When I was notified by my Scholarship co-ordinator DonnaMarie of the available position of office intern with The Scottish Civic Trust, I thought to myself, ‘hey what have I got to lose’ and applied whilst convincing myself I would NEVER get it.
At university I study Criminology and Law, and had never had any previous office experience or even any general experience in the built environment sector. So, as you can imagine when I heard back and was offered an interview, I was very surprised. DonnaMarie works as a training officer with The Robertson Trust, who I was lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship with at the beginning of my higher education. In this, the scholarship helps fund people from underprivileged backgrounds to reach their academic potential, and offer workshops, training, internships and grants to list a few ways in which they help. So, as part of her role, DonnaMarie coordinates internship positions for students who have just completed their third year of university, and it is through this that I became in contact with The Scottish Civic Trust.
It was a quick process the arrangement of the interview, and so I didn’t have too much time to worry I suppose! Upon doing my research, I realised that I was more suited to the internship than I first believed. I have always had an interest in Scotland’s history and architecture however thought I was no way near qualified to work in this sector. However, when reading the internship duties, I realised it included a wider scale of task including project management, general office tasks and social media promotion. Also, the internship being in Glasgow was a major social factor which drove me to want it even more, having never really been away from my family home in Dundee, and as a flat would be provided, I wanted to gain some independence through life experience. Yes, I actually wanted to do my own washing!
So, the day of the interview. Needless to say on the train journey to Glasgow I was nervous, however definitely more excited. Armed with google maps, I made my way to The Tobacco Merchant’s House in the Merchant City of Glasgow, a building so appropriately remarkable to represent the work that happens inside. When I got inside, the warm, welcoming atmosphere was the first thing I noticed.
On entering the interview, I was greeted by Godsal and Gaby, who were friendly as ever just from the off and the usually dreaded interview process turned into a great experience that made me just want the position even more! So, I am happy to report, I was offered the position shortly after and I was delighted to accept, bringing us to the reason for my report!
After a couple of weeks to get arrangements sorted, my first day came around and I set off to Glasgow at 6am, beaming with pride. All my student years, I have worked at McDonalds, so the prospect of a job position in a lovely team, in a warm office that allowed you to sit on CHAIRS (I know right) seemed like my dream! My first day involved meeting the team and instantly I was accepted as a ‘staff member’ and colleague. I never expected this level of mutual respect only being an office intern however I was made to feel just as important and integrated as everyone else! The building manager Steve Brady even took the time to give me an official welcome, involving safety and fire briefing and receiving my own pair of keys!
Amanda (left) and Molly (right)
After meeting my fellow intern Amanda, I was rather glad I was not the only one new to this and after being briefed on what our internships involved it was clear we would be crossing over duties frequently and sharing responsibilities but whilst coordinating our own tasks also, which I really liked.
Upon getting started I was soon involved with all things Doors Open Days! This year was particularly special for the Scottish Civic Trust, being their 50 year anniversary and so I was helping to collate the 50 favourite Scottish Doors event which involved people nominating their favourite Scottish door for any reason they liked. This also marked the countdown to Doors Open Days 2017 and the final day marked the start of DOD.
As I was becoming more comfortable with the internship, I began organising my own working days, however still with guidance from Godsal whenever I needed it. In this, I got my own region to coordinate as there wasn’t a regional coordinator for Dumfries and Galloway. This involved contacting venues to be part of the doors open days, organising dates and times, making a programme, website data input and much more! I loved having my own little section of the national coordination and when receiving emails and letters I felt like I was accomplishing something great, it was so rewarding seeing all our hard work coming together.
I have learned many different aspects of office life through my time with SCT such as bigger aspects like how a small office works, charity funding, project management etc. to the smaller however fundamental practices such as the use of an intranet and how to do a postal order and keep a calendar, thanks to the amazing help of the office angel, Karen.
The success I have achieved over the time of my internship is invaluable and something I never thought I would have the chance to experience. I would never have been so successful if it wasn’t for the small but efficient, friendly, engaging and supportive team around me, and I looked forward to going to work every day! So, to finish off just a massive thankyou to everyone at SCT! I have an incredible new found respect and interest for the built environment in Scotland.
Godsal, Gaby, Karen, Steve and John, you have all taught me something and shown me a new aspect to life, whether it be academic, social or work advice or even Steve’s interesting technology facts, which has all inspired confidence in me that will live forever more in my journey to graduate employment.
And Amanda, it has been a joy to work and progress in parallel to you and I have truly found a friend. I am very sad to finish my internship. However now my focus turns to finishing my 4th and final year or my degree; let the dissertation stress begin!