Two Robert Gordon University (RGU) students have been awarded places on the prestigious Saltire Scholar programme.
Computer Science student Matthew Moran (23) and Pharmacy student Ana Sleahtitchii (22) were each selected for internships as part of the initiative which will see 144 students from across Scotland embark on once-in-a-lifetime placements across the world including: China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Dubai, Switzerland, USA, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, England and Scotland.
Matthew is currently in China where he is working with Fidelity Business Services in Dalian, while Ana is completing her internship at GlaxoSmithKline, in Ware, England.
Matthew, who is from Perth, said: “I was extremely grateful about being selected for the Saltire Scholar programme. There is so much to gain from these kind of experiences and it's a once in a life time experience in a lot of ways, so I consider it a really wonderful privilege. I'd like to say a huge thank you to both the Saltire Foundation and to RGU for being a university partner of the foundation.”
Matthew is working on an artificial intelligence project as part of Fidelity's innovation team, which focuses on researching and implementing solutions to meet the ever changing needs of the business.
He added: “I am looking to expand my horizons as much as possible. To me, living and working in a totally foreign country will be both personally and professionally enriching. I'll definitely get a new perspective on both work and on my view of the world.
“Every day is something completely different. Interesting work, new people, new food - it's been great so far.”
Ana, who is originally from Romania said: “I am thrilled to undertake a summer internship with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as a pharmacy intern. The Saltire Foundation has given me a unique chance to follow my aspirations and improve my skills. I’m also very grateful to RGU’s Career Centre who helped me so much with the whole application process.”
Ana is part of the technical team at GSK which deals with the manufacture of HIV and oncology medicines and her role is to provide support with their campaigns or projects.
“I am trying to take in as much as possible by learning about the manufacture process, talking with the operators and observing the production of marketed medicines and experimental work on new drugs,” she said. “Also, I’m given challenges every week that I have to accomplish, such as interviewing somebody from the manufacturing team or getting in contact with another intern and finding more about their project.”
She added: “I think this sort of internship has a time-machine effect, because you are exposed to your future job or work environment, you meet your future employers, you can make yourself known even before graduating. This is a great tool to build a bridge between where you are at present and where you see yourself in the future.
“Being an enthusiastic individual passionate about science and innovation, I want to pursue a career in pharmaceutical industry as I believe this is one of the leading industrial sectors that directly contributes to the improvement of global healthcare and the enhancement of the quality of life.“
Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Saltire Foundation, said: “As part of Entrepreneurial Scotland, the Saltire Scholar programme continues to keep growing and keeps breaking records year on year.
“From entrepreneurial start-ups based in Silicon Valley to global corporates in Singapore, there is no other internship programme that identifies, connects and invests in Scotland’s potential in such a holistic way.”
Saltire Scholarships are open to undergraduate students from Scottish universities in their penultimate year of study and are fully funded through supporters and donors of the Saltire Foundation charity, which aims to inspire the next generation of business leaders.
The Saltire Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland.
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology