Involved in writing a maintenance expense annual report for Standard Life's Irish branch.
Suggesting improvements to this process.
Migrating important documents to a Sharepoint site and easing the process of submitting documents to the regulator.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I loved the internship, working in Edinburgh was amazing and all my colleagues and other interns were very supportive.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues in my team valued the work I was doing, a lot of the time it was complimenting tasks they themselves were working on. Although my colleagues were far more experienced than myself in the technical aspects of the role, I was valued as a lot of my tasks were setting improvements to current processes; as I was a fresh pair of eyes my insights were regarded just as highly as everyone in my team and I was also able to carry out these improvements and see them used in practice.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a daily catch up with my line manager to ensure I wasn't confused with tasks, that I was on task and was encouraged to always ask questions if i didn't instantly understand certain projects - which was quite a lot sometimes! Standard Life provided an excellent support network.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I ran into a lot of complications during my internship having to wait around sometimes for other departments to get back to me. However this was combatted by my manager giving me lots of side-task to do that enriched my experience and made me feel more valued during my time here.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As mentioned above a lot of the work I did was to suggest improvements to current processes, I was left completely to judge this task for myself and my manager offered her insights whenever I asked for them - so it was great knowing I had the support there if i needed it.
Other tasks I carried out had quite a few technical aspects so all necessarty instructions and resources were given to me by my manager although I was still able to carry out this in my own time and ensure myself that I stick to agreed deadlines.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There are so many skills I have developed over the internship that will undoubtedly help me in my degree studies. I have become more independent and confident - i now know that I am a lot more able than I thought to carry out important pieces of work and that in future to seek opportunities to do so and be proactive. Additionally I have learned that I gain confidence through gaining knowledge so this is something I will utilise in my academic career. It has completely enhanced my module choices too, as a Mathematics student I previously enjoyed the pure side of my degree. However now I have realised how much I do enjoy data analysis and statistical modelling - I am greatful to Standard Life for enabling me to have this realisation.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was quite worried about this when I first started but everyone was very chatty and welcoming. Everyone around you encourages you to ask as many questions as you need to ask. Feel free to wander around to a colleagues desk to discuss work with them as opposed to IM-ing or emailing, the office was extremely welcoming in this way.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
A lot of thought had clearly gone into the tasks that I had to complete over my internship to challenge me in a number of ways, one task was testing my critical thinking and attention to detail, another my innovation and creative capabilities. Very varied and very well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had almost weekly intern development sessions with all the other interns across the business, having sessions such as 'know your strengths' which was my personal favourite which has enabled me to learn how I work most efficiently and how to notice other peoples strengths and what that means about them. I have developed a LOT of skills that I will incontrovertibly use throughout the rest of my career.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Last year all 4 actuarial interns at Standard Life got an offer for Graduate Employment. I hope that I have shown Standard Life that I am driven enough to also recieve one too.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All the interns are put up in an apartment block that literally resembles halls of residents at university. There were 14 of us living in the same place, 2 per flat, all generously paid for by the company. So there was always someone up for doing something everyday. In Edinburgh, during the festival there was always something to do!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
During festival season in Edinburgh prices are more expensive than normal. However as Standard Life covered the accomodation costs we had we had more than enough to spend on social activities. However there are a lot of things Edinburgh has to offer that are free, such as some fringe shows are free, walking up Arthurs seat, Edinburgh Museum, Calton Hill the list goes on...
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very good night life, a lot of student clubs also re-opened during the festival that were really cheap!
Again as the Fringe is on there were always lots of shows to go to at night as well!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
A lot of things to get involved in outside work. Certain departments do runs for charity fundraising, theres Yoga, a gym outside of work, team nights out to the Fringe.