I had a fantastic time on the virtual internship. I really appreciate all of the effort the staff, especially HR, put into making sure we got to connect with people from all over the firm and with interns as well. They made sure we had social events and that each time we were in different groups. However some of the socials did not work as well virtually. I also really enjoyed the project work I was given and my team was great. Most of the time the work was very engaging and challenging.
Everyone I met virtually at UBS was lovely. People were very willing to make time for me in terms of having virtual coffees, or readily available to have a chat and help. They ensured that we got to connect with and have speaker sessions with some very senior members of staff who provided great insight into what they expected of interns and how they valued junior talent. Occasionally, employees would be too busy to work with the Interns however most of the time everyone was very welcoming and constantly checked up on us.
My supervisor was lovely and connected me with some great people all across the firm. He was understandably very busy through my internship and so there were times where we wouldn't check in for a couple of days. The rest of my team were great for giving me work and making sure I always had something to do. My manager was very clear with the skills he wanted me to acquire during the internship which i loved.
It definitely depended on the state of the project I was on and how busy my manager was. I made myself quite busy by engaging in all of the speaker sessions, banker quest games, and organising over 20 one to one chats throughout the course of my internship in order to get to know people all over the firm. It took a while to get started with the excel work as there was a lot of prior reading to understand my project but I am happy that I had a sufficient amount of work / chats each day.
Understandably, as an Intern on big projects involving changes such as Brexit, and joining the project very late, without the knowledge and experience there was not much responsibility I could be given. I was responsible for verifying data on some excel spread sheets and most of all, using formulas to extract and summarise information that my manager used to present in important meetings. This was a great responsibility as he was presenting to senior people but I did not have much independent work.
I have improved my understanding of the markets and project management skills significantly. I have learnt about all the different project management tools which I did not know before, and also we were given very good training on excel and about the markets which has helped me significantly throughout the internship and will continue to help me in the years to come. I have learnt how to prioritise when given multiple tasks which will definitely help me at university.
Since the internship was virtual, we missed out on the office atmosphere. It was nice when the people that I arranged virtual coffees with turned their cameras on so I felt like I was speaking to them in person but not everyone did this. It was also nice during speaker sessions that we were allowed to actually unmute our mics and speak to the person leading the session to ask our question. It created more of an in person atmosphere.
This internship was very well organised. I was very aware of exactly what I was doing, how to set up and use the software, who I would be meeting with, dates and deadlines. They did a very good job with changing the internship, especially given the current circumstances, and also making sure that we were all well informed of everything that we needed to know. We were also notified well in advance of any speaker sessions or socials.
The induction week training was absolutely phenomenal. They dedicated a whole day to teaching us all of the excel skills we could possibly need in small groups, despite having a large intern cohort. They made sure to group us with people of similar experience and ability so that we could learn at our own pace and ensure that everyone understood and could keep up with the material. They also gave us introductions to all areas of the bank so we could learn as much as possible.
If all goes well during the internship, which I hope it has, we are offered a place on the Graduate Training Program. Everyone is very supportive and encouraging in terms of helping us to get an offer and giving us the best advice. It was very clear what we needed to do in order to get an offer and despite the current situation, UBS made it clear that they value junior talent and so are looking to hire us.
We had a few virtual socials but due to the nature of being online, it was difficult to be social. Only one person can speak at a time, sometimes people have connection issues and the nature of the virtual internship meant that we did not have any in person events where we get to meet each other. We also could not have our camera on on skype events or it would crash but UBS were good at giving us some zoom events and break out rooms so we could meet each other.
As I have previously mentioned in above questions, since this internship was virtual, I lived at home and worked from home and all of our social events were also virtual. This meant that we had no cost of living (besides the rent we were already paying) and unfortunately we were not able to socialise how we would have liked to in person, especially giving how renowned the nightlife is in London and the lovely bars around the UBS office.
We were not able to experience the nightlife due to the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown. London is still social distancing and the whole internship is virtual and some of our fellow interns are not even based in London. We were not able to enjoy the nightlife at all unfortunately however this is not the fault of UBS at all. We did not have evening events, all socials tended to finish quite early and social places are closed due to social distancing.
It was very difficult given the current situation of Covid-19 and lockdown, isolation, virtual internship and doing everything remotely. We had speakers from a few of the extra-curricular activities at UBS which was nice but we were not really able to get involved as most of the activities that these societies run are in person. And out internship was also shortened to 5 weeks so even some that had virtual activities, it did not fall within the time frame of our internship.