Internship - Christopher's Story

Christopher studied management and business law at Heriot Watt University, graduating in 2009. He did an internship prior to fourth year at Wood Group PSN and joined the company’s graduate scheme shortly after leaving university.

I undertook an internship in the summer of 2008 prior to commencing fourth year through an organisation called the Saltire Foundation. I wanted to do an internship because I felt that it was absolutely essential to be equipped with the people skills, professional competencies and business acumen that top employers look for in graduate job applications. 

I initially heard about the Saltire scheme through the university careers service. Through the foundation, I went to an international energy services company called Wood Group PSN based in Houston, Texas for eight weeks. I was in a fortunate position to undertake a rotational business operations internship through four different areas of the business, including corporate communications, accounting and finance, business development and international human resource management.

There was an extensive recruitment process for the internship. This consisted of an initial first stage application with different questions to gauge suitability to the role applied for, a second round speed interview which involved going to different tables with interviewers asking different questions and then a final telephone interview with the host company that the individual applied to work for.

I had always worked throughout university on a part-time basis and had saved money through this, however luckily I was given a weekly stipend for living costs. The Saltire Foundation and Wood Group PSN had covered most of our financial requirements such as accommodation.

The internship was truly life changing as it gave me the opportunity to work internationally before the age of 21. It equipped me with the skills and confidence to liaise with company staff of all levels and even enabled me to undertake my fourth year dissertation using the company as a case study.

After completing the internship, I knew that I wanted to commence a career in the energy industry due to the future opportunities that could be available. As a result, I applied to start on Wood Group PSN’s Project Controls Graduate Scheme. I was successful and commenced employment with Wood Group PSN after graduating in 2009.