8 - The fact that it was virtual detracted from the experience, but given the pandemic it was good. In an area that I knew very little about, the introduction and activities were suitable and really helped me develop my understanding. Meeting others and networking was also critical to the experience, and I would recommend the experience to others. I think the insight could have been more personal on the first day, but otherwise it was great.
7 - The firm was welcoming, warm and open. Breakout rooms in smaller groups were particularly helpful, as they were more intimate, with better interaction, and did not seem like a webinar series. Whilst the talks and seminar sessions were useful to understanding the firm in general, they were not as personal and therefore had less value attached to them. Speaking to grads was very good, as they treated us respectfully and answered questions with enthusiasm.
5 - There was some guidance and support during the insight event days, however, most guidance and support was given before and after the event. Admittedly there were not exactly many tasks to carry out, and the interactive sessions and polls were great, but there wasn't much opportunity to be given guidance or support. Some did come from speaking to grad students, who shared their emails and Linkedin, however, which was wonderful to see and very useful.
6 - There was little opportunity to develop skills, in the sense that the insight was simply about information and opportunities, and asking questions. Case studies or more interactive projects may have been useful to develop skills, however; I appreciate that as a 3-day event, such things are not possible/less than simple to carry out. In terms of my degree studies, it wasn't entirely relevant, but definitely gave me food for thought for my career and beyond university life.
9 - Very well structured. Short, effective and well-thought-out. Sessions were easy to access, never became stale, and were not too long either. There was a solid mix of interactive and webinar/seminar-style events, with well-scheduled breaks throughout the day. Furthermore, having the event short, at 3 days, and not going on from 9-5, made the virtual aspect of the experience more manageable. It meant that the rest of the day could be devoted to something else.
8 - The general atmosphere was friendly, chatty, and welcoming. In breakout rooms, other interns/insight week attendees were lovely, and we got to know each other fairly well. The only problems were the longer webinar-style sessions, but these were really not a problem. They just lacked an atmosphere, owing to the virtual nature, but the presenters/hosts/grad rec team were enthusiastic and happy to be there. I would say it was a positive experience overall, as well as being informative.
5 - This was limited, understandably so, as the event was only an Insight week, that in the end only covered 3 days. There were good sessions on diversity, inclusion and social responsibility, which were good for personal thinking and development. However, owing to the nature of the scheme, its length and the fact that it was virtual, there was limited training or development. Nonetheless, this was expected, as it was not an internship or grad scheme.
6 - Whilst there were good insights from graduates and the grad rec team, there was a lot of focus on the internship, which again makes sense and is understandable. There was a good session that partially discussed the social aspects of the firm, however, there was less focus on the different divisions, areas and balances of responsibilities/work/life. For example, I was on the Coutts stream, yet was not overly differentiated from the wider Natwest group.
7- Company culture is very difficult to convey in a short amount of time, and even harder in a virtual setting. The webinar/seminar-style sessions were less effective with this, however, individual/smaller groups were better. For a virtual event, I got a good idea of the culture and the company's goals from my short time. Of course, longer is required anywhere to get a real idea of culture, as it cannot be easily translated when not face-to-face.
6 - I am still undecided, but the content definitely helped to an extent. Future careers are a terribly difficult thing to look at/decide upon at such an early stage in one's life. Nonetheless, I will definitely be booking onto the assessment centre in November, as I can see myself working at Coutts. The culture was great, and the content was quite helpful in assuring me about the company, even if not necessarily the career.
The experience was virtual, so there were no costs. As well, it was an insight, which you do not expect to be paid for. Apparently we would have been compensated for our travel costs, but obviously these were not relevant/needed as we travelled to our computers at home and did the whole experience on Zoom. It would have been nice to have been paid, but not sensible as we did not do any work at all.
Not relevant as virtual
Not relevant as virtual
8 - We did manage to find out a good deal, from one of the grad students. She was very vocal about her love for the firm and initiatives and activities outside of work, which was a huge part of what made the culture and Natwest Group attractive. There was a good deal on volunteering and sports, which was great to hear. Even though it is common across the industry, it was still nice to know.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
4th September 2020