Heriot-Watt students secure prestigious international internships

From left: Rudi Moffat, Aidan McDonagh, Joe MacDonald, Christopher McGuire and Maria Mendoza Puchades

This summer six students from Heriot-Watt University  are among the 61 students from across Scotland embarking on outstanding, fully funded internships with many of the world's leading multinational companies.

The 2011 cohort of scholars are an outstanding group and will undoubtedly do Scotland proud

Sandy Kennedy, CEO of the Saltire Foundation

The Saltire Foundation runs this programme, which targets Scotland's most talented undergraduates, most of whom would not normally have access to these types of opportunities. The 61 paid placements are with companies such as the Trump Organization, Liberty Mutual, IBM, the Wood Group and Tesco in the US, China, Australia, Hong Kong and across the European Union.

These placements challenge Scotland's top students to develop their own skills while working on projects of real significance to their host companies. The highly competitive application process focuses on merit and potential and is open to all students in their penultimate year at a Scottish university who have not previously had similar experiences.

Heriot-Watt students

Heriot-Watt students participating on the programme this year are:

  • Rudi Moffat (Mathematics)
  • Aidan McDonagh (Mathematics)
  • Joe MacDonald (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Christopher McGuire (Chemical Engineering)
  • Maria Mendoza Puchades (Civil Engineering)
  • Angela Kirkbride (Combined Studies)

I'm delighted that our students have been successful in securing these prestigious internships

Nick Thow, Director of Heriot-Watt Careers Advisory Service

The students  will be placed in a variety of organisations including Liberty Mutual in Boston, Amazon in Luxembourg and with GE across Europe and the US.

Investing in tomorrow's leaders

The outstanding achievements of the programme's alumni demonstrate that investing in tomorrow's leaders early in their careers will develop a global perspective that pays dividends to the Scottish economy in the medium to long-term.

A  testament to the quality of our students

Nick Thow, the Director of Heriot-Watt Careers Advisory Service said: "I'm delighted that our students have been successful in securing these prestigious internships. Past Heriot-Watt interns have had a fantastic experience and greatly enhanced their employability through them. The university had the third highest number of students securing internships which, given our size, is a real feather in our cap and testament to the quality of our students."

2011 cohort "an outstanding group"

Sandy Kennedy, CEO of the Saltire Foundation, said: "I am delighted that The Saltire Scholarship continues to go from strength to strength. The 2011 cohort of scholars are an outstanding group and will undoubtedly do Scotland proud. It should be remembered that these life-changing opportunities would not be possible without the support of our host companies and in particular the GlobalScots."

The Saltire Foundation is a registered charity and will be recruiting for 2012 scholars from autumn 2011.

More information

Rachel Lippett's story: "The best experiences of my life"

For many participants living and working abroad will be a life changing experience. Rachel Lippett, a 2011 Heriot-Watt Management and Marketing graduate described her placement last summer with DHL in Japan as follows: "The eight weeks I spent living and working in Tokyo gave me some of the best experiences and memories of my life.

"Before you apply to the Saltire Foundation's Undergraduate Programme you read that you'll be given the chance to network with senior executives, immerse yourself in a new culture and experience what doing business in that culture might be like. On arrival in Japan I found this all to be true as I headed out to dinner with DHL's regional SVPs and sat next to the President who treated me like any other of his colleagues.

"My internship gave me a huge boost in confidence and I returned to my Honours year studies with a new perspective, my aspirations for the future were shaped and I was well-placed to enter the graduate job market.

"Without the support of the Saltire Foundation I'd never have had the chance to experience life in the bustling business capital that is Tokyo and for that I will always be grateful. My thanks also go to Careers here at Heriot-Watt who gave me some essential tips and advice when it came to the speed and telephone interview stages of the process and also signposted some great resources which prepared me for my stay in Japan."