This research examined a three-month internship at the London offices of Deutsche Bank. Eight autistic graduates participated in the programme across five London offices. The graduates were aged 22-26, 2 were female and 6 were male. Interviews were conducted with four groups: the interns, the hiring managers, the team members of the interns and their buddies (a mentor assigned to them for the internship who worked outside their own team). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the hiring managers and interns prior to the internship and in the final week of the internship.
The results suggested that this was a positive, meaningful experience for most of those involved in the research. Managers and colleagues reported better knowledge of autism and diversity and reflection on their own management styles. The interns mostly felt accepted, received support from their managers, team and buddies and many reported increased confidence. However, challenges were also experienced; for example, some interns had difficulty judging communication in the office environment. The report highlights four main recommendations: be clear and always be committed, treat people as individuals, provide widespread training on autism and create a point-person for autistic interns and their managers.