Scott Grant - Indie Semiconductor

Scott Grant is Finance Manager of Indie Semiconductor – an auto tech company based in California, with offices all around the world (including Germany, Budapest, UK, Texas, Boston, China, and Hong Kong).

Experiencing rapid expansion, the business has significant accelerated growth plans over the next 3-4 years. Scott is a former Entrepreneurial Scotland Saltire Scholar, having joined the programme in 2016. His programme placement was with Indie Semiconductor, and following his graduation, he was offered a full-time position with the business. Today, he is based in London and his role is to oversee financing and accountancy across the entire Indie Semiconductor Group.

With a unique perspective, Scott has also supported Indie Semiconductor to take on several Scholars from the Saltire Scholar Internship programme.

image-000_2021-10-17-112520_rsqq.png

THE OPPORTUNITY:

The Saltire Scholar Internship Programme was of huge benefit to Scott. His placement with Indie Semiconductor took place just after he had finished his international semester abroad, in line with his International Business degree at Strathclyde University. It was the first time that Indie Semiconductor had taken on an Intern.

Scott explains, “Before I had even finished university at the end of 2017, the CFO and CEO of Indie Semiconductor asked what my plans were. I had all these plans to continue progressing my startup, but there were challenges with funding, so I decided to take up the offer and I have to say, I am absolutely delighted I decided to do it. I had offers and opportunities for graduate schemes, but they just didn’t appeal to me. I really wanted to try and push myself, and at Indie Semiconductor, I started out reporting to a CFO of a fastaccelerating company, in a really interesting area. A chance to work with a business born in Southern California really seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, but it’s an opportunity I would have never had without the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme.”

I’ve been incredibly lucky in benefiting from the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme. What I also take real pride in is being able to give back and help to strengthen the Scottish economy, which is really important to me, having lived in Glasgow for most of my life.

THE OUTCOME:

Indie Semiconductor have seen significant benefits of hosting Saltire Scholars and have continued to take on an intern every year since 2016, though had to put a hold on their 2020 placement due to the global pandemic. They aim to continue to support the programme and take on more scholars in the future.

He continues, “Where scholars can really add value, is in their perspective. They bring a new, fresh perspective on things – they don’t have habits or processes ingrained into them yet and often that can be really helpful. On a number of occasions, we’ve had scholars who’ve brought a new view, that has helped us to look at problems or challenges through a new lens and find different solutions. In fact, witnessing this, has also pushed us to hire a lot more graduates and entry level employees to fill roles. Their enthusiasm, fresh perspective and drive is something we’ve seen a lot of benefit from as a business.”

Having experienced the opportunities for Scholars first-hand, and been a host company, Scott sees the benefits for both parties. He says, “I think what is valuable to the interns and what is valuable to the company, go hand-in-hand. We get support at a time when the company needs extra resource, and we get to see their worldview through a new lens that is ultimately always beneficial. They get invaluable experience of how a business works – they’re taught fundamentals of business, the importance of attention to detail as well as communication and interaction with different teams.”

Scott continues to work closely with the CEO of Indie Semiconductor and the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme and hopes they can continue to take on scholars in the future. He says, “The CEO is a great supporter of taking on scholar placements. He is the driving force of making sure that the internships stay alive. We hope to be able to expand in the coming years. So far, we’ve taken on scholars to support our financing and accounting teams, and they’ve always been of exceptional quality – I remember every one of them. Moving forward, we are also hoping to take on scholars in our engineering departments too.”

Scott is also keen to encourage people to consider an internship programme like the Saltire Scholar Internship, having helped him forge a successful career. He concludes, “I’ve been incredibly lucky in benefiting from the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme. What I also take real pride in is being able to give back and help to strengthen the Scottish economy, which is really important to me, having lived in Glasgow for most of my life.

“I know exactly what it has done for my career and I know I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been lucky enough to go on the programme. It’s amazing to see companies like ours support the next generation of talent, investing in the future and opening opportunities for people, and the support provided by Entrepreneurial Scotland exceeds all expectations – for scholars and host companies. I don’t know anyother programme that comes close to what Saltire are doing and I hope it will help bring Scotland into the forefront of industries worldwide in years to come.”

Working with Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme has been integral for our planning of our statutory audits every year. The scholars have really supported our finance and accounting teams with auditing. We treat them as we would entry level employees, so they’re often thrown in at the deep end, but we make sure we give them the right training and support throughout. It’s fantastic for both parties, as we gain valuable support, and they gain valuable experience.

-----

If you would like to talk to Entrepreneurial Scotland about hosting a Saltire Scholar, and how this can benefit your business, please email: gillian.mcgill@entrepreneurialscotland.com