Blog September 2020

An intern in exceptional times

Robertson Scholar Connor McAuley is a fourth-year Physics student at Strathclyde University. Here he shares his reflections on his summer internship, completed virtually in unusual circumstances.

During the summer of 2020, I was lucky enough to complete an excellent investment management internship with Quilter Cheviot.

Over the course of the six-week programme, I researched and produced work on a whole host of relevant topics such as UK Banks and Financial Services, Oil and Gas. I took part in daily team meetings at which I presented the reports I had been working on and I also received daily one-to-one mentoring from the team.

I’m very grateful to both Quilter Cheviot and The Robertson Trust for making the internship possible during this time, where most people are working from home and following physical distancing protocols.

From my first interview through to my last day of the internship, it was conducted entirely over Zoom and FaceTime! Originally this felt strange, but over six weeks I started to see the fun side of how unique (hopefully!) and different this experience was.

"I started to see the fun side of how unique (hopefully!) and different this experience was."

I think that the virtual aspect of my internship made it more personalised to me and my strengths and interests, due to the fact that the team were working within an entirely new set of parameters. My internship was different from the traditional in-office programme.

I was also given the opportunity to network with former Chief Operating Officer of SSE, Colin Hood, as well as a number of different research analysts – clearly these people are extremely busy, so it was great to be given an hour to ask questions and to learn from them.

This experience with Quilter Cheviot has helped me clarify a lot about my career aspirations – I now know that a career in finance is not only something I want to do but also something that I know I am capable of! Going into my final year of university, I have made it my goal to begin the process of passing all the relevant professional qualification required for this line of work.

Finally, I would like to thank the Trust for making all of this possible for me – I am very grateful. I would also like to thank Emma, Elliott, Richard and all the rest of the team at Quilter Cheviot for all the time and effort they put in with me over the summer.