Working in the Global Platform Services team, who are collectively responsible for managing the 3rd party investment systems used at Standard Life Investments
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
From the start I was given interesting projects with meaningful outcomes. This really helped with enjoying the work as I knew I was adding value and not just doing some random project. The atmosphere within the office was always welcoming and friendly and it was very easy to settle in quickly. Specific events and workshops for all the interns throughout the company gave a good opportunity to network and graduate charity events during and after work gave another good opportunity to network with younger employees.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was welcomed as part of my team from the offset, they were all very approachable and happy to help me out with any questions I had. This was reflected throughout the whole company with everyone willing to have meeting/take time out to meet with me. By being given meaningful projects it was clear that I was there to do proper work and not just small task here and there, which really helped me feel like a valued member of the team
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very helpful throughout the internship. He was always willing to answer questions and queries I had, and if he didn't know the answer he would guide me to someone who would. Arranging meetings with fellow colleagues or even directors was easy as everyone was willing to meet.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied throughout the internship depending on how many projects I had on the go at any one time. Although there was always work to get on with and I was never just sitting at my desk with nothing to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The projects I was given held a lot of responsibility. My main project was conducting a company wide platform usage cost analysis, which was very important leading into the merger with Aberdeen Asset Management. I given full responsibility of this project was conducting interviews and surveys on my own. I was also in charge of deciding whether a new platform could be used within my team and so was liaising with the vendors and negotiating possible contracts.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Specific intern workshops were run throughout the internship giving us an insight into our strengths, developing our presentation skills, and helping us understand how our careers could develop. I was also given industry standard training in to top investment platforms such as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters Eikon, Haver Analytics and FITS
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall placement was very organised. I had a clear development path through the projects I was given, with introductory projects at the start allowing me to quickly learn what my team did, to large projects at the end with great responsibility on myself. Along with this the many intern workshops and development sessions were very well organised to help us develop throughout the internship
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects from the internship were very good as when looking for Graduate students people who have excelled in the internship can often be offered a place before Graduate applications are even advertised, they are very much at the top of the list when looking at graduate places. There is also a scope for moving departments from the internship to the grad scheme as you do not have to go back and apply from the very start of the process.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
For this internship I was able to live from home and so had very little living costs. But for inters coming from outside of Edinburgh free accommodation was given to them in the centre of town, this was set in an ideal location for walking to work with a local supermarket right round the corner. This was ideal as especially in August with the Fringe Festival it can be very hard to find accommodation in Edinburgh.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Edinburgh is centred around the old town and George street, where Standard Life Investments is based, so there was always someone on after work to go to. As the internship runs through August the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is in full flow and so there was always something on every day. Having the free accommodation in the city was ideal for being able to go to the festival after work and it was definitely a plus for the internship.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?