation is and how much the customers like the bank only being a local phone call away.
My colleagues made me feel very welcome into Tamworth branch, immediately making conversation and making me feel part of the team. Outside of Tamworth, Region Central Head Office also made me feel extremely welcome when we was invited into Birmingham.
At the start of my internship, I was nervous about asking questions as I was worried that my question was stupid and the answer could actually be found somewhere easily. However, this soon changed when my Manager mentioned to me and my colleagues that I obviously didn't have the same skill level as them and I would need guidance in areas where they are competent.
I would complete the morning tasks on a daily basis which definitely kept most of my morning busy. I would also contribute on the day to day tasks which needed doing as well as showing my interest in what the account managers were doing by watching and taking notes off them.
I was quite surprised at how much responsibility I was given early on in my placement, because I am relatively new to banking and I was already doing the daily tasks that other staff would normally be completing. What made it more comfortable for me was that someone would always check your work, which made me relax a bit more and enjoy the job I was doing.
The skills I developed will 100% benefit me in the future as it has shown me what the job as Account Manager Support entailed. This is the role I want to progress in with the bank so it was good to see how the life of an AMS is ran.
The atmosphere was positive in the office as we had a laugh and a joke but soon knew when we had a particularly bust day or when we had customer meetings that we had to be more focused. The balance between these however was perfect and it made it a perfect working environment.
It was very organised as I had a specific list of things I had to complete as well as the compliance training which was mandatory, already loaded up on my system the first day I joined. it was also organised in the sense that I had projects I could start on straight away when joining and I didn't have to wait long to get properly stuck in to work.
They gave me further training sections that were not mandatory which I asked for to further my knowledge of banking. They also gave us time to talk to HR and the branch manager anytime during the internship where we thought we had done something well and we needed to tell them.
I was offered a full time contract after my placement which came as a surprise but one I had worked hard for and was congratulated by everyone I knew in the bank which made me feel like I had contributed on my placement and that the employees were happy to see me be able to contribute more on a full time basis.
Yes it was good as after the days at head office we would go out for food and a drink with all of the interns. In branch, a few of us on the same lunch hour would go out round the shops which may seem simple but it was effective as it made us get to know each other outside of the bank.
It was reasonably cheap as car park was free and it wasn't a far walk to branch. Also, branch was only roughly a 20 minute drive from my house so even with traffic, I didn't have to wake up too early to get to Tamworth on time!
One of the colleagues at Tamworth branch left in my placement period so I was invited to their leaving do which I was quite surprised about as I had only been at the branch a month! It was however a good night where everyone made me welcome and it felt like I had been working with them for a lot longer than I had been.
There was multiple opportunities outside of work but I had to be proactive and sort them myself. The employees in the bank did not just give me opportunities, they made me sort them out to enhance my development.
Internship (1-4 Months)
16th September 2019