The Data Insights Unit exists to help Investors within Schroders (i.e. Analysts and Fund Managers) make better investment decisions by better use of data. This includes organising, structuring and systematically storing the information they already work with (e.g. judgements about companies’ management, historic share price data, economic data), as well as finding and creating completely new data sets and tools to create an ‘information edge’ for Schroders. A big part of this involves creating and managing a data warehouse to allow us to bring together data sets that are otherwise stuck in different systems and scattered across vendor websites. This allows us to make connections between them and use advanced analytical and statistical techniques on them, using tools such as R, MatLab, Alteryx and Python. This equips us to do the other important job, which is to answer questions that the Investors can’t answer themselves, thanks to the skills we have in data engineering, statistics, analysis and visualisation, using SQL, Excel, Tableau and D3. We are the data science R&D department for Investment.
I can genuinely fantastic time.
The colleagues within my team (albeit a small and therefore intimate team) were welcoming, great mentors, and gave me a lot of responsibility. They frequently gave constructive feedback on my work, usefully indicating my perceived value in the team.
My line manager sat near me and was always happy to chat with me. He made sure I had plenty to work on at all times, notably ensuring I had projects to do and someone to report to when he was on holiday. Other members of the team were also keen to help me understand the work they did, and network meetings with other teams were arranged on my behalf.
I was never at a loss of things to do. There was one week when we had been given especially challenging training presentations to prepare with interns in different departments, resulting in a clash of opinions given our varying workloads, and a week of intense work and long hours. Aside from that, I felt that my workload was well balanced.
I felt that I was given the perfect amount of responsibility for the time given. There were several instances in which I was asked to present my findings to fund managers and analysts and receive immediate feedback. It was particularly gratifying that work given to me did not dry up in my final week just because I was leaving, and instead I was required to hand over longitudinal projects I had started to residing colleagues. I never felt over-worked or stressed.
I was introduced to new software which will relate closely to the last year of my degree, and my manager even sat with me to brainstorm dissertation ideas. In addition, the internship solidified in my mind that this is what I would like to pursue as a future career - which I was previously unsure on, so I feel a huge sense of gratitude towards the firm and the people there.
I heard comments from other colleagues that it is quieter than other firms' offices, but it seemed about right for productive work to me. Everyone was friendly with a great sense of both humour and modesty - which you would hope to find in a family firm.
There was an initial week of training for the interns, giving us a chance to get to know each other well. There were subsequent training sessions approximately every two weeks, which gave interns who didn't work in the same departments a chance to catch up and work together again.
The only negative aspects were when an intern presentation used up more time than we would've liked, given that some interns had more important client presentations to prepare in the same time frame.
HR kept in contact with us all throughout, and I felt that the internship was well designed.
The training was of a high quality and we were appreciative of how much time and money HR had clearly invested in it.
In our first week, we were given an overview of asset management and Excel training, which was very helpful for those who had less experience in those areas. While our individual departments gave us experience in the fields of our interest, our biweekly intern training was more interaction based - e.g. on work relationships and presentation skills.
Overall, and in comparison to stories I've heard of other internships, this one was very well structured and focussed on improving us for a potential graduate role.
Before even receiving an internship offer, the graduate recruiter had made it clear that this firm hires a small number of interns and invests heavily in them with the intention of hiring. I received very positive feedback from the colleagues in my team, and look forward to hearing within the next month whether I have made the graduate placement. When you hear depends on your department - those in mine must wait to be officially notified.
There was a fantastic social scene among the interns. As is often the way, within a week we were all friends on Facebook and had a WhatsApp group. St. Paul's is a bottomless barrel of eateries and bars, and the firm has an expansive atrium/cafeteria so we were never at a loss of somewhere to spend time together. These situations are what you make them, so if you are a social person, you will enjoy them. There was always an air of good natured humour and inclusivity. I will miss them all dearly.
I was lucky to be able to live at my parents' on the edge of London, but I know that those interns renting in the City were paying a lot - as you would expect. St. Paul's has a huge varieties of places to eat, but you pay a London premium. The firm's atrium café provided food at a fairly reasonable price, and our lunch was catered for by the firm throughout our first week of training.
If you go to the most popular bars - which are often those promoting happy hour - you will most likely not find a seat. If of an evening you don't mind chatting on the pavement with a drink, then you'll have a great time (I did, but it was summer). I didn't go clubbing within the 8 weeks myself, but for any self-respecting London club, expect pricey entrance (c. £15) and drinks.
The firm has a gym in the basement (and a discount for all branches of that gym) and various sporting activities available. I didn't ask around myself, but given the friendly atmosphere I wouldn't imagine it'd be hard to find a group of people with similar interests to you.