1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at SLI. The work I was given was very interesting and the general working environment was fantastic.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. I was seen as one of the team and always felt welcome to go ask a question or shadow another member of my team for the day.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
For my project, I was largely left to my own devices to drive it in the direction I wanted it to go in but if I had any questions or needed any help my manager would be more than happy to help. Additionally, if my manager wasn't around then everyone else in the office would be more than willing to help me out.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Towards the beginning of the internship I wasn't very busy. My project required a lot of research and thinking time in order to decide how to tackle it. As soon as I had a strategy in place though I was a perfect amount of busy. Towards the end of my internship as my project began to draw to a close, there were people in my department who were more than happy to provide me with extra work to do so that I was kept busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a large amount of responsibility. I was responsible for my whole project and my project is now in the stages of being implemented and actually used in the department for after I leave.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
From almost weekly training courses with all the other interns as well as continual improvement of my professional skills (such as timekeeping) my skills have significantly improved. I will definitely take this back to uni with me.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Amazing atmosphere in the office. Everyone very friendly with home baked cakes being brought in on an almost daily basis! SLI have numerous offices in Edinburgh and from what I have seen/heard my office is the norm.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well organised. I received an email with my project brief a week before I started so that I was able to do a bit of research prior to me starting. I had clear deliverables and although I could go about my project any way I wanted - it was very well organised. Furthermore, planned training half days were scheduled for us, with all interns across both Standard Life and Standard Life Investments attending.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
SLI invested heavily in training and development. We completed Strengths Finder to help us work out how we worked best and had coaching on this. We also attended MS Office training days, presentation skills sessions and even got a chance to speak to recent grads about their experiences and development through the company - we even had one dial in to the meeting from Boston! In addition to this, when asked to come up with goals at the start of the internship we were asked to make them specific to us and what skills we wanted to develop so that the company could help us do so.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing. The grad scheme looks fantastic and gives you a range of flexibility to chose your placements over your 2 years. They also allow you to sit any asset management exams you require.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Edinburgh has a fantastic social scene and living with all the other interns in serviced apartments really added to this. There were almost nightly activities and it was almost like we were back in halls again - although a bit more sensible! When the festival arrives in August it gets even better. It's almost impossible to walk home without catching a free comedy show or a pint in one of the specially built outdoor bars.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
With Edinburgh being the capital city it can be expected to be a bit more expensive than usual. If you don't want to spend money though there's so many free things to do - from going to the Meadows, to climbing Arthurs seat. Things get a bit pricier during the festival as most places slightly raise their prices - but once again half the shows at the Fringe are free so its very easy to do it on the cheap. The accommodation is paid for by Standard Life so that makes things a lot easier.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very good, broad range of music tastes with cheap nights on every night. Hundreds of cheap bars and pool halls dotted around the area too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not so much company based activities as we were only here for 10 weeks but there was lots of opportunities to get involved outside of work with the other interns,