I worked within the Resourcing team undertaking operational and strategic tasks alongside an individual project.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the internship on many different levels. There is a great intern and graduate network which created a good social side. The work was varied and interesting and allowed me to develop my skills and insights in to working in a large organisation.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were so helpful throughout, answering my questions and taking the time to help me learn abut the function and different roles within it. I was given good informal feedback throughout and a formal feedback session at the end of my placement.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Towards the beginning of my placement, my manager was very busy working on an important project. At first this was challenging as a new intern as we didn't have lots of contact time, however my team ensured I had work and was settling in, and once the project was finished, the support and contact was great.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy I was varied hugely. At first this was challenging, but I soon realised that's just how it goes - depending on projects and events, sometimes a lot of work needs to be done in a short time - however this is a fun challenge especially when you're working in a dedicated team. In the quiet moments, I had time to do research and develop my own individual learning.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given loads of responsibility during my placement, however this didn't seem too scary or challenging as I also had a lot of support and direction. This responsibility allowed me to feel a great sense of achievement when I completed a project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My degree is quite general - and although there are transferable skills, I feel this is more relevant to my development beyond my degree. The skills I have acquired will be invaluble when I enter the workplace, and gave me a unique insight in to working within a big company.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
On a wider scale, the atmosphere in the office is open, transparent, non-hierarchical and friendly. However, the best atmosphere I experienced was within my team. Everyone was so supportive and welcoming, and there is a great sense of camaraderie and real friendship within the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Standard Life internships are well established, and they have lots in place to ensure that interns are well supported. From induction to buddies and mentors; they are prepared for interns and have systems in place to deal with any issues. They have a clear idea of the work they want you to do before you arrive so you have a purpose and responsibilities.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
During my time at Standard Life I was strongly encouraged to consier my development to get the most out of my internship. We had lunchtime learning sessions with different areas of the business to broader our understanding of diffferent areas within the organisation. We were also given the opportunity to meet with the Head of People and Operations and attend a talk by the UK & Europe CEO - offering great development and learning opportunities at all levels.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Standard Life offers a unique proposition for employees. The offices in the centre of Edinbugh, the extensive support network, the close graduate population and the wonderful office environment are just some of the appealing aspects of a job at Standard Life.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The intern group was great - we ate lunch together everyday and organised weekly socials. Once the festival started in August - groups of us went to shows and enjoyed nights out as part of the unique atmosphere in Edinburgh at this time of year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Standard Life organised and paid for accommodation close to the office, so rent was not a cost I had to worry about. As the capital, nights out are fairly expensive, however balancing this with dinners and nights in, the interns still managed to have an active social life and enjoy Edinburgh.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was different to what I was used to, however with the festival in Edinburgh in August - the city was so lively and there were so many options of places to go and things to see. Although it can be quite expensive, the nightlife is varied and fun.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are lots of extra things going on at Standard Life. They offer a great gym discount and there are also lots of networks or clubs you can join.