1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with Standard Life Aberdeen. I came into my internship open-minded and had very few expectations of the process; however, I have been incredibly pleased with the process as a whole.
This is due to:
• The level of respect and responsibilities given;
• An inclusive and welcoming team/culture;
• A sense of value from the company; and
• Ease of interaction with senior individuals
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The team I was placed within the company was excellent. The team was young and passionate about the jobs they were in. They made me feel welcome from the moment I came in.
The work I was given was escalated at a very good pace, in line with how quickly I was picking up the job.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given great support within the internship scheme. The scheme ensures each intern has a close relationship with 1. line manager, 2. department stream head and 3. a buddy.
In almost every week, I would have a catch-up with one or two of these individuals in which I discussed my progress.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Unlike my expectation of the internship, I was given a lot of responsibilities within my role. This meant that I was constantly kept busy in a large variety of tasks. Whether I was pulling together a report or interacting with senior leadership team members there was always something to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Given the low seniority of an internship, I was expecting to be given minimal responsibilities. However, from relatively early on in my time here, I was given a large amount of important projects and pieces of work. Obviously, there are certain limitations given the short time spent there and the nature of being an intern, however, I was incredibly pleased with the empowerment I was given within my team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As I was working within the Risk function, I was exposed to a tremendous amount of strategic level information and content. This meant that I was given a great insight into how large scale businesses work on a strategic level, which links with my degree (economics and finance) very well.
It has also taught me the application of a lot of my degree knowledge and taking this knowledge outside a class room is an incredibly beneficial experience.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The company is undergoing a large amount of changes currently, therefore there is a slightly different atmosphere to normal within the office. However, this doesn't change the matter of people's friendliness.
Prior to the internship I didn't anticipate for everyone to be so approachable, including members of the senior leadership team (i.e. CRO).
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was incredibly well set up. From the beginning we were provided an in-depth programme outline, stating all the activities and tasks we would be undertaking as part of the development programme.
Upon my arrival to the team, everything I needed was set up for me (i.e. desks, computer, etc.).
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
This was an element I felt helped my general view of the company as a whole, and made me want to come back and work here permanently. I felt all the interns were highly valued by the firm and a large part of this was due to the investment of time and effort into our training and development. From week one we were provided with training programmes in excel, communication, presentation skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate scheme at SLA is very highly regarded and is incredibly appealing from an intern point of view. I think coming from the internship certainly boosts chances of getting onto the grad scheme if you show the relevant skills and competencies necessary.
Even when on the internship, you get the feeling you are brought here to stay and they want to keep you working with them hence the value they place on you.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene in the Edinburgh office was excellent. No two interns knew each other from the start, however by the end I think a lot of strong bonds were formed.
I think a large amount of this is down to the location of the programme, Edinburgh. The city is buzzing during the summer and especially towards the Fringe festival therefore there was plenty of places and activities to do with the fellow interns.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?