1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The work experience was very enjoyable. There were a lot of initiatives to involve the interns in the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The onboarding was excellent and the team was welcoming. The office was large so it felt like I didn't get to meet everyone on the floor but that is given with companies of this size. My opinions were always taken into consideration in the projects so I felt very valued overall.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt like at times I wasn't given enough information about what I was supposed to do. However, towards the end it became clear to me that my manager was looking to see whether I would be able to find out the information or what needs to be done myself rather than being told by someone else.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Depending on the stage of the project, sometimes there was a lot to do and sometimes there wasn't anything. Overall, when free, I would recommend making the most out of your time and meeting other people in the company or shadowing co-workers to see how the company works or picking up a side project. Interns who were less "proactive" might have found the internship a bit slower because the list of formal responsibilities might have not been exhaustive, but there was always something to do if you were looking for the opportunity both inside and outside your team.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Depends on how much you asked for. I asked for more in one project and less in another as I found it more time-demanding and harder to complete. Overall, it was key that we communicated with our managers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I definitely learned more about tech overall, and I think I have a better understanding of the processes around the bank and where what I was doing fit in. I also feel like I know what I still need to learn in the future
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Was very nice - there were a lot of interns and it was a great socialising experience as well. We had a lot of activities outside work - e.g. we would play sports, have an activities day etc. so it made it easier to feel good in the office
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I would have been good if we received more info prior to the internship. In terms of the formal things, it was a bit less organized but in my team in particular, my manager made sure that I knew where to seek help with my project and had a good experience.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It depends on a case by case basis, but for me - I was quite lucky because my team and managers were keen to help me and coach me (both in terms of the project but also in the longer run, about how to deal with projects and people in tech).
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Barclays is definitely a good company to work for. From the outside, it might seem a bit hectic, but the organization places a lot of emphasis on individuality (e.g. not forcing you to do what you might not want and not be good at but rather allocating tasks that you enjoy or you are the most suitable to do within your team) - I really appreciated how lenient they were with me and didn't force me to fit in a mould.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
cost of living is fairly high in Knutsford but we were given an allowance. alternatively, some interns lived further away (e.g. outskirts of Manchester) and the costs there were slightly lower.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Interns mostly went out on the weekends - we would go to Manchester, but not much to do in Knutsford apart from going to a local pub on a Friday.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, there were weekly sport tournaments that the grads/interns organized.
The only issue was that we took a company bus from Radbroke to Knutsford and there was a fixed time for the bus, which meant that you could not stay in Radbroke later than 6:30pm and e.g. play football unless you had a car.