My aim of the Internship was to get further exposure of the baking industry and the Handelsbanken ways of working, whilst hopefully finding a permanent position within the bank. I felt very welcomed by the team and regularly interacted with them, speaking about my tasks and future development. Since Handelsbanken Branches do some things differently, it was a great experience for me to gain exposure into another Branch/region and their operations, whilst also building my network within the bank.
The team were very welcoming despite difficult circumstances with only a small core team in the office and the rest of my colleagues working from home. The atmosphere in the office was very positive, with professionalism but there also being some fun. I quickly become part of the team. I found it very satisfying to see how I could help my colleagues, maybe more so because of my previous experience within the bank, and the responsibility that I was given demonstrated that my help was valued.
The assignments that I was given was almost always accompanies by clear instructions as well as me being able to navigate myself around the instructions pages on the intranet. I worked very closely with one Account Manager Support who was in the office for the most part during my Internship. It was very valuable to have someone on-site in the same role that I could ask for clarifications when needed. Also, the Internship enabled me to widen my network as I took advantage of speaking to my colleagues about their careers and any tips etc. for my career progression as much as possibly. My branch manager was also incredibly supportive so we had regular meetings about my progress.
Throughout my placement, I was able to take part in a wide range of tasks. There were not many of us in the Branch due to coronavirus, but I managed to part-take in tasks happening in the branch including a project on corporate leads, annual reviews and audit reports. Furthermore, I was in contact with the colleagues not working in branch, enabling them to send me tasks over email. If I had spare time, I made sure to ask my colleagues for more tasks or enrol on development courses to widen my understanding about banking operations since it would only aid my development going forward. Day-to-day I was very busy, with some on-going work and some one-off tasks.
The decentralised approach within the bank enables all colleagues to take responsibility for their actions and work. Consequently, I took responsibility that my work was completed to a good standard. Some work has to be authorised by a second person so this gives you piece of mind that the work was completed correctly. I was given responsibility in contacting customers and professional bodies. I do think that it helped that I had previous of experience of the role and working at Handelsbanken, meaning that I could take on greater amounts of responsibility than I was capable of say in my first Internship at the bank.
This was my third internship at Handelsbanken. I had just finished my studies in the summer but from my previous internships, I was able to apply valuable personal skills as well as banking knowledge that helped me in certain University modules. I have taken on a permanent position following on from my very positive internship. The experiences during my Internship were invaluable from the point of getting me back into the systems and into Handelsbanken ways of working again. I am very confident that the experience will also have aided my career development within Handelsbanken and the banking industry from the network I made whilst completing my Internship.
The atmosphere in the Branch was very positive, with a mix of professionalism and fun. We were obviously short of staff in the branch this summer due to the circumstances. This made it an even busier environment, with a lot of tasks needing to be done. We all got on well and all my colleagues were very happy to help me progress when I needed assistance with tasks, whether working in-branch with me or remotely.
The Internship was very well organised and structured overall. If the global pandemic hadn't happened, there would have been a 8-12 week training log with tasks to complete each week, as well as regular calls with HR and a group project and individual presentation. Due to the circumstances, my Internship was shortened and because I had previous experience within the role, it was more rewarding for both me and the Branch to give me exposure to the day-to-day activities in the role. That way, I was immersed into the Account Manager Support role, completing and shadowing a wide range of tasks. Overall, the internship ran smoothly and I had regular meetings with my Branch Manager to discuss what I wanted to do going forward etc.
At the beginning of my Internship, I was required to complete some mandatory online training modules. The ranged from conflicts of interest to GDPR to anti-money laundering. This was an important foundation for my further developments within the role. Nearly all of my training was in-branch, meaning that it was the employees in the office that took turns in showing me various tasks to widen my understanding of the Account Manager Support role. I had regular catch-up meetings with my Branch Manager and regularly spoke to the team about my progress and ambitions going forward. There were also weekly calls with Human Resources, to talk about achievements, plans for the coming weeks and future personal and professional development.
Working from home
The bank's culture of decentralisation where all colleagues are valued equally and everyone takes personal responsibility stands out to me. This is my third Internship within the bank so it is clear to say that further employment certainly appeals to me. I can see myself in the bank due to the potential development within the bank, as to for example progression from the Account Manager Support role to Account Manager and then going forward Branch Manager or along the arrow into Head Office or Regional Office positions.
I was the only Intern a the Branch during my placement. Due to the current climate, there were no out of office events or customer meetings in branch. In a more normal year, I am sure I would have been able to take part in social events with colleagues, as well as attend client meetings to widen my horizon. I would also have been able to part-take in training events for Interns and recent graduates.
This year due to the current climate there were no opportunities for me to take part in activities with my colleagues outside of the office. I suspect that in a more normal environment, the branch would have had regular social gatherings as well as networking events for current and prospective clients. This would have enabled me to interact with my colleagues outside of a work environment. During my previous placements at a different branch, I regularly socialised with my colleagues from the branch outside of work as well as meeting up with the other Interns in the cluster. Indeed, this was not feasible this year.
Internship (1-4 Months)
4th November 2020