8 July 2022

Carbon Internship Programme - Interview with Cara Gardiner

How did you learn about Carbon and the internship programme?

I first learned of the Carbon Internship Programme when I was in my third year of university as a business student in Dundee. I was aware of Carbon as a company and I was given the chance to meet with Barry O’Neill, Investment Director. We discussed the various internship opportunities that Carbon offers. I took part in the internship last year but due to Covid, it was all online via Teams, so it was a fantastic opportunity this year for me to go into the office and experience a face-to-face working environment.

What roles and responsibilities do you have on the programme?

As an Intern, I was exposed to different parts of the business and several teams within it which allowed me to understand the operations and internal running of Carbon. This was an area that I found particularly interesting as I realised how important culture is to the business and how ingrained it is to the successful day-to-day operations.

I also had the opportunity to support the Planning and Client Services teams. One of the main things I learned in this area was how to produce information for clients. I used the opportunity to sit in on meetings and ask my colleagues questions to gain a greater technical understanding of the different areas of advice we give.

How does this year compare to last year?

This is the second year that I have completed the internship programme. The first year was during the COVID-19 Pandemic so I worked from home over Teams which was something that the whole team were getting used to. This year has been great as I’ve been able to experience working in a professional environment and meet my colleagues face-to-face. I’ve learned to adapt to both styles of working but I’ve definitely preferred working in the office as everyone on the team was helpful, friendly, and welcoming.

What plans do you have for the future?

In the immediate term, I will return to university to get my degree, but the Internship Programme has helped me realise how much I enjoyed working with Carbon. I’d like to apply for the Carbon Graduate Scheme and work towards a job as a Financial Planner. Ultimately, over the next few years I would like to gain further experience in the financial services sector and grow my confidence in a professional setting. Partaking in these internships with Carbon Financial has led me to research the CII exams and I’m looking into these as a step on my future career path.

Working 9-5 each day enabled me to preview working life within the financial industry and understand how my colleagues manage ever changing client and work demands.

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