1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed working at Standard Life over the past couple months. It is a challenging but rewarding programme that is very much focused on your development. You receive a wide variety of development opportunities during your internship and you also get the opportunity to socialise with other interns throughout.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
You are very much a valued member of the team throughout the internship and you are continually kept in the loop with what your team members are up to through weekly huddles and monthly team meetings. Many interns also attend team away days for team building purposes which are a great way to socialise and interact with your team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
You are very much independent from your manager and supervisor in terms of overseeing what you do day to day. You are given significant levels of responsibility which is great for development but can be daunting at times. By the end of the 10 weeks though you are glad that your hand has not been held the whole way through because it develops you as an individual.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Just like many internships it is hard to have the perfect balance of work every day and that is the same here. You find you are extremely busy during certain weeks but also have periods of little to do. I would say that is variable between different interns and their experiences but generally speaking the workload is fine.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
You are definitely given high levels of responsibility throughout your 10 weeks and this is one of the major benefits to working on a Standard Life internship.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The project management skills I used on my project are completely transferable to the skills required to create a dissertation piece in my final year. Managing multiple sources of information at once and taking ownership over decisions is something that I have fully developed upon during this internship. These are essential life skills needed for career progression.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere within Customer Operations is very relaxed and the staff are very friendly. Lots of fun charity initiatives took place whilst on my placement within the building which you could take part in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The whole internship is organised extremely well with intern related events/meetings every other week. You do your charity challenge during your 8th week which is a major highlight of the whole internship. The work you do is extremely helpful for the charity that Standard life have a partnership with and you feel like you are really giving something back whilst doing it.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The single best part of a Standard Life internship is the investment they make in you for your personal development. I have had several career chats with leaders from around Customer Operations who offer you a wealth of experience than you can utilise. It is great for making a network with people from around the business and this is something that will stay with you for life.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The prospects in a company like Standard life are exciting. There is lots of scope for exciting diverse positions in the future and the graduate programme is structured in a way which means you get to work with a wide variety of areas in the business.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social was fantastic on the internship, Standard Life absolutely nail it for this. We lived in shared accommodation where you get to live and meet so many interns. Edinburgh is also very exciting during the summer with the fringe festival. There is a real buzz around the place and the city is one of the most attractive in the whole of the UK.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living costs are low as you are put up in accommodation during your internship. Edinburgh is more expensive than other Scottish cities but on a whole it is far cheaper than London and equivalent cities in the south. You can socialise on the cheap though by entertaining yourself with the other interns in the shared accommodation. If you do decide to go out, deals can be found in the right places.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is also fantastic due to being so close to the city centre. The fringe is on during August which also means there is tonnes to do at night as well. It is really easy to travel between the accommodation and the nightclubs/bars which is also a big bonus. Taxi's are also easily accessible if you don't fancy walking to the clubs.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are work clubs if you want to get involved and there is also the charity challenge which is in week 8.