First year: Shadowing managers in a retail branch. Learning customer needs and the processess of the banking hall. By the end of my placement I could conduct basic counselling with a customer, order new cards, set up internet banking etc. I had learnt a lot about mortgages, loans and premier banking, and the processess done in branch related to each one.
Second year: This time based in a commercial centre, learning about business banking, working with clients with a turnover of between 2million and 25 million pounds. Getting to know businesses on paper (from accounts/websites), attending client meetings and then deciding if eligible for loans.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed retail banking, although i do not see this as my future career. In commercial banking, it often felt like loan processing centre, with a lot of paper work, regulation and jumping through hoops. The getting to know business part was fun and interesting though.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt i made a valued contribution, but still had a lot to learn. Many of my collegues had been there 30 years+.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Some better than others. Generally well guided and liked by managers.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days there was little for me to do, as i wasnt qualified. As such, i had to drag out my project.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Very little responsibility in commercial centre, as unqualified. Only responsibility was finishing my project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Helped me decide which sector i want to work in, in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was in a small office, with people who had worked there 30 years +. As such enthusiasm was some what lacking. On a day i spent in the Manchester office, the atmosphere was much more vibrant and energetic.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Generally well organised, although placement location was only decided about 3 weeks before. For me, this meant not knowing which region of the country i was going to be living in until a few weeks before i started work. Not great for finding a flat.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had an engagement day in London which helped with training and meeting senior managers within the bank, but no formal qualifications were given.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
After my first year internship, i secured a job with HSBC on their executive management scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Good social scene, although many events were focused on London- not good for me when based in Carlisle.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Organised community day in London, which we were paid for and we visited the London wetlands centre to do community work. Fun day.