1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my Summer Internship at the Bank of England. By being placed in the Prudential Regulation Authority in Insurance Supervision, I was given a lot of responsibility early on. In particular, I worked on an independent group project. My colleagues and managers were very supportive throughout the internship. Also, I was able to have access to many events, seminars and meet a lot of interesting people!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
By being given a lot of responsibility, it was clear that I was valued by my colleagues. There were opportunities for me to make a difference and support colleagues with their work. I was asked my opinion on some matters and encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone. Also, the intern cohort had a familial feel to it, which made the internship more enjoyable.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I worked very closely with my line manager and I was in frequent dialogue with the senior managers. Whilst working on my project, I was given a lot of support by my managers on how to proceed with the different stages of the project. My mid-internship and final reviews provided useful feedback on my performance and how I could improve.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was a great work-life balance. No two days were the same. My project had many tasks but I structured them out over the six weeks. The other tasks for the day depended on the manager's choice. Therefore, it was a flexible and enjoyable experience that wasn't too stressful or boring.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility based on the tasks I conducted. For example, if I attended a meeting, I would probably take the notes and then create a detailed account afterwards. Some of these notes were important, similar to other tasks that I was involved in. Overall, it was a decent amount of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was able to develop degree-relevant skills from the internship. For example, my project required detailed research, technical analysis and formal report writing. The training was relevant to the department so the knowledge is useful to know on a general basis, rather than a direct application to my degree course.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was generally good. It was fairly relaxed, which was good as it didn't put on too much pressure. However, it was a typical large-office type atmosphere. Nevertheless, everyone was sociable and friendly, which helped balance work and taking breaks. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being in such a large office atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall, the internship was generally well-organised. There were some sessions that were made available throughout the internship on gaining an insight into the other business areas. However, it was an independent process of managing my time and gaining new experiences rather than being structured. The training was good and useful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The generic training was alright in developing my knowledge. There was a greater focus on understanding how the Bank of England operated and its compliance and relevant issues. The specific industry training was limited. The only departmental training that I attended was mid-way through the internship. Therefore, it would have been useful for the training to have occurred a bit early on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been rated excellently and therefore I am eligible for consideration of a return offer for the Penultimate-Year internship. Generally, everyone does rather well with their rating and hence the employment prospects within the organisation is good. For example, there's an opportunity to convert the Penultimate-Year summer internship to the graduate programme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Given the excellent work-life balance of the internship, there was ample opportunity to be social with the fellow interns. These opportunities included a Human Resources department organised social event early on. Also, we would often have lunch and coffee breaks together and go to various events. Many events were put on for interns including a tour of Lloyds of London.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in London would have been too high, hence I commuted from home. This severely restricted my opportunities to socialise after work. However, I did work around this the best I possibly could. It would have been ideal for HR to support us on this aspect but the costs were high.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I would presume the night-life would have been very good. As somebody that commuted, I am not able to use my personal experience. However, it is London and there is always something going on. So, nightlife shouldn't really be an issue and nor does it come into conflict with work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a lot of opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work that wasn't bank related. The bank-related opportunities did exist but it was difficult to engage with some as I was an intern and only at the Bank of England for a short period of time. Despite this, I was able to attend many events and activities like seminars/discussions arranged by the Bank.