The internship was enjoyable in the sense that I was given responsibility within the role and focused on a project to complete during the 9 weeks, as well as day to day tasks. There was a good work-life balance and the hours were good for the pay. Could have been more enjoyable if there had been more social events with colleagues and other interns. However, there were a few events such as an afternoon tea at the end of the internship.
I was placed within a team of around 20 people, however mostly interactions were with around 5-7 people during my internship. I did feel valued by the team manager, however there were times where I felt they did not know what tasks to give to me that I could perform. Colleagues were very helpful if I had issues, open and friendly to brief me on tasks.
There were times where it felt like my manager did not know what tasks to give me when I ran out of things to do, however this also meant I had free reign to learn more about areas I was interested in and network. I was given a main project to work on throughout the internship, without much guidance to start with. However, this was because they wanted a fresh pair of eyes to assess the task, so was also a good learning curve. Weekly meetings with my line manager kept me on track and aware of my progression.
To an extent, I was as busy as I wanted to be. I had a project to work on throughout the internship, however this was mostly completed after the first 4 weeks. There were always tasks to do, however I often had to ask for direction which started to become frustrating. I often busied myself by finding ways to self-improve, such as undertaking online training and networking with colleagues.
I was given responsibility for a project during my internship, in which I made recommendations to change the existing system in place given mathematical analysis. My recommendations were implemented whilst I was there and I monitored their success in order to give a presentation at the end to stakeholders. I felt this was a good amount of responsibility and allowed me to develop my analytical and presentation skills.
I developed my Microsoft excel skills considerably, and learnt the basics of the coding language SQL, which will definitely be useful going into my graduate role in the future. I also developed useful interpersonal and professional skills through interacting with colleagues. There were several formal training sessions, and I also undertook optional online training in the department that I wanted to transfer to after my internship. I believe this training helped me get the graduate scheme role that I wanted within the company.
The atmosphere was very relaxed, fairly informal and friendly. Everyone was helpful and had time to give interns which was much appreciated. However, the team I was in was definitely male dominated, which could have felt slightly intimidating. Overall, it was a good atmosphere to work in and I would happily work there again.
Centrally, the internship was quite well organised, with regular catch up calls with HR staff, several centralized training sessions and quick responses to HR queries. However, on the ground there could have been better organisation/ colleagues could have been better informed about the scheme and what was expected of me. I think this is because it was the first year the department I was in (operations) had had interns.
There were many training sessions including the first day in London, and training with an outsourced company in Manchester which was excellent. They paid for all hotels, accommodation and meals during these sessions. I felt my managers encouraged all personal development I wanted to go after even if this meant taking time away from my official role which was great.
After the internship I was offered a role on the graduate scheme in the location/department that I had my internship in. However, I wanted to go to a different location/department, so they fast-tracked me straight to a final assessment centre. The AC process was basically the same as for the internship and I got the role that I wanted.
There were only 3 other interns within my department and no social events set up for us as a department. There were more interns at the location but limited times where we would see them. As I was commuting to the job, it also made it harder to go for after work drinks etc. There were a few occasions where other interns organised social events during the internship, but not much.
I was commuting to the role so I did not have to pay for living costs. On the few occasions I met up with other interns the costs of food and drinks were reasonable. The company gave a £2000 relocation fee to cover any living costs which was really good.
I didn't experience nightlife as I commuted to work from 30 miles away. However, I know the area and that nightlife is not great. Other interns who were living in the town (Northampton) also agreed that the nightlife was not good and were often bored at the weekends with nothing to do.
Not really any opportunities to get involved with activities as far as I know. I was never told of anything nor did I see anything in terms of posters/groups whilst I was there. There may have been a singing group as I saw them in the canteen a few times in the evening.
Internship (1-4 Months)
2nd March 2020