A University of Aberdeen law and accountancy student has secured an international work placement with one of the world’s leading law firms, Pinsent Masons, in Hong Kong as part of the SaltireFoundation undergraduate programme.
Third year student Christina Johnston, 21, originally from County Down, Northern Ireland but now settled in Aberdeen, beat off hundreds of other applicants to secure the place.
The programme, open to high-calibre undergraduates in their penultimate year, aims to equip participating students with a positive, can-do attitude and improve their employability.
The eight-week internships enable 34 undergraduates, selected from over 300 applicants, to work at the international branches of influential companies. These include Bayer in Germany, IBM in China, RBS Securities in Japan, GSK Singapore, Wood Group in Houston and the Boston office of Liberty Mutual.
The SaltireFoundation is an independent charitable organisation which has the support of some of the world’s foremost multi-nationals, the GlobalScot network and the backing of Scottish Enterprise.
Christina said: "The SaltireFoundation's undergraduate programme was the chance of my lifetime. The opportunities to experience business in an international culture with a leading law firm are rare and I'm looking forward to the challenge of being an ambassador for Scotland."
The combined support of the programme from Pinsent Masons offices in Scotland and Hong Kong is backed up some of the world’s foremost multi-nationals, the GlobalScot network and Scottish Enterprise.
Vincent Connor, a GlobalScot and Pinsent Masons Head of Asia Pacific said:
"We are delighted to have Christina join us at Pinsent Masons in Hong Kong. Pinsent Masons has a long history of providing international opportunities to lawyers in all our offices. As a GlobalScot, I am particularly proud that we are supporting the development of Scotland's native young talent."
Peter Fantom, Head of the University of Aberdeen’s Careers Service, added: “We were thrilled to hear that Christina had been awarded a prestigious SaltireFoundation internship at Pinsent Masons, which will provide her with an unrivalled insight into one of the world’s top companies, prior to her completing her degree of LLB (Honours) with Accountancy in 2010.”
The Head of the University of Aberdeen School of Law, Professor Margaret Ross agreed: “The School is delighted with Christina’s success and certain that her combined law degree will provide an excellent platform for her future career.”
Irene Johnstone, executive director of the SaltireFoundation added: “The SaltireFoundation’s aim is to create a pipeline of entrepreneurial business people ready to enhance Scotland’s commercial performance. We are confident the undergraduates on our programme will go on to achieve great things.
“Our undergraduates are given an invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the professional world’s greatest success stories, and we are privileged to have the support of the international business community in order to offer these invaluable internship placements.”
With only limited places available, the programme standards are high. Selection is based on individual merits, with academic achievement being only one of the factors considered and considerable emphasis placed on enthusiasm, initiative and entrepreneurial promise.