1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the internship much more than I expected given that it had to be hosted virtually. Despite some issues with connectivity in the first week, the advice I gained from those around me and the experience in the work that I was able to do was invaluable and I really value the experience I have gained as a result.
I had a really good experience with the programs that Barclays were still able to run for us despite the virtual aspect. I felt that some of the value was lost from this, but they were still interactive and enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone that I reached out to was very friendly and always happy to help and talk, no matter their seniority. All of the conversations I had were very smooth and the conversations were very casual. People were always willing to give really good advice that came from them as people rather than echoing the voice of the firm.
People would always be ready to introduce you to others and recommend steps you could take to further both your future education and career.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Mentor: It felt like I could talk to my mentor about anything and I was able to get large amounts of amazing advice and insight as well as having conversations setup to talk to others around the firm.
Buddy: Again felt like I could talk to them about anything. They really made me feel welcome and was always there if I needed to reach out with a question or concern.
Manager: My manager was quite helpful with the task that I was assigned. There were times where both of us were unclear of what was happening due to miscommunication but overall was a good experience and the independence helped me to grow as a developer.
Recruiters: Sometimes the information given with regards to deadlines and required actions were inconsistent or unclear. However, upon asking, these were always outlined for you in a clear way and was caused by changes due to Covid-19.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was slightly more busy than I had anticipated. My daily routine was connecting in the morning at around 7:30am and working all day taking occasional breaks until between 6-7pm. This activity really helped me to find the time to get the most out of the internship given the short time we had with Barclays.
The project that I was given was large enough that I always felt that I had enough to do and never felt like I was bored.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was essentially tasked to work on my own to research, develop and present a proof of concept for a new tool that Barclays was looking to develop. I was given full responsibility for this and, aside from regular catchups with my boss. No tabs were kept on me and I was trusted to work through the problem from my own motivation and problem solving skills.
It may have been more comfortable to have more support, but I felt like I grew much more as a developer and problem solver as a result of the style of work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The boost in developing skill will help massively with my programming and development going forward to my degree. The skills of working alone will also contribute to this.
The main skill that I gained was the ability to talk to people to get useful information from them that would help me going forward. I was pushed as an intern to interact with many people in different company areas, something that I was very uncomfortable with going in. The skills that I gained, being able to reach out to and have a meaningful conversation with many people within the bank to get advice, will help far into the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was working from home so didn't really get the experience of working in the office. People I met were still very friendly.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Quite well, there were some inconsistencies as the internship was changed due to Covid-19 but the changes lead to a strong internship regardless.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were many many talks and information that we were given through our time at the firm. The bank heavily invested in giving us skills and information that we wouldn't have otherwise had.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I really enjoyed working with the firm, if I choose to do a masters I will likely come back to them after I graduate, if given an offer, to work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were a few events but only a small handful organised by the firm and I was hoping to meet more which would've happened in person.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
N/A - working from home
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
N/A - working from home
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?