Environmental Consultancy Maloney Associates rates Santander Internship scheme “outstanding”
Stafford-based Maloney Associates is an energy and environmental management consultancy, focusing on helping their clients to be more sustainable, meet important legislation and increase profit. They have a wide range of clients, including Manchester United Football Club and the Royal Mail, and have been recruiting interns from Keele University through the Santander internship scheme for a number of years.
The Keele Internships team recently spoke with Lesley Maloney, Director of Maloney Associates, and Chris Mason, one of their more recent interns, who explain the benefits of the programme.
Why did you decide to offer internships and how have they assisted your business?
Lesley: “Maloney Associates has had eight interns over the last seven years, and all of these have been kept on after the initial ten-week internship period. I would say they have helped us immensely, bringing their academic theory to practice and I feel we have assisted them greatly in future employment.”
What skills have the interns brought to the positions?
Lesley: “They bring fresh new ideas and methods, and we make sure that they are encouraged to speak to us about any suggestions and ideas they may have whilst working with us to build our business. A benefit for us has been the opportunity to recruit students with relevant skills and a real interest in environmental consultancy - many of the interns graduated from Keele’s Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology Masters course. With their contributions, we have been able to build various platforms on which to grow our business.”
Were there any unexpected benefits or outcomes for the company as a result of the internship?
Lesley: “The quality of candidates that were put forward! We were just blown away at the sheer calibre of the students and graduates that were made available to us.”
Would you consider offering another internship position in the future?
Lesley: “Yes, absolutely! We continually take on new staff through this programme and we have find it is a brilliant way of nurturing our staff. By giving them a start through the internship, it’s like a ‘try before you buy’ scenario – it enables them to see if they like what we do and vice-a-versa.”
What advice would you give to other businesses thinking about offering an internship?
Lesley: “Definitely use the programme – it really does bring out the best of what Keele University has in terms of quality students and graduates, and we have found that the Internship team work really hard to find the right fit for your organisation. We do believe that the internship programme is so valuable in growing our business and as a local employer.”
Do you have any comments regarding the interactions you had, before, during or after the internships, with the Internship team at Keele University?
Lesley: “Keele’s Internship team are outstanding, and the Santander funding is a perfect way to help partner SMEs with talented graduates. Out of the programme we have had some outstanding employees who are still with us today, such as Joanne, our Energy Bureau Manager, who joined us May 2014 as an MSc graduate with no experience in the field of energy and environmental management and has grown into a very experienced and diligent valued member of staff.”
Chris, why did you apply for an internship and how was the application process?
Chris: “It is not always easy to get a job right away after leaving university, so I saw this as a good way to build my experience and learn some new skills in the process - the internship required a lot of the skills that my degree had taught me. The whole process was very simple and remarkably quick – after seeing the advert I typed up my cover letter and CV and sent them off, and within a few days I was in the office having my interview. I usually find interviews quite daunting but meeting with Maloney Associates was completely the opposite and I felt much more comfortable. Overall the process was extremely easy and took less than two weeks from applying to starting.”
What has been the highlight of your internship? Are there any particular things you are proud of?
Chris: “The highlight of my internship so far was working on a Carbon Emissions database for a large international business. It involved creating a database so that they could enter their energy consumption into and it would calculate the exact amount of carbon emissions they were producing - it was a big task and took a lot to get over the line but it was the first time I had been given a big responsibility and to know the client appreciated it made it a real highlight for me.”
How has the internship affected your career plans?
Chris: “It has given me more confidence when going into the job market and selling myself to employers. It changed me from someone who is just out of university with no work experience to a recent graduate with a degree and industry-related experience.”
For information on the opportunities available through the Keele-Santander programme please visit www.keele.ac.uk/internships. Details of other business support programmes available through Keele University’s Business Gateway can be found at www.keele.ac.uk/business.
For information on the Santander Universities commitment to Higher Education, please visit www.santander.co.uk/uk/santander-universities.