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Experiencing an empowering company culture with the Saltire Foundation

By Leah McGarry - Posted on 23 July 2015

Leah McGarry, Accounting and Finance student at Strathclyde Business School, shares her experience of interning in Florida, through the Saltire Foundation.

My name is Leah and I study Accounting and Finance at Strathclyde Business School. I’m lucky enough to be interning this summer with the third largest contract manufacturer in the world, Jabil Circuit, through the Saltire Foundation.

The Saltire Foundation is used to fuel, spark and build future leaders. As soon as I heard about the opportunities that were up for grabs, I was inspired and knew I wanted to become a Saltire Scholar.

The application process was challenging, especially at the later stages when you knew you were up against extremely talented and driven students. When I was granted the internship at Jabil, I couldn't believe how lucky I was and felt incredibly grateful to both the Saltire Foundation and my new employer.

Jabil Circuit offers a number of B2B services that aim to give its clients a competitive advantage including global supply chain management, product innovation, product development and manufacturing.  Its headquarters are in St Petersburg, Florida, which is where my internship is based.

Jabil was my first choice and the financial reporting intern position fitted me perfectly. The company has an amazingly unique organisational culture, unlike any I had experienced before. The business is very focused upon employee empowerment but has some quirky aspects too.  The working ‘uniform’ includes jeans; there are two alligator mascots that live in the lake at the entrance of the company; and every Friday the entire team finishes at 4.30pm and gathers on the dock to drink beer. I don't even like beer but who wouldn't enjoy that? Everyone is very approachable. Employees are constantly interacting with and learning from each other, which is the type of environment I love to work in.

Jabil claims to have a ‘work hard, play hard’ type of culture, and it certainly lives up to this. The office is always buzzing with a positive working atmosphere and everyone really puts their all into everything they do. Plus, the various fun events you can take part in, like drinks on the dock and bowling tournaments, bring employees from different departments together, creating a collaborative workforce.

During my time interning at Jabil Circuit, I have a number of goals I’m hoping to achieve. Having my first experience away from home in a completely different culture, I’m looking to grow as a person. I plan to challenge myself by taking on difficult tasks and making sure I complete them to the best of my ability. I’ve been asking a lot of questions during my time here - there can be silly questions, unrelated questions and unexpected questions which often spark discussion and lead to a whole new outlook on a topic. Most importantly, questions highlight your enthusiasm and curiosity. These are crucial qualities all interns need to illustrate as the whole point of your experience is to learn something new.

Lastly, I want to add value to everything I do at Jabil. I want to be able to walk away after 10 weeks knowing I haven’t only strengthened my own experience and skills, but have really contributed something to the company too.

How do you think the ‘work hard, play hard’ culture benefits an organisation? Share your comments below.

Find out more about The Saltire Foundation here.

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