Finding Future Leaders: How We Find Scotland’s Best Interns

Scotland is known for business innovation and ideation, but there’s a challenge we can’t ignore: a scarcity of entrepreneurially minded people who can propel business, and subsequently, our economy and society forward.

Entrepreneurially-minded people are those who embody growth, resilience, confidence, ambition, humility, empathy and curiosity – they recognise opportunities and execute them. It’s a style of leadership, not just about creating companies.

But how do we find these people?

At Entrepreneurial Scotland, our flagship Saltire Scholar Programme is designed to help spot these entrepreneurially-minded people at the very start of their journey when they’re at university. We find them, nurture their belief and then connect them with opportunities and the organisations and people that can help them grow.

We find students with the highest potential and put them on a yearlong transformational journey, culminating in a 10-12 week fully funded summer internship.

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Finding the best interns for your organisation

Our Robust Recruitment Process

Attracting students to the programme


Each year, we attract several thousand students to apply to our programme. We work with all 16 Universities in Scotland, attracting talent from all degree disciplines from business and marketing to life sciences, engineering, computer science and more.

Our Saltire Scholar team attend various career fairs and on-campus events with the support of over 100 student brand ambassadors, all to find the very best students to apply to our programme.

All applications are personally assessed by our team, and successful applicants progress to our Assessment Centres.

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National Assessment Centres

To find the most high-potential students, we invite successful applicants to attend one of our Assessment Centres. We run 30 in-person and virtual Assessment Centres across Scotland where students have the opportunity to showcase their qualities, characteristics and skills in 3 bespoke workshops.

We don’t assess students on their grades or predicted degree classification – we’re looking for students who possess an entrepreneurial mindset with leadership potential.

Learn more about our Assessment Centres from Kelly Glass, Head of the Saltire Scholar Programme.

The Candidate Pool


Students who successfully pass our Assessment Centre stage join our exclusive Candidate Pool. Students in our candidate pool have been identified through the process as people with the potential to become a future leader.

Whilst in the Candidate Pool, students can apply for worldwide internship opportunities and attend a 3-month development programme designed to help them understand an entrepreneurial mindset and their potential to impact growth.

For our 2024 programme, we have over 650 students in our candidate pool ready to be matched with a host company.


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Fully Managed Application Process


Host companies submit internship job descriptions/projects which are then advertised to our Candidate Pool via our exclusive careers site. Students can apply to each internship using a bespoke CV and Cover Letter.

Our Saltire Scholar Team reads every CV and cover letter on your behalf and uses psychometric test results to shortlist the very best 3-5 candidates for your advertised role.


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Final Intern Chosen by You


The very best 3-5 candidates are passed on to you to complete the final interview which can be held in person, over the telephone or virtually.

The final intern is always chosen by you.

Once chosen, you will welcome your intern at a mutually convenient start date, anytime from June onwards. Our Saltire Scholar Team will continue to provide leadership development, onboarding and practical support to interns, before, during and beyond the internship.


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Host a Saltire Scholar in your Organisation


Do you want to benefit from our robust recruitment process and host a Saltire Scholar Intern in your business this summer?

Register your interest below to talk to a member of our team.