"The opportunity gave me an insight into the world of economic development in Scotland, and bypassed the catch 22 of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” in the job market."
At AAI, we recently reached out to our intern alumni to find anyone who had used one of our placements to get back to work or start a new professional journey, after a career break, and who could be considered a 'Returner'.
Here's Alison's story.
Background – It was 2011 and I was completing my third-year exams at the University of Strathclyde when I found out I was expecting my son. After a short maternity leave and becoming a single parent, I completed my Honours degree in Politics (2:1), following by a Masters degree in Political Communication at the University of Glasgow.
Although I was lucky to have a part-time job during my studies, the graduate job hunt and employment opportunities available at the time all required a long commute that would not be suitable around available childcare.
My Returnship – I was fortunate to be offered my internship with BIDs Scotland one week before I graduated in 2015. This was based on a 30-hour contract, primarily working from home in Ayr.
My internship offered flexibility around childcare and allowed me to gain valuable experience in the economic development sector, while also allowing me to advance some transferable skills, such as event management and communications.
How has Adopt an Intern helped you? - Many jobs in economic development and politics are based in cities with an hour or more commuting time, and it would not be possible without rerouting my family or avoiding a work/life balance completely. From my internship, I also secured a full-time position as ‘Marketing, Communications and Administration Manager’ with BIDs Scotland.
As of May 2017, I am now a freelance consultant, supporting clients such as Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Economic Development Association Scotland and Investing Women in operations, communications and events management.
I cannot thank AAI enough for the opportunity of an internship to gain real workplace experience for me to support my family and set a good example to young Harrison.
The opportunity gave me an insight into the world of economic development in Scotland, and bypassed the catch 22 of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” in the job market. By shortlisting and giving a graduate an opportunity, AAI supports graduates to fly.
The term ‘Returnship’ is trademarked by Goldman Sachs