Starting out as a Saltire Scholar

I originally applied to the Saltire Scholar’s scheme back in October 2020. Whilst the application process was both challenging and competitive, consisting of multiple interviews, it was also therefore very rewarding.

From having interviews with previous Scholars to writing specifically tailored CV’S to companies of my choice, both my social and communication skills saw improvements. Having multiple interviews was unsettling at first, especially as these were over video calls, however, looking back on this experience I can already see how confidence within myself has improved.

Furthermore, writing specifically tailored CV’s to companies of my choice ensured that both prior research on the company and attention to detail were top priorities, things which I believe will benefit me both in my final year at University and later in life.

As I study International Business at University, I was keen to apply for an internship that would complement some of the key principles of my area of study such as both Management and Communication. Furthermore, I would also like to pursue Consulting, post University, so when the first list of available internships came out, I was immediately drawn to MM Search & Consultancy. After having positive interviews with the Managing Partners, Ken and Derek, I was invited to have a final Interview with the Non-Executive Chairman Mike Lees. Mike has extensive experience and was the Managing Director at Tennent’s for a number of years. So, at first, this was a very daunting thought. However, I found comfort in switching my mindset and realising how fortunate I was to be invited to have a conversation with someone so well decorated.

In April 2021, I was delighted to find out that I had been successful in securing an internship with MM Search and that my journey with Saltire Scholars would begin. I would like to give a special thanks to Julian Randall from Heriot Watt University for his unwavering support throughout the application process.

A Bit About MM Search & Consultancy

MM Search likes to do things differently – they are people specialists. Led by Founding Managing Partners Ken Morrice and Derek Macfeate, MM Search is Scotland’s fastest growing Executive Search firm. Specialising in Executive Search, Executive Interim and Non-Executive Director positions, their process is streamlined, simple and innovative. Key to their success is the partnership they form with their clients and candidates, gaining a sound understanding of their requirements and culture. They work across all sectors and disciplines, from Renewables to Manufacturing to FMCG, and with companies of all sizes, operating throughout the UK and Internationally. Operating across all industries allowed me to be exposed to a multitude of new companies and sectors.

This also ensured that no day was ever the same, meaning that the internship was continuously stimulating. Collaboration is also fundamental to MM’s operations. I have been working collaboratively with different members of the team on a variety of ongoing projects. Collaboration has taught me the importance of both timely and effective communication. When everyone in the team is aware of the status of projects, we are therefore able to respond effectively and quickly to any changes that may occur.

Key Roles and Responsibilities within my Internship

One key aspect that drew me to MM Search was that the successful applicant would be exposed to all areas of the business rather than specialising in one department. This is something that piqued my interest as I felt that this would therefore offer me a rounded experience as an intern. After a few weeks in my role, I realised that this was the case.

The paramount role of my internship has been ensuring effective delivery of the service that MM Search offers on the operations side of things. That is, placing key executives for their clients in a time that many of their competitors cannot achieve. Specifically, I have been heavily involved in the resourcing side of the business, highlighting key candidates to place for the clients. However, I also aided the marketing team by creating video content known as “Interns Intel”. This is essentially video blogs discussing my key activities and involvements within the business. These have been shared to MM Search’s social media to try and push their “personality” piece and drive their engagement.

I have also gained an awareness of MM Search’s commercial model which has been very worthwhile. As the team at MM Search is still small and fluid, I was able to have a notable impact on their processes. Furthermore, I can also directly see how the work I am carrying out is adding value to their operations which is motivating in of itself. Additionally, I have also been giving the responsibility of delivering a key project that will aid MM’s objective of growth. I have developed and delivered a comprehensive talent map of the executive recruitment industry in Scotland, highlighting key rising stars within businesses that can aid MM Search in attracting the best talent in the country and delivering the highest quality of service to their clients. I feel both privileged and grateful to have been granted this responsibility.

Final Reflections and Key Takeaways

As I enter the final week of my internship with MM Search, one thing I can say is that it really has been a Summer to remember! From moving to a new city to working closely with a brand-new team of people, the experience has been invaluable and one I will always look back fondly on. After reflecting on my experience over the past two months I have a few key takeaways.

One of my key takeaways is to ask lots of questions. Asking questions throughout my whole internship ensured that I was constantly developing my own understanding of MM Search as well as the environment they operate in. Asking questions also shows those around you that you are engaged with the work you are doing and that you are observant of the environment around you. Another one of my key takeaways would be don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is inevitable and, ultimately, through making mistakes, you are able to reflect and develop your work to a higher standard. My final key takeaway is to be sure of yourself! When going into a new working environment, it is very easy to feel that you are out of place and to experience what is known as “imposter syndrome”. However, remember that the company took you on because they saw something in YOU. Keep this in mind and use it to motivate yourself to do the best you can in any task you are responsible for.

To those who are considering applying to the Saltire Scholars programme, I would wholeheartedly say to go for it. You will not regret it!

Written by: Harry Browne, Heriot Watt University, Intern Executive role, MM Search
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