I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the work internship with Handelsbanken. Everyday I looked forward to coming into the office, not only to be around the amazing and encouragingly supportive team, but also to be invited to get involved with whatever is going on that day and more. Despite the current uncertainties with the COVID pandemic, I am overwhelmed with the efforts from the team to ensure my experience was as full and informative as possible with current restrictions. I am so content with the experience gained and believe it has been invaluable in my life experience, hoping there is opportunity for return in the future.
I felt so warmly welcomed by everyone I met from the onset and throughout the internship. During the pandemic, the team ensured I was involved with as much as possible both virtually and physically and made it clear that there is nothing or anybody I cant talk to/ get involved in. It was so lovely to have the team organise calls/ branch visits just for me to gain insight to how they usually run when they didn't have to, which is just one example of how Handelsbanken went above and beyond during my internship to ensure a full experience. Lovely group of people and I am very lucky to have been supported by each person involved!
From the onset of the internship the support made available to me was clear and always happy to help. I felt like I had a constant helping hand in both [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions]Amy and Craig especially as they were my 2 primary contact points throughout. I never felt embarrassed or worried to ask questions, and I was always encouraged to get involved with different things which I would not usually do. There were regular catch ups where feedback on how it has been so far is given, reflections happen, and progress was made knowing where I needed to improve.
Everyday was different, and working in such a fast paced field like HR was always busy. If I had finished what I was working on earlier than expected then I would be encouraged to help [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] with what they are working on/ do little tasks for others to lessen their workload while increasing my exposure to different things. In reflection I don't recall ever being sat there bored with nothing to do, and if I did run out of tasks then they would be replaced with other things to do instead.
At various points of the internship I felt fully part of the team and really trusted with different responsibilities. These included having to WFH two days a week at the start of the internship due to the COVID-19 restrictions - having my own laptop to take home and WFH meant grave responsibility with time organisation and taking upmost care with the company laptop. I also independently worked alone in the office one day a week with nobody else in the office, took it upon myself to organise weekly intern catch up calls with other interns, and solely completed a digitalisation project which was a process involving all tangible documents to be scanned and saved digitally online. Overall I feel I have been given a lot of responsibility throughout.
I believe the insight into the working world of HR has been invaluable to bring back to my degree. The internship has been a dynamic experience where I have observed and been part of activities which I thought I understood from being taught, however only in execution of these tasks have I solidified my understanding, which the internship has been successful in adding another aspect to which I view information. I am able to return to my degree with areas of interest which I would not know about without the internship, and I am hopeful to marry both academic information with vocational information to further my knowledge of the HR industry and return to Handelsbanken in the future.
The office was on a reduced staff shift due to the COVID 19 pandemic, meaning there was a maximum of 4 people in the office at one time. Despite this, the office was always a nice environment to learn in due to the relationships formed with those inside. There would always be laughter and jokes amongst the workload and we knew how to balance talking whilst working. Things like 'quote of the week' made the environment fun and engaging.
I was positively shocked with the organisation of more or less everything throughout the internship. I first hand saw how files were recorded and stored both digitally and the paper documents, which inspired me with my own organisation of personal / university documents. With the internship occurring during a global pandemic, I was surprised how Handelsbanken persisted and continued to operate with the help of a solid foundation, which is the organisation. I didn't witness any lost documents/missing files - there is a place for everything!
Considering the short length of the internship and global pandemic, I feel the bank invested with me as much as they could. Aside from getting me my own work laptop, I was invested in in different ways such as being encouraged to partake in branch visits and reimbursed for any travel costs to do with that. I was supported in everything I was involved in and feel if I required/wanted anything within educational reason it was made clear that it would be considered.
Working from home
I would be delighted to be offered the opportunity to start my career with Handelsbanken. Not only because of their company values and decentralised execution I learned about prior to the internship, also because of their investment in the employee to make them a Handelsbanker I saw first hand, and because of the endless career development/ progression opportunities available. The idea of knowing there are constant opportunities to learn more about the bank by working in a different role/ undertaking courses supported by a willing team is inspiring to further my career. I know if I was to be given an employment opportunity in the future, that I would make the most of it by pushing myself to do as much as I could to make the most of the role I currently work in, to bring to the next.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic restrictions, I was the only intern in the Head Office whereas normally there would be more than just me in at one time. However, other branches had interns in and for 2020 overall there were 4 interns for Handelsbanken. As we were unable to meet up in person due to the pandemic, we relied upon Skype and had numerous calls with other branches / teams, as well as having our own catch up calls fortnightly.
The area I lived in Birmingham was the city centre. Accommodation was expensive and socialising was kept to a minimum due to the COVIS 19 restrictions in place.
The nightlife in Birmingham is generally really good, however due to the COVID 19 restrictions the clubs / pubs and bars were closed throughout the internship.
Due to the COVID 19 restrictions there was not much room to do any activities outside of work as more or less everything was closed.
Internship (1-4 Months)