Research Assistant at Bank of England

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
London
Review Date

4.4/5

The Role
4.7
The Company
4.5
The Culture
3.8

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

This placement is absolutely brilliant. I work at IEO, which is a small office that evaluates Bank's policies. I have a variety of reponsibilities such as taking minutes of meetings, doing charts in Excel, doing high level data analysis,fact checking the final report and now I am learning to code in R. So i definitely get to learn a lot of different skills, and the work is varied. Also, a really cool thing is that I get to sit in meetings with senior officials, including the Governor himself, and listen to experts debating on important economic questions.
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

My colleagues are the best part of the job! They have been educated on universities such as Harvard and Cambridge, so they are a wealth of knowledge! As soon as I started my placement, my manager asked me what are my career goals so he can tailor my tasks and responsibilities. Another team member offered me tutorials on complex economic topics, which he explains brilliantly! Lastly, the director is so nice and caring, we have 1:1 every week and she continuously ensures that I feel supported, am not over (or under!) whelmed and that my well being is okay during pandemic and working from home.
5 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

10/10 support. My managers and senior team members constantly check up on me and explain each task very carefully. Although they explain everything clearly, they always let me know I can ask any questions. Since we are working from home, they emphasise that I can call them anytime to discuss anything, even to just have a tea break and chit chat. Finally, the Bank provides A TON of free training and seminars, they really invest in their staff!
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It depends, some weeks are very busy and some weeks are quiet. For example, we had a period of around 1 month during summer when we were having lots of meetings with senior officials, so I had a lot of minute taking to do. When it comes to fact checking of the report, it can also get quite busy. However, there was a period of about 2 weeks or so that I spent mostly learning Excel and R, so it is a good balance overall. You get to work on important things but also get time for learning and development.
4 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

As I mentioned in the comments above, I got quite a lot of responsibility so far. This ranges from creating charts for deputy governors and other senior officials, to fact checking the report before it gets published. The team constantly makes me feel like a key member, and they give me interested, varied and important tasks. However, I am never stressed, because the team also provides a lot of support with every responsibiity they give me.
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Apart from soft skills such as time management, communication and team work, which are generally useful in life, I get to improve my Excel and R skills. This is tremendously useful as these tools are popular in data analysis, finance, economics, business analysis, and generally every field that an Economics graduate might want to go into. Unfortunately Economics degree at my uni doesn't really provide these skills, so I am lucky to get to develop them during my time at the Bank! Bank provides access to LinkedIn Learning, free online training, and also a lot of free seminars by leading academics.
5 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere in my office is very welcoming, friendly and collaborative. Leadership is great, and I never feel drained after work. As a placement student, I am encouraged to disagree, voice my opinions and debate my seniors. We have a weekly team social, when we just chit chat and talk about things such as pets, kids, anecdotes, and similar. Also, everyone is keen to mentor me and help out on any issues that I encounter.
5 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

I am now almost 3 months into my placement, and this question is kind of difficult to answer, because we are working from home in the middle of the pandemic. I can definitely say that the Future Talent team did a great job of moving the whole induction online, and organising online social events for Industrial placement students. The team also works prettz well online, I don't feel like I'm missing out, except for the social aspect.
5 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As outlined above, the Bank invests a lot in their staff, including interns and placement students. I got to attend training for R, Tableau and Git, do LinkedIn Learning courses on Excel and R, and attend some great seminars / webinars from leading experts in the field. And I'm only 3 months into my placement! Additionally, you get to work with some of the most intellectual people in the world, who are always willing to tutor you and discuss complex economic topics.
5 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Working from home
  • Travel loan
4 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

The Bank runs a very highly regarded graduate scheme. I have spoken to current graduates, and they get a lot of training and guidance. I think the scheme is very well structured and thought out. Obviously pay is not as high as in private sector, so it's a bit of a down side, but then again it is off set by work life balance you get and job security as well, which is especially appealing during pandemic.
4 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Social scene is not that great, I only got to know 2 placement students so far. Corona ruined the social aspect of the placement, which is really annoying. Future Talent team organised some online socials and it was a great experience, however, nothing can replace getting to know people in real life. But of course, that is to be expected in times like these, and I hope it will change later on in the placement.
2 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

London is quite expensive, as everyone knows. However, if you are good with budgeting you can actually socialise a lot. Before the second lockdown, I managed to go to cafes, restaurants and pubs, and not look at the prices. Placement salary is very good (£22k), so even if you are paying central London rent, you can afford to socialise, eat out, and treat yourself to some nice things. I will even manage to save for the final year.
4 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I mean it's corona time, but if it wasn't I think nightlife in London would be great.
5 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Yes definitely, the Bank gave me the opportunity to volunteer at career events such as career fairs at universities, chatting with current placement applicants, and assisting at the assessment centers. Also there is the Bank Ambassador scheme, through which you can go to high schools and colleges, and hold presentations about the Bank. Obviously everything is online this year due to pandemic, but it is definitely worth doing. I recommend getting involved in these opportunities, as they enrich your placement experience.
5 /5