1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My summer internship at Ahlibank provided me with an excellent opportunity to put to use the theoretical knowledge regarding economics and finance I had learnt in high school. My role within the finance department was to calculate hourly liquidity ratios and ensure that they fell within the central bank limits. I was also able to shadow the traders in the treasury department. It allowed me to understand how, when and why FX deals are made for commercial/investment banking purposes.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Absolutely! I gained a wealth of knowledge over my month long internship. The general organisational skills and professional conduct - particularly how best to present technical material to various audiences. I also received training in areas I would not otherwise have the opportunity experience. I also gained interpersonal skills and communication skills that I believe will be of utmost importance when I enter the workforce upon graduation.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship - I was given many opportunities I would not have otherwise experienced, and gained an insight into a fascinating area to work in. The majority of the work I took part in was not directly linked to work I had done at school (aside from through the tool I was using) yet I found the opportunity very interesting and the projects exciting.
4. How valued do you feel by Ahlibank?
The work environment is very friendly and colleagues are very encouraging. I felt like a valued member of the team who could be relied on to contribute equally to the work effort. If you prove that you are capable in a particular area (and there is scope for similar work on current research) then the organisation fosters this and provides opportunities to use and develop these skills.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organisation has a lot of experience in having placement students, and it is a defined role which they regularly recruit for. I personally found that there was no formal system in place for the activities that one partook in during the placement, instead, discussions with one's team leader was often the way to be allocated on work on one of the many exciting projects going on.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The organisation operates a buddy scheme - meaning you are assigned a colleague who has more experience of how the organisation operates to help get you started with day to day activities such as filling out a timesheet or other forms.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I personally had the additional benefit of being in a small office with several similarly minded colleagues who were very approachable for advise and guidance - not just on administrative tasks but specific technical areas also. I also was lucky to have two excellent team leaders during my time at the organisation, their support on matters such as workload and getting you involved in projects of interest is very helpful.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I cannot comment on this as I am from this area and so chose to live with my parents at a commutable distance from work for the cheaper rent! I believe that it is quite expensive close to work in the high street areas but there are more affordable areas nearby. Most socialising occurred in clubs in 5-star hotels which is quite expensive to be fair but there is no other option in the city since it's heavily regulated.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There were many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work as the group of new starters organised many activities for socialising, whilst the organisation itself had several group activity days. Most of these are not organised by the organisation itself but various staff within the organisation in their free time.
9. Would you recommend Ahlibank to a friend?
Experience is a great teacher. On the job training is a bonus and not a rule in many places of employment and that is the main reason that I highly recommend that all high school and college students complete this internship. Many students who are seeking employment aren’t hired because they lack experience. They are unable to gain experience because no one will hire them. This internship experience will offer them exactly that.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Ahlibank?
Be sure you understand what type of internship you are applying for. As long as you know the details and can answer the technical questions close enough, they are easy enough to interview with. They are as nervous interviewing as you are, so relax. Apply early since applications are on a rolling basis. It is easier to get in if you are doing one of the popular education qualifications like IB/A-Levels.
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