This virtual experience was simply out exceptional. For their first attempt at an online internship during the current pandemic it is without a doubt a resounding success. All members of the NatWest group were extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful. All aspects of the internship were engaging, and eye opening. We had talks with senior business speakers regularly with extensive time for Q&A. I would highly recommend an internship virtual or otherwise with the NatWest group in the future
I felt extremely valued during this virtual internship. From day one I was welcomed into the fold and
In all areas of the internship I was provided with extensive support. Help early careers team was very quick and easy either through their online portal or by a quick email. I was also supported by a graduate who was my buddy which I had a phone call with to chat about how I was feeling and in anyway they could support me during my internship and also more personally with Covid. Overall the support was truly brilliant given the circumstances.
A range of skills for myself we’re improved drastically. For example we had zoom calls on emotional intelligence, maximising our potential and mental health. All of these areas have now been improved and will definitely be transferred to my current study. Simple ideas such as creating a goals map, every six months and reflecting the best points, low points and areas to improve for the coming six months. I would never have imagined this sort of idea would be so impactful.
The structure of the virtual experience was to a very high standard. Each zoom call was planned weeks in advance with the ID, who was leading the call, the purpose of the call, who was in that call with you. Presentation packs were uploaded to the portal promptly and easy to find. There were members of the early careers team always reminding us of current and future tasks and calls. Any issues with the schedule were always fixed quickly and communicated.
I believe the general atmosphere was fanatastic. In every call, email or zoom meeting everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. Not once was I ever told I was just an intern or just a new start in the business. At all times I felt valued , that my opinion mattered and encouraged to share that opinion. This was obvious across the whole business as zoom meetings with senior leaders felt like you were in a coffee shop or down the pub rather than a formal meeting
The NatWest group from their actions clearly valued investing in all of their interns. Each of the development sessions were from outside firms who were specialists in their field. We were given adequate choice on what areas we wanted to increase our ability and awareness. Each step of this process was firmly centered on what would be best for us as a cohort instead of what they believed were the best areas for us to develop.
During our second week of the virtual internship there was a greater number of calls with graduates, and senior business speakers in my chosen graduate role. This gave us a wider and greater understanding of the day to day structure and expectations of an employee in that career role. Each member of the bank that we spoke too was very open on what the job was like and did not shy away from the negatives which can be found with any job.
The company culture was transcended through every call, email and communication during my virtual internship. All members of the early careers teams foster the culture incredibly well by constantly being their as a support structure making you feel entirely comfortable to be your best self. Many firms have cultures and purposes and missions but rarely do you find a bank with an exceptional drive to build their culture. I especially regard highly the environmental aspects of their culture. Such as moving away from supporting firms in the fossil fuel industry.
When approaching the virtual internship I set myself zero expectations and purely to take it as it comes. Over the four weeks the NatWest group convinced me of the potential careers that I could pursue in the banking sector. Not only that they offer as part of their graduate programme a wide range if roles every six months to ensure you find the best fit for yourself. The help and support was invaluable for my future career choice.
Due to the corona virus pandemic I expected that the internship would be cancelled due to the obvious geographical and technical challenges presented with Covid-19. Not only did NatWest continue to provide a internship virtually shorter than the original planned ten weeks. NatWest continued to pay graduates at the same rate that they would have been and therefore nobody was worse off financially. They acted and decided in a arare way for the world of banking which knew they were going to see a fall in profits and a different landscape.
Networking was a prominent aspect of the entire internship with multiple opportunities to meet with graduates, senior leaders in a smaller more personal setting. Conversations became informal and represented the openness and culture of NatWest.
Many of the networking opportunities were arranged by graduates for us to enjoy. The graduate connect council ran quizzes, and an online escape room placing us all into breakout rooms. This gave us all an opportunity to meet other people that we may have done if we were in the traditional office setting. Another graduate council organised a fundraiser for groups to be involved in which led us to meeting and collaborating to raise money for the princes trust.
I would 100% recommend this virtual experience to anyone not just my friends. The early careers team at NatWest did an exceptional job at organising an engaging and interesting virtual experience which was very well organised and executed. You will finish the internship with a different mindset of challenging yourself to be better and do better in all aspects, not just professionally. From the surface NatWest appears to be a fantastic organisation to work for and I cannot wait to join them.
7th August 2020