1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a lot of fun over the 10 weeks - both at work where I was given challenging work and a lot of responsibility, and outside of work with the other interns.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was trusted with quite important work and was asked to contribute in team meetings. The people in my team were nice and welcoming, although quite quiet.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager always provided me with support and guidance whenever I was struggling and I never felt like I was wasting his time. He put aside time at the beginning of the internship to explain exactly what I'd be working on and what was expected of me and we had weekly meetings throughout the internship to make sure that I was on the right track. I was given challenging work but if I got stuck on anything I always knew that I could ask my manager for help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varied - some days were very busy and others were much quieter. If I didn't have much work to do there were people within the company to meet and online training sessions to fill my time productively.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Throughout the internship I was given real work which would have been done by another member of the team had I not been there.My main project was to help my manager with a submission to the PRA (one of the main regulatory bodies in the UK). I also worked on a board paper which will be sent to the Standard Life Board of Directors. I was given more responsibility in my role than I had previously anticipated.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
We had weekly "development" sessions with all the interns where we learnt different skills, for example presentation skills, which will be useful in the future. It was also a great opportunity to experience the corporate world in a friendly and comfortable environment. What I learnt from my work in my team is very specific so probably won't assist me in the future unless I come back to work for a similar team.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was friendly but quiet as people work very hard.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were lots of organised events where the interns could get to know each other and also develop skills. At the start of the internship I didn't feel like I knew exactly what I'd be doing over the 10 weeks as I wasn't working on one project so I picked up work as it came in.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The weekly training sessions were mostly useful, and there were online training resources which I used to improve my excel skills. We also had regular meetings with our stream head who made sure we were getting what we wanted out of the internship and this gave us the opportunity to voice any concerns about our personal development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It seems that most interns get offered a place on the graduate scheme at the end of the internship. From talking to current grads and other employees, the graduate scheme sounds very appealing as there are organised rotations which ensure that you get a well rounded skills base, and especially for acturaial graduates the study package is very generous.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Standard Life pays for accommodation for the 10 weeks near the centre of town and all the interns live together in 2 bed flats. Because we're all living together we spend a lot of time with each other and it's a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. At work we each lunch together every day and will often do something together in the evenings and on the weekends (going for a drink, to the cinema, to see a show etc.)
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It's cheaper than London but still quite expensive, especially when the fringe festival is on in August.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are loads of great bars and clubs in Edinburgh so there's something for everyone.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There's so much to do in Edinburgh, from sightseeing to shows during the fringe festival. It's a great place to spend your summer especially as there are loads of other interns living with you.