L-R: Matthew Leith, Euan Donnelly and Charlotte Laing. Photographer credit: Gary Baker
L-R: Matthew Leith, Euan Donnelly and Charlotte Laing. Photographer credit: Gary Baker

Scottish global internship programme debuts in Canada

For the first time Scotland’s leading global internship programme has placed four students with host companies in Canada thanks to a new visa partnership.

Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Scholar Internship Programme aims to provide a global perspective providing students with once-in-a-lifetime internships across the world, including: Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, China, UAE, USA, and for the first time, Canada.

The four students from Scottish universities are: Matthew Leith studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Heriot-Watt University; James Adam studying Mechanical Engineering at University of Dundee; Charlotte Laing, a Business Management & Digital Media student at the University of Glasgow; and Euan Donnelly, a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at Edinburgh Napier University.

The Canadian host companies include; leading toy manufacturer, Mega Brands, part of the Mattel brands family who produce MEGA Bloks, a popular construction toy for young children; Boat Rocker Media, one of Canada’s leading producers of television, film and digital media content, producing programmes such as ‘Orphan Black’ and ‘The Next Step’; and The University of Alberta who are currently researching the integration of services and renewable technologies into offsite construction products.

Working with Mega Brands in Montreal, Matthew Leith worked within automation engineering and James Adam on product development; Charlotte Laing delivered a project on television audience growth whilst interning with Boat Rocker Media; and Euan Donnelly undertook a research project into offsite construction with the University of Alberta, in conjunction with his own university, Edinburgh Napier and the Built Environment Exchange programme.

Sara Nelson, Head of the Saltire Scholar programme, said:
“Having a student presence in Canada is a milestone in the growth of the Saltire Scholar Programme. We have had a long established relationship with companies based in the USA with 74 students interning there. Canada has proved a more challenging market to enter but with the support of determined donors, committed host companies and a new visa partnership, the Scholars team are proud of the progress made this year and will continue to build on it. We hope to double the number of opportunities available in Canada in 2018.”

Saltire Scholars are fully funded through supporters and donors of the Saltire Foundation charity which aims to find, fuel and spark the next generation of business leaders in Scotland. The Saltire Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland.

The Saltire Foundation has been aided by supporters in Canada including Les Hutchison, a Global Scot and Vice Chair and Director of ShawCor Ltd, the Canadian energy services company. Les maintains strong links to Scotland and supports Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Programmes as he wants to support the economic, social and cultural development of Scotland.

The 10th cohort is the largest yet with 165 participants, up from 142 in 2016. Scotland’s leading internship programme has grown significantly since it launched in 2007 with just six participants. The 2017 cohort has students representing 15 of Scotland’s Universities across 10 countries and is 57% female and 43% male.