I really enjoyed the experience, albeit virtual. The employees were extremely welcoming and the training sessions were engaging and productive. The company had put in so much effort into making the intern experience the best it could be whilst working from home! Honestly, I wish it could have been a longer experience as I was only just really understanding the work-- the original placement was ten weeks but it was 8 weeks instead due to COVID.
The bank did everything they could to make sure that the other employees engaged with us. Even though it was difficult networking in a virtual environment, people still made time to have 1 on 1 chats with us. The company also did well to set up time to speak with senior management. The work we were given was engaging and I felt as if I was contributing something meaningful to the bank and its work.
We were provided with a mentor, manager and buddy as our most basic networks at the bank. They gave us the most essential support, especially in the first few weeks of being on the internship. The mentor was a great support network for training and work. the buddy was useful for more social queries and who to network with. Although I worked with my manager indirectly, I still heard from him at least twice a week through our biweekly team meetings.
It was variable-- the first three to four weeks, I was not very busy as we were in centralised training sessions. Essentially, we took notes and listened to seminars from 9-5pm. From weeks four to eight, it was busier as we were in our team and had been given work from our line of business & had to participate in group projects. Overall the work load was very manageable-- there were only a few instances where I had to work until 8pm.
The skills I have learnt on this internship have been extremely transferable and useful for my future career. I have especially developed my networking, logic, analytical, communication, and Excel skills. I have also vastly improved the my productivity and attention to detail during this experience. The many training sessions in weeks 1 to 4 were useful for confidence boosting and soft skills. The skills learnt in weeks 4 to 8 were great for developing professional skills.
The general atmosphere was relaxed but professional. Everyone is very welcoming and friendly. We had 3 meetings per week- one of those meetings would always be a relaxed one where we talk about ourselves, and not work. We also had various fun social events, like quizzes, throughout the internship. It would have been a lot better if we could meet the colleagues face to face, but I think the bank did their best to provided a great alternative given the situation.
It was very well organised. The HR team did a great job in organising an engaging, stimulating internship. The first 3-4 weeks were split into training sessions. Some were UK based, whilst others were US based. We had training on accounting, data literacy and within our own line of business. The organisers did well to slowly introduce us to our own teams using buddies and mentors. They also provided weekly feedback sessions to allow us to voice our concerns and queries.
They invested a lot of time and money into all of intern class. I think, since this was such a rogue year, they went out of their way to make sure our experience could be the best given the circumstances. We must have been given training sessions from over 25 different people over 3-4 weeks- all teaching different skills. The fact they still made sure that the internship was still going ahead given COVID is great in itself. Kudos to them!
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
The company offered me a job during my final review-- there is also so much flexibility in terms of which division you could join. If you were not happy with the work you were doing, the people in HR would be glad you told them and would try to find something else in the bank which would suit you more. There is also a lot of internal mobility at the bank, after speaking with many of my colleagues-- they had previously worked in other divisions and then transferred to others.
Loads of things to do in central London. If the bars, pubs and clubs are not your cup of tea, there are great restaurants everywhere in the area. The offices were also pretty close to pretty close to St Pauls, which offers great views at night. You could also take a 10 minute tube journey to Covent Garden/ Leicester Square. Although it was all from home, I can imagine that it would have been pretty expensive since it is in the business district of central London.
Internship (1-4 Months)
17th August 2020