I really enjoyed it! It has been extremely informative, insightful and exciting. NatWest have tried really hard to give all interns opportunities to learn about the bank, about their individual scheme and about the different roles in the bank that make it a great place to work. It has also been lovely to meet new people every day and work closely alongside the interns within my scheme. It is amazing how NatWest have managed to create a way for us to network virtually.
We have constantly been reminded how much NatWest value their interns and graduated. So much emphasis has been made on how we bring a fresh perspective, enthusiasm and new ideas to the company. It has made me feel really welcome to the bank and feel really valued for being there. Throughout different sessions with senior members of NatWest, they have also shown their appreciation for our time by allowing us to ask questions and really grasp our opportunity to speak to them. It makes NatWest seem like a big family, somewhere I would love to work in the future.
A lot of support! Even months before the virtual internship began, I was supported by the Early Careers team, allowing me to ask any silly questions or raise any concerns I had. Phone calls were made too, letting us know that the internship was going ahead and that they were there to support us should we need it. The whole experience has been smooth and I know that they have been there to help whenever we need it.
The skills I have learned and information I have received will definitely help me in the future. One week was dedicated specifically to my scheme, HR. That taught me about HR itself and this will assist my decisions in the future about my career choices. Another week was based on developing ourselves. These skills, such as maximising our potential, will be useful throughout my life. I have been made more aware of the ways I can help myself achieve and become a better person.
The structure was good. I think they spaced out sessions well and 4 weeks was a good enough time to fit in what they wanted. However, I personally believe NatWest could have provided more sessions, or slightly longer ones. Most days involved just one hour, which often was not enough time to have a Q&A session towards the end. It meant a lot of people were not able to speak and raise questions. Perhaps more time could have been allowed for this. As well as that, I think more sessions could have been created to keep us more busy.
The atmosphere was welcoming and positive throughout the experience. Each colleague was excited to be there and happy to share their knowledge and thoughts in every online session. It created a great atmosphere for all the interns involved and this was apparent throughout the internship. I think it only added to the fact that NatWest is a great place to work and really proved to me that they really mean it when they say they love working there!
The week which focused on skill development showed how the company was investing in the interns. We were involved in several sessions led by individuals who were experts in those skills. We were encouraged to discuss, share our experiences and thoughts and ask questions to really get the whole experience. It made me feel as though NatWest was really investing in us during our time on the internship. The personal training will also help me throughout my career in the future.
I had a session with a group a individuals on the graduate scheme which allowed to to gain insight on the next stage of my career, should I choose to work with NatWest. I was able to ask questions on exactly what they do as a graduate and the next stages after. There was also an individual who had just rolled of the scheme into a full time role. He explained the process and what it was like to do so. I definitely have a better understanding of what it is like through this session, as well as speaking to other individuals in the bank.
Every session had an element of showing us the culture at NatWest. The first week emphasised their aims and how the bank is purpose-led. It taught us that the company is focused on learning and championing potential. This was a theme throughout the virtual experience in all sessions. Every colleague was great at making this come across through their presentations and attitudes towards us. Again, I think this experience has made me really aware of why NatWest is a great place to work, especially because of the company culture.
Very valuable. As an HR intern, I had many sessions with colleagues in different areas of HR. They outlined what their area was responsible for, what they personally did in their day job and how they fit into the whole business. This made me aware of what areas I think I will enjoy, what areas I feel suit me the most and essentially what I would like to do in the future! The content was really great in giving me an insight into whether I will enjoy HR as a career in the future.
All interns were paid fully for the internship. Despite it being shorter than originally planned, they still paid us for the whole duration of the expected internship. They didn't want us to suffer financially, which again shows their commitment to their interns.
Yes, throughout the experience there were many ways of networking and meeting employees. When sessions included all interns, there were "breakout" rooms that split us into smaller groups to allow discussions and for us to share our thoughts. Additionally, in the HR scheme we were in a small group and met colleagues throughout the HR teams, including senior positions and graduate positions. We really got the opportunity to speak and meet a range of employees of NatWest.
Good! Fridays were usually the day for a "social" type of event. An event that was particularly great was a virtual escape room, organised by a graduate council. This was done in teams which allowed us to network and work with other interns across NatWest. Another opportunity was a CSR Challenge, for fundraising through the 2.6 challenge. We were put into teams again and worked together to create a fundraising initiative. This was a great social opportunity too as we were left to organise and chat together.
Yes! I heard a lot about graduate councils and employee-led networks in the bank. Graduate councils are run by graduates to meet other graduates and get involved with different aspects of the community. Employee-led networks vary from multicultural, women's network and rainbow. We heard from different graduates who told us about their involvement, the process to get involved and what activities they do together. If I were to get a job with NatWest I would know how to get involved!
One hundred percent! NatWest have clearly put so much effort into giving interns the opportunity to make the most of this summer, despite the coronavirus crisis. I have learned a lot about the company itself, had many networking opportunities and developed many new skills. It has been an experience which will definitely impact my future career path, whichever journey I take. I think anyone would be lucky to have a virtual experience with NatWest, in whichever scheme they choose.