A Timeline of My Saltire Scholar Journey

Cejo Mathew

Biomedical Engineering, University of Glasgow

Marketing Communications Intern at Arranta Bio

Hi there! My name is Cejo Mathew. I am a fourth-year biomedical engineering student at the University of Glasgow. Over the summer of 2022, I had the privilege of completing a 10-week virtual internship in Marketing Communications at Arranta Bio, a contract manufacturing and development organisation (CDMO) focusing on advanced biological therapeutics within the area of plasmids, mRNA, and microbiome.

For me, the process of securing an internship through the Saltire Scholar Programme started in September 2020 when I was in the second year of my biomedical engineering degree. This was when I first heard about the programme through an online Careers & Internship Marketplace run by the University of Glasgow. I was immediately drawn to the programme as it was more than just a pathway for an internship. The Saltire Scholar Programme stood out to me because it was structured to raise the next generation of Scotland’s entrepreneurial leaders, by providing them with opportunities and connections to have a meaningful and impactful career. This led me to apply for the 2021/22 in-take in November 2021, with the help of the University of Glasgow’s Careers Service and Saltire Scholar’s brand ambassadors. Using extensive resources available online on Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Saltire Scholar Programme, I ensured a good understanding of the organisation and initiative. This also allowed me to suitably apply my own experiences and skillsets from other extra-curricular activities when delivering my responses to the various competency-based questions.

In early January 2022, I was invited for an online interview, the second stage of the application. As before, I received a lot of guidance from the Careers Service and brand ambassadors whilst preparing for the online interviews. They were great at helping me to identify potential questions and scenarios in addition to those I had identified through research. I found the interview guide videos on the University of Glasgow’s YouTube page useful for helping me to structure the different phases of my preparation. In addition, I found it particularly useful to record myself as I practised questions, as it helped me to notice and fix my eye contact, posture, and general body language.

The third stage of my application commenced in the middle of January 2022, once I secured a position within the candidate pool, where a wide variety of internship opportunities were made available every few weeks. Exposure to details of various opportunities allowed me to recognise the opportunities that were of most interest to me. I was also able to practice writing covering letters and personalised CVs. During this time, I applied for a virtual marketing communications role at Arranta Bio and I was extremely lucky to have been shortlisted for the interview alongside three other individuals from the candidate pool.

The fourth stage of my application was my online interview with the marketing manager at Arranta Bio in late February 2022. I prepared for this interview by conducting further research into Arranta Bio, with an emphasis on their latest developments, and practised common interview questions as before. Even with preparation, I found this stage to be the most overwhelming, as I realised that my performance in this interview could make or break my streak of success. Therefore, learning that I had finally secured the internship a day later had me over the moon with joy!

Once I had signed my internship contract in early March 2022, I was officially a Saltire Scholar. This was a great personal achievement for me, as I worked very hard to be successful at each application stage. Reflecting on my application process, it was clear to me that my hard work, determination, and time-management skills played a major role in my accomplishment. Therefore, in the hopes of achieving more, I carried this work ethic forward into my 10-week virtual internship at Arranta Bio in June 2022.

Over the course of my internship, I had the pleasure of working with so many exceptional people and learning so much from their experiences. As a marketing communications intern, I had the privilege of being immersed into all areas of the company, from where I would draw inspiration to create impactful content aligning with Arranta Bio’s values on their communication platforms. Under the overarching theme of marketing communications, I enjoyed a variety of tasks: conducting competitor market research, updating the company intranet, creating LinkedIn posts, designing content for site monitors, creating environmental health and safety campaigns, delivering business case presentations, managing business development calendars, and video editing. I enjoyed performing all these wide-ranging tasks as it allowed me to learn and refine new skills each day. One of the highlights of the internship was during my final weeks in August, where I had the chance to reflect on the impact that I had on Arranta Bio by showcasing all the projects I had worked on to the employees. Throughout the internship, I was also supported by the Saltire Scholar Programme, which organised fantastic personal development workshops on various topics such as resilience and transferrable skills. Looking back at the internship, I had such a great experience because of the combination of support I received from Arranta Bio and the Saltire Scholar Programme.

Having completed my Saltire Scholar journey and reflecting back whilst writing this blog in December 2022, I would like to again thank everyone who made it possible for me to have such an amazing experience. I am so grateful to the University of Glasgow, the Saltire Scholar Programme, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Saltire’s brand ambassadors and alumni, the Careers Service staff, and everyone at Arranta Bio. Thanks to all those people, I am now in an even more privileged place than when I started, as I am one of the brand ambassadors for the 2022/23 Saltire Scholar Programme. Through this role, I have been able to inspire many other students to pursue the same life-changing experience I have had. Just this last month, I had the privilege to be on the other side of the panel whilst interviewing new applicants for the programme. Oh, and did I forget to mention? One of the most fulfilling aspects of the Saltire Scholar Programme is the opportunity to give back.

Written by: Cejo Mathew
Arranta Bio InternshipTimeline