Back to posts

It started with an HR internship….

An HR internship proved to be the best start to Ryan Gray’s career, and having secured a place on our graduate programme, he shares his story so far.

"Like many others in their third year of university I had to really think about how I could make myself more employable after finishing my studies. One night I came across a 10-week HR internship placement with RBS but thought to myself 'there’s no way I’ll get that, it’ll be far too competitive for spaces'. But I applied anyway, and now here I am writing all about my internship experience!

"A short while after submitting my application for the internship, I got the call offering me a place, and I could not express my joy and excitement. After accepting, I had a couple months before I started, giving me time to think about what the experience would be like. They told us we would be very busy during the 10 weeks, running our own projects as well as aiding our respective teams. However, being a bit cynical I thought I would become a stereotypical intern; doing admin work and making coffee.

"Before I joined, my manager contacted me to tell me I would be placed in the Learning & Development team. Based on what I knew about this business area, I wasn’t convinced this placement would be right for me. Oh, how wrong I was!

"The first week was slightly overwhelming because I was jet lagged, and in an entirely new world not knowing a single person. But I soon met my new team and established my objectives. The work I was given was so unexpected I had to double check I was in the right place. I was looking at the future of learning, new technologies, AI, learning environments, design, delivery and how to engage learners. I had autonomy to explore these areas and was encouraged to connect with people internally and externally; especially regarding the project that I developed from start to finish, and then presented on. I also took part in a corporate social responsibility charity challenge, and my team raised £1200 for the Prince’s Trust.

"Every preconception I had about the bank, HR and Learning & Development has been shattered. It isn’t a corporate world full of competitive robots, it’s a forward thinking, responsible company where you can build genuine friendships. HR doesn’t just hire and fire and deal with payroll, it has a hand in everything the bank does and looks out for all employees. Learning & Development isn’t just about training and holding classroom sessions; everyone on the team does their absolute best to support and develop all employees. They’re also focussed on how they can transform learning in the bank to make it the best experience for everyone and promote a life-long learning culture. They continue to push the boundaries and prepare all of us for the future, and it’s been refreshing to be in a team that continues to challenge itself and drive improvements.

"Over the 10 weeks I’ve been challenged and encouraged more than I thought was possible. I’ve learned so many new skills and developed the ones I already had. Things have gone wrong along the way, and not everything I have tried to do has worked, but someone asked me a couple days ago what I would change if did it all again, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve made mistakes, but my strongest learnings from this placement have come from those mistakes.

"Looking back on my placement, I have loved every minute of my time with RBS and I can’t wait to come back for the graduate programme!"

Visit our Early Career site to find a graduate programme or internship, and start your journey with us today!

Learn more