1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my accountancy internship with standard life. It exceeded my expectations greatly.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued my colleagues, everyone was keen to get to know me and help me along the way. There is no feeling of superiority in the company, everyone treats each other as an equal and helps each other out.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There is a lot of support and guidance in the internship at standard life. I had a buddy, who is a graduate who also did the internship a few years ago and a direct manager. Both of them met with me for coffee every week to discuss how I was feeling and what I found challenging as well as any opportunity’s I would like to explore. On top of this half way through the internship I met with the sponsor of the internship and the 2 stream heads who manage the graduates. They all were making sure I was getting enough work, feeling valued etc.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The work load would vary day to day. When I first started I was not as busy as I could have been, but that is to be expected as I am adjusting to the new software’s and a new environment and also I assume the managers need to try and gauge what level of work you can handle. Once this was established I was busier, giving many tasks and usually there was work for me to help with if I finished my jobs. But in the periods I had less work to do I would arrange meetings with people to discuss their role and to get to know the company, as well as I would have internship work I could complete to help me with my development.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The responsibility increased as I went through the internship. I expressed quite early on (week 3) that I preferred a task I was doing as I was giving all the information at once, along with a deadline and I could work as my own pace and use my own initiative. After this I seemed to get more jobs like this. However I am aware that it is not always possible, due to my lack of experience and knowledge, sometimes I would have needed more guidance then I did on a previous task.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed will help me greatly, studying accountancy I have learnt how real accounts are produced in the business world. I have developed skills on software and learned more about how I work which will help me in my final year at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
In my department the atmosphere is nice, but quite quiet. There will be general chat every so often and then moments on quietness when people will work. However I never felt like it was too quiet for me to start a conversation.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My internship was set up very well. Before I started I was called to go over my main jobs I would be doing in my time here and on my first day I was giving a timetable of when I would be working in each department. I worked in different departments most weeks and so got a good understanding of the different type of work accounts do.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm invested in us quite a bit. They held intern development events almost every week when we go to do things such as gallup tests, charity work and speak to standard life employees about their experiences.
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?
A graduate job with standard life very much appeals to me, having spoken to current graduates working their they all seem to enjoy it.. At the end of the internship they do an appraisal with you when they can choose whether to offer a graduate job to you or not. This is good as it means you don’t have to go through the application process again.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is a huge social scene amongst the interns. A lot of us were put in accommodation in the same apartments so quickly became friends. In total there was 38 interns, so every weekend and most week nights there was stuff to do.
The socials with your colleagues varies from department to department, over the 10 weeks I had 2 drinks with my team, one including going to see a fringe show. However I know other interns that had more.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Our accommodation and bills were all paid for by standard life, we even had a cleaner visit daily. The living costs of Edinburgh are not too bad, there are a lot of cities which are more expensive and there are always cheap options available if you want them.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There Is plenty of nightlife in Edinburgh, especially during the fringe with all the bars and clubs open till 5!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are some sports and social clubs, however I did not join them