There was ups and downs, in terms of money saving and not doing what would have been a 3 hour commute everyday there was positives. However, I wanted to spend the year getting to know London and all the other placement cohort but completing the placment online meant that I had little contact with the cohort. Moreover, it was a lot harder to learn the job virtually as we had to use screen share which meant it was hard to see what the other person was doing.
The Bank of England makes sure you feel like a valued member of the team, making sure that you get involved in many social activities as well as different incentives going on around the Bank. I was able to have freedom in terms of completing projects that i felt interested in and i was encouraged to show my research to other members of my team and division meaning that my work had value to it.
My manager, team and divison gave me so much support, showing me elements of the team that wasnt even involved in so i can enhance my learning experience. When i needed help it was easy to approach my manager with questions and he was always willing to answer my questions as well as taking the time to go over anything i was unsure of/ didnt know. The placement team also gave me support doing regular catch ups.
The Bank is really good on making sure that you have transferable skills for life, offering you free workshops to enhance your skills on data systems such as R and Excel. Having skills such as in R and Excel open up a range of jobs in the fuure as these are softwares that used in the majority of businesses. My manager also made sure that i knew different termonology that could be used in future jobs.
It was hard to start with to find a structure in the virtual environment as it was not as easy to just talk to people as you would do in the office. The structure of the virtual experience got better as the placement went along as you got into a routine of work and knew how to structure your own day. It was easier later on to schedule calls with people as you got to know them better.
Even with the virtual experience, the general atmosphere at the Bank was great! My division had regular social events, such as quizzes and through the keyhole! We had groups chats online which meant we could talk more informal than we would have done over email meaning that I got to know my teammates better and could talk to them about things other than work. I was also encouraged to have social calls as well as work calls.
I did not do any actual courses throughout my time as this seems to be a scheme more associated with the graduate scheme than the placement programme. However, i was encouraged to go to workshops such as on R where i could broaden my knowledge and learn stuff that i may not have necessary done in my role but would help me out in future jobs i may apply for such as in investment banking.
I worked the normal 9-5 role while at the Bank so i got to know what it felt like to be working for 8 hours a day. However i didnt get to know the 'normal' working experience as it was done virtually and i did not have to do the commute which would have took up a lot of time in my day. I also did not have the experience of being full time in the office surrounded by my colleuages.
The Bank made sure when we joined that we knew about the Bank culture and did a 2 hour presentation on this as well as doing a quiz. However, without seeing the Bank a lot in person you dont get a true feel for the culture of the Bank and the culture around the people you are working with. I got to know virtually that everyone was always very welcoming and wanted to help but didnt get to see this in person due to the current circumstances.
I got to learn a lot in my role that i liked and did not like. One of the great things at the Bank is that you get to do secondments in other departments so this can further help you decide what you want to do in the future as its branching out from your day to day role. My manager often had conversations with me about what i wanted to do in the future and told me the best people to contact about these.
The bank is very keen on networking and you were encouraged every week to have coffee catch ups with people oustide of your team. You was also encouraged to join different social groups such as women in banking so you could expand your network to other people and get to meet people you wouldnt deal with in day to day workings. The secondments also meant that you got to network with other teams which was very useful.
Some activities but hard when working virtually.
Hard but still fun and eductaional.
East of England
4th November 2020