I was involved in bottom up as well as top down equity research. I assisted the fund manager with general administration of their portfolio, performed company analysis, attended company and analyst meetings, and engaged in frequent discussions about the key themes affecting the market and the industry.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Schroders beat expectations; colleagues were very generous with their time. My line manager had set out a well structured series of objectives for me to work towards and was always willing to give feedback.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was surprised by the time my colleagues had for my opinion. While it is hard to add genuine value as an intern, I felt my view was taken into consideration and colleagues were constructive with their feedback in response to my contributions.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager had carefully created a programme for me and was willing to assist with any queries. When he was on vacation other senior and junior members of the team stepped in to provide this support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The amount of work I had to do varied; since my main project spanned the whole period there were peaks and troughs in the amount I worked, but at no point was I sitting idly at the desk.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a remarkable amount of responsibility; for example, towards the end I was entrusted with keeping an eye on a couple of the portfolios run by one manager who was on holiday. This involved following his instruction sheet and in one case having to take action by informing a client director.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Since I do a non-finance related degree, it was the soft skills that I found the most useful; the process of having of juggle several agendas at once will help me better manage my time as I go into my last year at university. Regarding my career beyond that, the opportunities to network and develop meaningful relationships will put me in good stead for the professional environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was on the business cycle equities team; the camaraderie was fantastic and there was positive, compelling atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The HR manager and my line manager worked well in creating a structured programme with regards to developing my soft skills as well as my technical ability in assessing potential investments.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Schroders put a lot of time and money into designing the course. From the HR side it was great they provided courses from Fitch learning, a well reputed city training firm to develop excel as well as interpersonal skills. On the investment side, they organised for all the interns to have access to a Bloomberg terminal, at considerable cost; this provided exposure to one of the main tools of the job and helped recreate a genuine working environment. Apart from this, all staff were generous with their time and willing to personally mentor me.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I do not know yet if I have received a job offer, so I cannot give a 10! That said, I have been impressed with the company so if I were offered a job I would be delighted.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The week of training at the start of the programme allowed me to establish friendships with interns across other divisions. We regularly met up after work. That said, compared to other city jobs there are fewer young people and staff turnover is lower.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
We found a cheap pub nearby that did a happy hour most days. It is a famously expensive area but this can be managed by talking to the staff to find the hidden gems.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Shoreditch is within walking distance which has some good clubs - but that was not a priority regarding my decision to do an internship with Schroders!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I know a few of my intern friends had the opportunity to play football and cricket with the team - such an opportunity did not arise for me, however.