Working at the bank was an incredibly enjoyable and eye opening experience. I loved the opportunities given to me as they allowed me to broaden my horizons passed my role description and learn new things. The bank allowed me to meet a very diverse range of people and I made some fantastic friends whilst working at the Bank.
I felt that I was a valued member of my team, I was always asked for my opinion on different matters and included in all team related issues. I was afraid I may be treated differently due to only being at the Bank on a temporary (12 Month) basis, but I was really happy to see that I was not treated any differently to a permanent employee.
I had frequent 1-2-1 meetings with my line manager to ensure I was progressing at the right pace. Things have been tricky considering my placement is during Covid and so much of my work was from home. But team meetings multiple times a week and frequent 1-2-1 sessions really helped to support me in my role. And it also made the experience much more enjoyable.
In my role the amount of work varied from day to day, at the beginning things were quite slow as I was learning the role. As time went by I got a lot busier, I never felt worried that I couldn't cope with my workload, but there was always enough to keep me busy and engaged.
I was given a surprising amount of responsibility. A few months into the role I was working on one of the Bank's major systems. My role was in technology and so I was doing a lot of programming. But I was surprised at the amount of free reign I had to program in my own way and decide myself what the best implementation would be. It's certainly a lot better than I was originally expecting!
I developed my soft skills just as much as my technical skills whilst at the bank. It's safe to say that the Bank has prepared me for not only my 3rd year of University but also provided a fantastic launch pad for my career. The skills and experiences I had and developed at the Bank will go with me for the rest of my career. There were a significant number of training sessions available (both mandatory and optional) but all of which were of value.
Since my placement was held working from home due to COVID it's hard to say what the office itself was like. But our frequent team meetings were always great fun, there was the boring part as all meetings have, but then because everyone was so friendly and got along so well there was also a lot of banter mixed in. I don't think there was ever a dull team meeting and the team socials were always great fun too!
For the most part things were very well organised, if you ever had a question about anything there was always someone who knew the answer. One of the benefits of being at the Bank is that there is a dedicated Future Talent team who manage the placement experience. They are able to help you with any questions you might have about your placement and can always help you find the right person/team if they can't answer your questions :)
The Bank invested a lot, they paid for lots of technical training and often asked if there was any training that I wanted to do. There is a budget set aside for all employees to be able to use for work related training and you're always encouraged to make use of it if possible. One of the benefits of my specific role was an MSDN licence which came with Pluralsight access for 6 months, that was really useful and helped to improve my technical skills.
Working from home
Once you've been on the Industrial Placement scheme you can apply to join the Grad scheme, or if you don't want to do that you can always come back applying for a standard job. There are loads of opportunities at the Bank and they always higher from such a diverse group of skills and experience levels. You also have lots of options for career progression within the Bank as they are very open to you moving around within different teams/domains.
The Bank often organised events for the IP students to engage in, and the IP students often organised our own events too. There were loads of opportunities to network and get to know one another really well. We had frequent communication to encourage us to network and organise events amongst ourselves which really helped us to get to know each other and make the most out of our placement years. The events were always really interesting too.
I worked from home for my placement year and so had much lower costs than most people who would be living/working/socialising in central London. I lived outside of London and commuted in when needed which helped keep the cost significantly lower for me, but the Bank does offer a Travel Expenses Loan to help you afford the cost of travel to and from London. You can apply for this before you even start your placement so you know you won't be out of pocket.
London nightlife is always great but the only downside is that it is expensive. That being said I didn't get to experience much of it due to COVID
There were lots of opportunities presented to me, I had the opportunity to join the Bank Ambassador programme where I could give talks to secondary schools to teach them about the Bank of England and the work that we do here. You don't have to join schemes like that, but there are a wide variety of similar things available and you're welcome to join as many or as few as you'd like. I was really happy with the balance
Placement Year (10 Months+)
29th October 2020