The summer internship programme: you never know where it can take you …

Rob Morgan (MA 2016) describes how he applied for a summer internship with the University while he was an undergraduate here and why he would urge other students to do the same.

“While I was a student at St Andrews, many of my peers applied to the summer internship programme and gained all sorts of wonderful work experience, ranging from banking in London to politics in Washington, D.C. to tagging sharks and diving with turtles in the Caribbean or Asia.

“For me, however, the University’s Lean Team was the only place to be. When I worked there in the summer of 2015, it was part of the larger Change Unit – the group devoted to improving efficiency and managing the transformation of the University, both digitally and physically.

“During my six weeks with the Lean Team I felt like my contribution was both valued and valuable. I rewrote the materials used for Lean Facilitator training, devised a method of measuring and evaluating the benefits of Lean projects and attended a five-day training session for executives from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. As a result of working on these projects, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills I had gained to both my academic and domestic life.


Facilitating the Paper Plane Game with staff from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana

“As it turned out, Lean was to be more than just an internship for me. Part of the way through my fourth year there was a reshuffle and St Andrews Lean Consulting (or SALC as we call it) was created. After I graduated, I spent an entire year with SALC talking to, learning from and educating people about Lean and its benefits, and not just in a higher education setting. We spent a lot of time with charities and private sector companies and each time the results were the same: processes were smoother, waste was removed and colleagues felt more engaged and more connected with each other. My own organisation and planning became much more effective.

“The only potential downside of being so involved in Lean was that it didn’t necessarily stop at the office – the principles tended to take over my domestic life, too, which my girlfriend and flatmate didn’t always appreciate!

“I would encourage other students to apply for the summer internship programme with the University – you never know where it can take you. I’ve now left St Andrews, but the knowledge that I gained – first through my internship and then subsequently through SALC  – will be with me forever in whatever I do.”

Through his internship, Rob gained skills that he now applies throughout his life, and he retains fond memories of the University and his time working with SALC. He is now studying for a master’s degree at the University of Liverpool.

Watch Rob and his team co-facilitating a five-day Rapid Improvement event with Thornton’s Law.