It was clear that a lot of effort and thought had been put into the virtual internship. Each week focused on something new, whether it be intern specific or working on personal goals and CPCs. There was at least one fun activity during each week, such as a quiz or meditation over Zoom. This shows NatWest cares about our mental health and wants to help us get to know each other virtually. Some of the sessions could have been more interactive but this was harder to achieve due to the virtual nature of the internship.
It was clear that everyone who lead sessions really cares about the interns! They were eager to share their experiences to help us develop our skills by answering questions, often staying longer than originally planned or offering up their emails to help us. The only negative was someone highlighted that interns and grads can often be seen as lazy, which I was assured hardly happened. This highlighted to me that I really would have to show my worth once I started work.
I have a buddy (who is on the grad scheme) that I speak to often, both before and during the internship. He's already told me he'll schedule check ups after it's completed too. He helps answer any questions I may have and provides a more informal environment so I can chat about my experiences with him. These catch ups happen weekly but I know he'd catch up more frequently if I requested. The Early Careers team is also very welcoming and happy to help. The sessions they have put on just show how much they want us to be successful.
We had a few development sessions in one week such as maximising your potential and building sponsorship. Throughout this internship I've really learnt how important it is to be connected and so I've started becoming a more connected person, which will definitely help with opportunities in the future. We got to vote on which sessions we would like to receive and it was great having an input in this. I've also developed my online communication skills phenomenally! More calls are taking place online, with workplaces shifting to working from home and so this will be really useful.
Quite well structured. We got a calendar of events the week before the internship started. Ideally it would have been great if we could have had this a bit sooner as we only found out a few days before. The sessions are always during the morning, which is great, as it means that you can get into a routine. Sometimes the sessions overrun due to extra questions being asked at the end, but there is no requirement to stay if you need to go.
Everyone, including fellow interns is lovely and very welcoming. Everyone is very eager to get to know you, to help you and to invest time in you. The atmosphere is uplifting. We did a challenge to raise money during the internship, even though it was only 4 weeks long, which I think highlights how kind everyone was. We are put into break out rooms often so we can get to know fellow interns from around the bank better!
We were taught early on about critical people capabilities. We had great sessions from external companies which helped with our general skills, sessions from people within the bank which helped to us to develop our connectivity and more specifically needed skills. We have buddies which help us learn more, and who can tell us where to ask questions if needed. Would have been great to learn even more about the programme specific skills that are useful.
We had the opportunity to speak to grads many times on different grad panels, including a programme specific one during the second week. They could answer any questions we had and give us an insight into what it is like working there, which was useful as they have recently joined the bank and so we can relate to them more. Unfortunately as the internship was virtual, it was harder to actually experience this work ourselves and so we didn't get to try actually working which would have been nice.
Very much so. NatWest prides itself on being purpose lead. There's a difference between saying something and actually doing it but you can tell the staff at NatWest are fully behind the purpose and do really care. I was told at the start that nobody is as scary as they seem and this is definitely true. Everyone I have interacted with so far is kind and welcoming. NatWest seems like a lovely place to work.
It would have been more valuable if the internship wasn't virtual. We only had a few hours of interaction and from those I could tell that NatWest is a great company to work for as they actually care. The programme specific sessions only lasted a week and I didn't get to experience working the job and so I am still slightly unsure what it entails and if I want to do it in the future. Asking questions is a lot different to actually doing something!
We got the same amount of pay as originally offered for the 10 week internship. This pay for a 10 week internship was great, much better than internships offered by other companies and it was even better for the virtual 4 week internship. We also got other benefits such as a pension, although this could be opted out of as we were only at NatWest for a short period of time. Also got access to an account which provided discounts at cinemas etc.
Quite a few, we were often put into break out rooms to meet other interns from across the bank. The people who lead sessions also often highlighted that we could connect with them on LinkedIn and ask them any follow up questions, some offered to even mentor a few of us. Didn't get the chance to meet many employees except from the grads. Would have been great to attend a network event but this was obviously very unlikely!
Great. The grads in Manchester went above and beyond and have organised a quiz with the interns in this location so we can get to know one another better!
I mainly learnt about this though my buddy and the other grads. He mentioned graduate councils that are ran by and for graduates, each with a different focus such as corporate social responsibility. There are other groups such as ones that focus on climate change which you can join too if you're interested. In terms of more fun activities, I know that the grads often meet up for lunch (and have continued to do virtually!) and go out for drinks at the end of the week.
Yes, definitely! It was great, especially for a first virtual internship as it had to be planned and ran in a very short time. Everyone at NatWest is very nice and I've certainly developed many skills and learnt a lot.