Worked across various finance departments at Standard Life Investments
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Really enjoyed my internship at Standard Life, got a great insight into the company, and the finance teams at standard life investments. I got to rotate and work with 4 different teams across SLI finance, which meant I got to see what each team does, how their work ties into the bigger picture, and I also got to meet almost all of the finance team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Both the main team I worked in, and the other teams were always willing to sit down with me, talk me through what they do, offer one or two pieces of advice and they were always willing to take any questions I had. The main team I worked in made a real effort to get to know me, and I got on well with all of them. I was always invited to team meetings in which I would speak about what I was working on and take any questions.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had meetings at least once a week with my supervisor who was setting me the work, but on top of that I could always ask any questions on the work I was doing. I met with my manager who worked down the road at Standard Life house a few times for a coffee and a catch up, and she would often email to see how I was getting along, and if I needed any help or anything else. I also met with other departments
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On top of my main tasks I was working on, I would also get sent queries coming in which needed to be dealt with quickly, so I often had a few different things I was working on at once. I also had to meet and set up meetings with other departments to get information from them for one of my main tasks, this meant I often had quite a few meetings and I needed to prepare for all of them.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Coming into the internship I did not expect to get as much responsibility as I did, and this is something I am very grateful for. I produced documents which the team will use going forward, but also stuff which needed to be sent out now. I often had to email other departments, external companies, and overseas entities, to get answers or provide information to them, something I really enjoyed.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Definitely developed a lot during the 10 weeks, Standard Life put on a intern activity every week from presentation skills to a strengths finder and many more. It was the first time I had worked in excel in so much detail, and I feel a lot more comfortable on that now which is important for a career in finance and during my final year of university. It was also great to work within different teams, Standard Life also put on many sessions for employees to attend and hear from senior leaders, something I did not expect but really enjoyed.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Really positive, all the finance teams mix with one another whether to get information or for a quick catch up. Everyone knows one another, and who to go for on a specific query which is a nice touch in such a big team. The team I worked in put on a leaving lunch for me, had leaving drinks which almost everyone attended for a colleague.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I did a similar but shorter internship last summer and can definitely say this was much more organised. The intern development sessions were put in our diaries before we started so we could work around them, every team I worked in knew I was coming into their team so they all prepared work for me to do beforehand.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
One of the internship development sessions is a strengths finder which you do in your own time, but then all the interns come together for a summary of as a group what are key strengths and areas of improvement are. There are plenty of online learning classes you can do online from computer skills to learning about the industry.
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?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship, everyone I met in the company was brilliant with me, it is such an exciting time to be at the company so therefore I would love to return. The training out with public practice program they offer is one which I am excited by, it allows you to become a qualified accountant, whilst also working across various finance teams.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We had a group intern chat which things were organised on every weekend and perhaps one night after work, especially during the fringe festival in August. I also went out for lunch a couple of times with the current graduates who were more than willing to answer any questions.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in my flat as I go to university in Edinburgh, but Standard Life cover accommodation costs and provide you with a flat in the city centre and a 5 minute walk from Standard Life house, something I know not many others provide. There are plenty of places which offer student discount, and you can also get discount off food and drink with your Standard Life ID card.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Edinburgh is such a great city, has many good bars and nightclubs, all of which are a 5-10 minute walk from the flats in which Standard Life provide for interns.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Outside of work Standard Life offer unplugged sessions to go hear from senior leaders. There are fitness classes, running clubs and plenty of others. Socially teams have lunches and had drinks a couple of times across my 10 weeks.