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Intern stories: Saltire Foundation internship in Dubai

The SIE Interns are an ambitious lot! Not content to slack off during summer,  many spend their time running their own business ventures or getting involved with other internships. This week, we have a special guest blog from Monika Gopal, our 2015  University of Stirling intern, who has just completed an internship with the Saltire Foundation in Dubai.


This summer I spent eight weeks working in Dubai as a Marketing and Communications Intern for OPITO International.

During my internship I was given ownership of three projects in different areas of marketing and encouraged to contribute to strategic-level meetings with the team. High expectations were set from the start as I was given real responsibility and tight deadlines. This was challenging and equally rewarding; exactly what I expected from an internship through The Saltire Foundation.

Living in Dubai for eight weeks gave me the opportunity to engage with people of different nationalities from different cultures. At work it was great understanding how an international business operates, a concept that I couldn’t fully grasp until I worked and experienced a new culture. The vibrant and social side to Dubai made it the perfect place to explore outside of work and I had great company to do this with as over the summer I was lucky enough to form friendships with people from across the world.

Top of the Burj Khalifa!

With a friend already living in Dubai, and great support network at work, I settled in quickly and found the transition from Scotland very easy. This was helped as OPITO International is a Scottish company with many people in the office hailing from Aberdeen. Inside and outside of work, the people were so friendly and I think this is because as expats, they remember what it was like for them when they moved to Dubai.

My internship has allowed me to grow personally and professionally, and develop a global outlook. Moreover, the skills that I have gained in using creative software, market research, planning and communication, and the industry knowledge that I have accumulated, have ensured that I will leave university as a well-rounded marketing graduate. This is why gaining an internship through The Saltire Foundation was my highest priority for the summer of my penultimate year and it has exceeded every expectation that I set.

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Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai is just one location you could end up if you apply for The Saltire Foundation’s internship programme and wherever you go, you know you will be entrusted with real responsibility and your opinion will be valued. Also your connection to The Saltire Foundation doesn’t end after the summer as after this you become part of its Alumni Network filled with inspiring students, graduates and future leaders. If this isn’t a good enough reason to consider applying then I don’t know what is!

If anyone is considering applying and has any questions or queries then please get in touch, I would love to help!

Thank you, Monika!

Want more information on the Saltire Foundation Scholar programme?  Visit the website.


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