Fiona McWilliam

My internship was with Arthur J Gallagher based in their Luton office but where I also spent half of my working week in their London office which is in fact their UK Headquarters. Gallagher are a global insurance brokerage and risk management Company. My role during my internship was a Commercial Retail Insurance intern.

There was a total of 6 Saltire Scholars interning with Gallagher and we were all split up across the UK. Our project was called the ‘Sales Challenge’ where, in groups in the London office, we had to create an innovative and creative presentation, answering the question ‘Why Gallagher?’ This was a mock sales presentation, the type of presentation that would be presented to a potential client of Gallagher. We had 6 weeks to create this presentation, which was then presented in 3 knock-out style rounds to the members of the leadership team.

I worked with two other Saltire Scholars and much to our dismay, we actually won the challenge against the whole of the UK Cohort. This was a great reward for our hard work that we put into the project, the perfect way to end the internship and made it worthwhile after a day of nerves from presenting in front of senior colleagues of Gallagher. 

A real highlight of mine was working and living in central London, I had actually never been before, it has so much to offer. Myself and the other scholars at Gallagher climbed the London O2 arena to fundraise, this was another real highlight of my internship journey. 

I really immersed myself into my work and the insurance sector, an industry where I had no previous experience. Before embarking on my internship I wasn’t sure how I would be able to use the knowledge I've acquired within any other industry afterwards, but I have been proved completely wrong. I have developed a range of transferrable skills including communication, presentation, analytical and teamwork. Going forward, I am now able to transfer everything I have learnt and new skills confidently in a wide variety of roles and industries, and it’s thanks to Saltire that I am able to do so. 

The Saltire Scholar internship is unique compared to any other internship as you are always a part of something bigger, even after you have finished the internship. You are always connected through Entrepreneurial Scotland, and this provides countless opportunities and real connections.

I couldn’t recommend becoming a Saltire Scholar more if I tried, if you’re questioning whether to apply, DO IT! You have nothing to lose! If it wasn’t for Saltire, I wouldn’t have been able to live in London for a few months, live independently, make life long connections and gain more professional experience.

If not for my saltire internship I wouldn’t have the confidence I currently have going into the graduate job market. This internship provided me with a wide range of industry knowledge, skills and experience that is applicable in any role or sector. Thank you, Saltire.