Working in Marketing and Client Relations across a variety of teams including Brand, Events, Platinum, Customer Relationship Management and Platinum.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the challenge of this internship and was given much responsibility. It was highly technical and computer orientated with much work with Excel that I wasn't anticipating in a Client and Marketing role, however I was able to work across a variety of teams on several projects so was able to get involved in lots of different areas of the company within my department.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were extremely friendly and encouraging throughout, especially with helping me to prepare and rehearse for my end of Internship presentation. They were always more than happy to talk to me about their roles, offer advice or answer any question no matter how silly I thought it seemed!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was able to go to my manager most of the time with any queries and she always made time for me. Unfortunately my manager was away for 2 weeks during my Internship so I was left by myself at a very stressful and busy time but it was also a good learning curve. Furthermore, she spent 2 hours of her own time after work helping me for my presentation which was extremely supportive of her.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Extremely busy. I was working on 6 projects across more than 4 teams so was always kept on my toes. However I was definitely given more work than I could handle and worked extra hours most days to try and get through everything. It was better to have too much work than not enough though but it was difficult explaining to some project managers that I would not be able to get their tasks done at certain points as there were more urgent priorities with my other projects.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A great deal of responsibility. I was part of a small team organising the Ryder Cup - a huge task, and for 2 weeks of my time here my other team members were away and I had to carry it on my own with frequent questions coming my way from employees and clients in the UK and US. It was brilliant to be so independent and to be trusted with this, but I found this period overly stressful and felt a little out of my depth not having all the answers for everyone.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Time management and prioritisation of tasks has been very important and I will continue to work on this back at University. I have improved my analytic and numeracy skills considerably whilst working here, becoming very confident in Excel. As an English and Theatre student, this is not particularly relevant to my degree but will prove extremely beneficial when entering the working world. Furthermore, collaborating with several teams and engaging with a mixture of personalities will help me when working as a group for the performance side of my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Welcoming and relaxed but professional at all times and serious during intense periods of work and change.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Unlike the majority of the interns I was able to work on 6 projects across a breadth of teams rather than just one. This meant that my internship was a little more unpredictable and up in the air as I had to juggle these and adapt to changing deliverables, but personally I much preferred being able to dip in and out of a variety of teams rather than having a very rigid 1 project internship.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had extremely supportive colleagues that took time out of their day to have catch-ups with me to offer advice and see how I was getting on, and my manager spent 2 hours of her own time with me helping me to prepare and rehearse for my end of internship presentation which I really valued. Furthermore we were able to attend 'Career Stories' sessions to learn from senior members of the company about the career path they took from where we are now, and the 'Strengths Finder' session also helped us to understand the positives and restrictions of our strengths and how to apply these better. The company also made sure that we all did compulsory training modules to help prepare us for both corporate life and Investments specifically.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would love the opportunity to work for SLI after graduation as from my time here I have realised just how varied the company is with enough diverse teams of interest to keep me on my toes. Within my department alone there are 9 very different teams of which I am already aware of several that I would enjoy and be an asset to.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Unfortunately I was the only intern in my department so it was harder for me to coincide social activities with other interns. However, we had a Facebook page and WhatsApp group for all the interns across SLI and SL to communicate and organise meet ups. I was also on the Intern Committee and helped to organise a ceilidh for all of the interns.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
We were very fortunate that the company paid for our accommodation so we did not have to factor rent into our living expenses. This was a relief as Edinburgh is quite expensive in general in terms of doing activities and meals out, but there is so much to do in Edinburgh! I've absolutely loved exploring the city and especially making the most of the Fringe Festival in August.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The interns tended to go to Hive every Friday - a cheap student club, but on George Street where I worked there are lots of cocktail bars where you could go for drinks with interns and colleagues after work (although a little expensive). Apart from pubs and bars I found that there wasn't much to do until the Fringe in August when evening activities tended to comprise of Fringe shows!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I tended to take it upon myself to keep myself busy outside of work and to organise socialising with other interns, however there was a Charity Cycle to Rio fundraising and all of the interns were taken on a Charity Challenge to Rachel House a children's hospice for the day to see what work they do and to help them with ideas for improving their branding and volunteer scheme. I found this day extremely fulfilling and goes to show how much the company cares about their intern group.