The virtual summer internship was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. The HR team tried to give us an experience that was as close to the real internship experience as possible, making sure that we worked in various group projects, which was really nice as we got to work with other interns both from our line of business and from across the intern cohort. There was a lot of support available too, as we had daily meetings with managers and were also given mentors and buddies that we could also contact with questions.
As a virtual summer intern, I still felt like the work that I did was valued. One of the best things was that as an intern, I was given the opportunity to virtually volunteer, and also to participate in an environmental, social and governance project where we were told to give ideas as a team on how a specific area in the business could be improved following the pandemic and was given an opportunity to present these ideas to our fellow interns and get their feedback.
Our recruiter did their best to answer any questions we had, whether that be about the experience in general or about timetable clashes. My manager was also very supportive and ensured that we talked on a daily basis and helped to connect me with people that I could further learn from. My mentor and buddy were also very approachable and we talked at least once a week about how the week had gone and any questions or concerns I had. In the initial weeks of the internship, there was also training and support for various skills, such as networking and presentation skills.
I learned how to apply some of the principles that I had learned about in my degree so far in practice and was also able to develop my presentation skills by presenting at least four times within the course of the internship. I was also able to learn how to effectively work in a team remotely and how to communicate with others in a remote working environment. I was also able to learn a lot more specifically about how some of the technology works within a large and global organisation.
The experience was very well structured. The initial weeks had useful training webinars, preparing us for the second half of the internship. The second half of the internship was more flexible and gave us more time to work on team and individual projects. We were also given time to do self paced learning which was really nice. Having time set aside daily to connect with our managers was also really good as it gave a structure to the day.
As it was a remote environment and it was the first time that the bank was running a virtual summer internship, I thought that it might be difficult to reach out to people. However, this was not the case - people were very friendly and happy to help and answer questions. For example, after sessions if I had any questions, I was able to email the presenters to learn more. The other interns were also very nice and it was great working in team projects with them.
The first three weeks of the internship were focussed on training and development. This meant that we learned about soft skills such as communicating with others, understanding people and their personalities, how to work well in a team and so on. We were also given training on presentation skills. Also, there were always opportunities for self-paced learning and development and we were always encouraged to attend sessions by senior leaders to learn more about their experiences and hear about what they recommended to us at the early stages of our career.
Completing the virtual summer internship helped me to understand more about how the bank operates and the sort of opportunities that are available. I learned more about what someone in my role may be doing by asking questions and listening in to meetings that the team had, where I could see how they worked virtually. I was given the opportunity to always ask questions and connect with lots of different people to learn also about different roles within the division that I was interning in. Completing a line of business specific project also helped me to spend time connecting with the team I was interning in and learn more about the technologies that they use.
The internship was essential to learning more about the culture. It was great to find out more about employee networks and the events they hold, and how everyone from senior to junior positions gets involved with these. It was really nice to also learn more about the volunteering efforts made by employees, such as mentoring opportunities. It was clear that people are encouraged to bring their whole self to work and to do things that they are passionate about. Everyone I spoke to was very friendly and given their busy schedules, were still very nice and tried to take time out to talk to me.
I really enjoyed the internship even though it was virtual as I think the junior talent team did a great job in trying to make the experience as seamless as possible and I was still able to interact with other interns and people within the bank to learn a lot. Learning about how technology works at the bank and about the different roles that people have within a team also helped me to decide which role I would want to pursue in the future.
I was paid for the work that I did and even though the internship was cut from being 10 weeks long to 8 weeks, it was nice that the bank still paid us for the 10 weeks that we were meant to be there originally. Also, we were reinbursed for any costs incurred when connecting to any conferences where there were no free phone numbers and we had to use direct dial ins, for example when connecting to conferences in the US.
There were a lot of opportunities to interact with senior leadership members and people from the bank during live sessions where we could ask questions. Additionally, if there was anyone that I wanted to get in touch with, I was able to just email them and ask them if they were happy to set aside some time to discuss something. People were always happy to help, unless they had extremely busy timetables which is understandable.
In terms of social events, there was a fun intern quiz in week 1 which was really nice. The networking events were mostly one to one conversations which I enjoyed as it was nice to learn about the experiences of different team members and ask them questions and for any tips that they had. I also got the chance to talk to people in teams in different countries which gave a sense of how global the bank is.
There are a lot of opportunities that the employees can get involved in outside of work and it was great learning more about these, such as the employee networks, or volunteering activities. It was also nice finding out about the different groups they have, like sports groups or language groups. It was nice that interns were also given the opportunity to virtually volunteer and to join in with employee network activities during the internship as well.
I would like to recommend this virtual experience as it was a really good experience to be able to learn more about the bank and the culture of the bank and to connect with lots of people. The internship was very well planned and there was a lot to do, especially in the first four weeks where it was more structured but I definitely recommend it as I learned a lot and the experience from working on group projects was also great.
12th August 2020