1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
An internship with HSBC was extremely fun and rewarding. The people, both full time staff and fellow interns, were very easy to get along with and I have kept in touch with many after the programme.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Despite only working for 10 weeks, I felt my presence was acknowledged by the whole team. I was given real responsibilities that contribute directly to the firm's value. Often after work, I was invited to the team's social events, where I got to know each individual member on a more personal basis. It was an extremely warm and caring environment.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The program was very well structured. The objective and basic approach is clearly specified but it does not spoon-feed you. Instead, I was encouraged to find things out personally, giving me the opportunity to learn unexpected things on the way. Of course, if there was something I was truly stuck on, my manager was always happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The program offered a lot and thus there were many new things to pick up. For me this was new programming skills that I never used in my academics. This initially took a lot of time, but once I familiarised myself with the programme I was able to use what I learnt to add value to the business. Despite being quite busy, it was extremely rewarding.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given full responsibility on a product. This ranged from the core programming to the final output. I was also responsible to call overseas offices who will use my work once I finished the programme.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There are many skills that cannot be learnt in the classroom. learnt many new skills: technical and interpersonal, that will stay with me forever. I cannot think of a more productive way to spend my summer!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a very professional atmosphere in the office. Everyone is an expert in their own fields. This did not mean they were too busy for an intern such as myself. Instead, all the staff were very keen to know you, and with the serious work came a very friendly face.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The programme's timetable was clearly set out, so we know what to expect in terms of assessment and social events.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We received specialised training tailored to our division for a week. This ranged from technical to body language classes. These were extremely interesting and it showed how much more there is to learn other than equations or theories from textbooks.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I will be taking a full time position with HSBC. The main determinants of my decision were: its global reach, stability and warm culture.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Interns proactively set up social events after work so we got to know each other on a very personal level.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The firm ensured we would not feel financially constrained whilst working for them.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
After work, it was mainly going to the bar or pub for a few relaxing drinks.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The firm organised many activities outside of work, including concerts at the O2 and dragon boat racing.