1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I met some nice people but it was not fun, engaging and stimulating. The work I was given had absolutely nothing to do with being a business analyst/project manager. I was forced to do something I did not enjoy and when I spoke up that the work was not what I signed up; I was told that at my age people don't know what they want so I should basically suck it up. My HR advisor was also incompetent and made me super uncomfortable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were actually nice, respectful and quite funny. My manager had good social skills but he was incompetent when it actually came to managing people and delegating. I was an intern and I don't think they really knew what to do with me or what function I should have but they were nice.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager kept changing my objectives, asked me to do something I had never done before, then told me to use google, when I had queries and questions. I brought it up with my HR advisor as we'll but she was so clueless and unhelpful. I was not adequately supported.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was not busy and spent most of my days just doing training, watching training videos and doing work that would never ever be implemented. I started my internship with so much enthusiasm, but left resentful, drained and sad because I expected a lot but was left disappointed with the lack of structure and important work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was not given any responsibility. The work I did had nothing to do with my teams function. I was basically left with google, and a bunch of online resources. I had no training, no guidance, I did not add value and I was basically being paid to take up space in the office.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
None. My degree is almost like business analysis/project management. But because I was not actually doing Business analysis work, it would not assist me in any way in my studies. I still do not know how to formulate requirements, create a requirements document or even how to implement these changes. I just wasted 2 months of my life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Now the office atmosphere was nice. People were friendly, most directors and managing directors were always willing to meet you and have a chat. The office was open plan and mainly hot-decking (no specified desk for the day) so that was kind of annoying but besides that; nice and open culture where you can mostly be yourself.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Simple; there was no structure. The teams we joined didn't even know we were joining until a week before! Like I said earlier, my objectives kept changing, what I was being asked to do had absolutely nothing to do with the role or what I actually applied for. HR was useless, the "coding" challenge we had did not even involve any code! Speakers were recycled from spring week, with the same stories and jokes.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was no personal training and development. Most of the events just involved senior people telling us their life story and how they made it to Barclays. No actual advice was given on how to be a top employee, how to stand out, how to add value or even how to make a change. It was generic, and most of the things they said you could basically figure it out using common sense or the Internet.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would not want to for Barclays Technology division ever again and I would not recommend it to anyone. Unless you are a software developer and into development. But if you are leaning towards project management or Business Analysis or being an Emerging technologist. It is a hard NO. However, the Investment banking division, seems to be quite nice as well as the private banking.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I am personally quite reserved so I only mixed with people I liked being around. But interns did have an opportunity to meet for drinks after work, we took several out of office trips and outside activities. They all seemed nice and genuine. I had no issues or arguments with anyone as I mostly kept it polite, short and to myself. I was also professional.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Now London is really expensive. So it was expensive! But that is expected when you live in London. I personally had to issues with cost of living and socialising because we were being compensated well. But people who live outside london did find something quite pricey and rent for a good room in a nice area is at least £700 per month.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Canary Wharf night life is ok. There are some bars, some pubs and there is a scene for everyone. Whether you are a person who likes the more luxurious things and atmosphere or whether you prefer to go to weather-spoons pub. There is something for everyone around the Canary Wharf Area.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Barclays actually gives you two days a year to go volunteering and I thought that was really nice. You could also get involved in sports activities, fundraising, diversity and inclusion (ethnicity, religion, LGBT, women groups) there was something for everyone and anyone! However I just preferred to go home after work and relax.