1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The internship was super! I really enjoyed my time with Standard Life Investments. My team were really good fun, and very friendly, but they always maintained a good work-play balance. The work I did was interesting and inspired me. I was able to meet lots of different people across the company which was really useful.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues made me feel very valued. I was accepted as part of the team very quickly, and made to feel at ease. The work I was given was of high level, and required me to meet these standards. The level or responsibility attached to these pieces of work increased the sense that I was a valuable member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager did a good job at making me feel comfortable when I first arrived. He helped me get settled in with my team, and at my desk – simple things that help a lot! He set me up with a few initial tasks too. However as the internship moved along I would have liked a little more involvement with my manager, potentially in the form of feedback/progress-updates along the way. That would have helped me realise what I was doing right and wrong, and how to change the wrong ones! My buddy was great – he was really friendly, always asked how I was and if I had enough work or any questions. The buddy scheme is a really nice thing about this internship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very! Due to the nature of the department the work I was given was from anyone and everyone. I was set tasks by a number of funds and teams from the floor which meant my days were always full. It was really nice as it also meant there was a large variation in the content and jobs that I worked on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given far more responsibility than I ever expected I would be as part of this internship. I was producing pieces of work that were being used for fund presentations to clients, as evidence for investment decisions, and for forecasting fund strategy, just to name a few. I was also exposed to external parties and clients, again something I did not expect beforehand - I was amazed to be allowed in to some of the meetings!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The work I have done here will really benefit my studies at university. Most of my learning is theoretical, and it is impossible to experience real life application of it unless you are in a working environment. It was useful to see how the methods I have learnt are applied in the industry, as well as which methods are forgotten! I think on top of this, being able to present myself in a professional environment. This is not something that you can learn at university, but it is incredibly valuable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was based around a set of high standards, and upholding reputation. I enjoy meeting high standards, so I really enjoyed the vibe. Everyone is incredibly friendly and approachable, and at no point did I feel stupid asking a question. There is a really good work-fun balance – people are willing to joke and have fun.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well. I was impressed at how a large group of interns was so well managed. We had a nice ice-breaker session when we first arrived, and every effort was made to ensure we settled in. Throughout the placement there has been intern events set up for us – everything from socials to a charity challenge.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I couldn’t quite believe how much the company invested in the interns. I have had access to focus groups, tutorials, seminars, master classes, and the rest. I have also had access to expensive programs and software to help me work, and to learn. On a more simple level, the company helps to relocate those people travelling over 30 miles, and provides intern accommodation for free. I was also lucky enough to be taken on 2 business trips which were incredibly beneficial.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
My personal experience has shown how good Standard Life is as a company, and how life as an employee is. That is something that I would love to experience in the future, and I could see myself working there.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We were lucky enough to have a social committee, who had the job of organising intern events - some of which were subsidised by Standard Life. The interns were really fun, and there was always someone ready to do something!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Costs were relatively low, and depended on how much you wanted to do. The internship is well paid, and living costs are low due to the provision of accommodation. Edinburgh can be expensive, but isn't always when you find the right places!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very good! There's lots of places to go - so whatever takes your fancy really!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I think there are, I personally didn't do anything like this. Something that maybe could be promoted better, or asked about as an intern.