Attended the global insight week at UBS
Due to the global pandemic, UBS took the time and resources to move our spring week onto a virtual format, so that we would still be able to learn about the company and ask any questions we may have. This was delivered expertly, and although it wasn't quite spending the week in the office, it was really insightful.
Unfortunately, due to the online nature of the week, the only interaction we managed to get with the employees were through a chat box on the Skype call. This made it difficult to interact and make an impression, but this is through no fault of the firm, rather the circumstances we had to operate under.
The insight week mainly consisted of us listening to both senior and junior employees talk about their work and experience in UBS, and no project based work. Therefore, the guidance we received was mainly through the answering of our questions, which was always done extremely in depth, and with really accessible answers
Again, due to the nature of the week, we did not gain any skills as such, but were given a whole host of information to mull over and research in more detail in our own time. We had a session hosted by Fitch Learning which went through the financial markets which was extremely useful and will assist me in my degree studies. Beyond this, the sessions on interview and application tips were really beneficial
The video calls were spaced throughout the day, starting at 9 and ending at 5 most days. They alternated between a ‘day in the life’ session of a graduate in the sector and a more in depth overview of the business area by a more senior employee. It was structured well so that it wasn’t tedious, rather very engaging.
Again, it’s hard to glean an atmosphere over a Skype call where many of the participants had video and audio issues. It was a shame that I didn’t get to meet the cohort in person, but the HR team who led the week managed to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere over the chat box none the less!
As this was just an insight week, we didn’t get any training as such, but we had a session led by Fitch Learning which gave insight into the financial markets. Due to the short and online nature of the week, this was minimal, but they gave us really in depth advice on applying for internships in the future.
The insight was amazing in this respect, as they covered a whole host of different business areas. We heard from recent graduates, who ran us through a typical day in their life, how much responsibility they got, their projects etc, and also senior staff who gave us a higher level overview of the business area and their roles.
The graduates and senior staff constantly touched on how welcoming and friendly the culture at UBS was, and how easy it is to approach senior staff for support or to flag an issue. They expanded on the activities organised through the junior committee and how they manage to keep a work life balance, and how UBS supports them in this.
I had already pretty much decided on pursuing a career in the investment/banking sector, so this insight week for me was really to solidify this, and learn more about these business areas and specific roles. The insight week was really valuable in this, as they provided great overview of roles, as well as the realities of working in them, which helped deepen my understanding and pick a business area.
I have ticked this box because under normal circumstances, UBS offered to refund travel expenses and also provide accommodation if we lived more than an hour commute from their office. However, as this was online, we didn’t have to travel or stay in London, so although this feature was originally in place, it was not used in the end.
All of the employees that we spoke to said that they would be more than happy for us to reach out to them with questions, whether that through LinkedIn or email. Unfortunately, due to circumstances we could not meet them in person, but the opportunity to network via other means remained an option.
Die to the virtual nature of the week, and through no fault of UBS, we were unable to have networking or social event activities. They tried to make it more interactive by hosting a couple of quizzes, but the networking side was made difficult due to us only being able to communicate over a chat box.
The graduates were keen to elaborate on all the activities UBS offers outside of work, and the initiatives pioneered by the junior committee. They told us about team football, drinks, pub quizzes, and also they they have an on sight gym which they can use, which are currently providing online yoga classes.
Yes absolutely! Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, and it really did provide me with a great insight into the company and what they stand for and what they do. Unfortunately it was not held in the office, but next year when it is again I’m sure it will be even better!