The SilverDoor Placement Scheme – Experiencing London

The SilverDoor Placement Scheme – Experiencing London

The SilverDoor Placement Scheme – Experiencing London
6th June 2024

The SilverDoor Academy has been welcoming university students into our workforce for their industrial placements every year since the scheme began back in 2008. Our placement scheme is a chance for undergraduate students to develop their career path and take their first steps into a full-time working environment. 

We offer placement roles in our UK offices in London and Lancaster but our Academy students integrate fully into all teams across seven global offices, becoming an integral part of SilverDoor worldwide. With a willingness to learn new skills, gain work experience and meet new people, our placement students bring fresh energy and enthusiasm every year, with several returning to the company for a permanent role after graduating.  

One of endless opportunities offered as an Academy student at SilverDoor, in April our London team welcomed the seven Lancaster placements to spend a week experiencing the London placement life. After a jam-packed week, I sat down with my Lancastrian peers to discover their thoughts and takeaways from the trip.  

Left to right: Ella, Client Account Support; Jacob, Accounts Payable Support; Alex, Marketing Support; Savannah, Client Account Support; Harvey, Client Account Support; Perry, Junior Business Development Support; Jemma, Partner Relationships Support

What were you most excited about? 

Alex, Marketing Support - 'As I had visited the London office a couple of weeks prior for a Marketing team meetup, I was excited to show the Lancaster placements my navigational skills on the London Underground.'

Ella, Client Account Support - 'I was intrigued by how the London placement experience compared to ours up in Lancaster. We had met most of the London team at the SilverDoor Christmas party in Liverpool, but we were excited to spend some more quality time with everyone.' 

How was the journey down to London? 

Jacob, Accounts Payable Support - 'The journey down wasn't as smooth as we hoped…Our original train was terminated at our first stop in Preston, so we didn’t get down to London quite as quickly as expected!'

Jemma, Partner Relationships Support -'You're right Jacob, the journey was eventful and bringing two big suitcases definitely wasn't my wisest decision! But we all got there in one piece in the end and spirits were high as we were looking forward to the week ahead.'

What was the biggest difference between the two offices?

Ella, Client Account Support - 'Overall, aside from the office layout, there wasn't much difference between the office cultures. Day-to-day office life is the same with everyone collaborating, sharing ideas and working together.'

Perry, Junior Business Development Support - 'Going from a five-minute walk in Lancaster from the house to the office to a 40-minute tube commute was something I had to adjust to! I was happy to go back to my morning ‘lie ins’ upon returning to Lancaster.'

What was it like sitting with a different team and colleagues?

Jacob, Accounts Payable Support - 'As SilverDoor Finance’s management accountants are based in our London headquarters, it was good to get first-hand experience of that area of the business. This has been beneficial to my progression, allowing me to gain a wider understanding of the different careers in finance and how they operate.'

Perry, Junior Business Development Support - 'Although I talk with my colleague, Claire, every day on Teams, it was a great opportunity to meet face to face. Listening to her advice and learning from her was extremely valuable to my role.'

What was the best part of the week? 

Harvey, Client Account Support - 'On our first night in London we ended up at a bar near the office in Chiswick. After a couple of drinks and ice breakers, one thing led to another and by the end of the night we were salsa dancing with the locals on their monthly salsa night! That wasn’t something I expected to be doing when we first arrived to meet our southern colleagues.'

Savannah, Client Account Support - 'The best for me was our Thai lunch on Wednesday at a local spot in Chiswick. This was another opportunity for us to share stories and learn more about each other.'

What was the most memorable moment? 

Alex, Marketing Support - 'I personally thought Thursday night was the most memorable. We travelled into central London, crossed the river and headed to an outdoor food market to enjoy the weather. On our way home, a few of us couldn’t resist a quick pitstop to some classic tourist spots. These included the London Eye and Big Ben, which added to the fun and ended the night on a high!'

Jacob, Accounts Payable Support - 'Celebrating my 21st birthday in the capital! I had a great time exploring London during the day with my family who came to visit, and then I met up with the placements for an evening inspired by my favourite thing cricket. We went to a local indoor virtual cricket experience and I was definitely the best!'

Funniest moment of the week? 

Perry, Junior Business Development Support  - 'There were loads of funny moments over the week, many of which involved getting lost on the London Underground. Alex promised that he had learnt the ways of the tube from his last visit but, clearly, he still has a lot to learn!'

Alex, Marketing Support - 'Any property partner or client who has visited will know that SilverDoor’s London office is renowned for its multiple staircases, so there were a few occasions during the week where I got completely lost on the way to grab a drink from the kitchen. Eventually my team got concerned and came to the rescue!' 

Favourite day and why?

Ella, Client Account Support  - 'My favourite day was the evening of virtual cricket for Jacob's birthday. I must admit we weren’t the best at it, but we had to let Jacob win on his special day!'

What surprised you most about the experience? 

Jemma, Partner Relationships Support - 'James' ability to do a flip on the tube handles was very surprising! I also loved how many food options there were for lunch in Chiswick, it was such a treat.'

Harvey, Client Account Support  - 'The boys had a great laugh playing football in the garden at the London placement house on Tuesday night. We play football for charity every week after work in Lancaster but we were surprised by how good the London placements were, they really put us through our paces!'

What have you learnt from the experience? Has it increased your confidence? 

Savannah, Client Account Support - 'It's great meeting people face to face that you work with online. I feel more confident reaching out to my colleagues now and can collaborate far more freely knowing they have gotten to know me on a personal level.'

Would you recommend a placement at SilverDoor? 

Perry, Junior Business Development Support  - 'I would definitely recommend a placement at SilverDoor - it gives you a valuable taste of working life whilst also providing the opportunity to meet a whole range of new people. A year in the Academy will set you apart from other candidates when applying for future jobs and its an experience I think every university student should have.'

Jemma, Partner Relationships Support - 'A placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience working in a corporate environment and gives your career some direction. I'd definitely recommend the SilverDoor Academy if you're looking for a sociable placement.'

What was the most valuable takeaway from your time in London? 

Harvey, Client Account Support - 'A key takeaway for me was understanding the role of other employees and what their day-to-day job looks like – it really gives you a wider perception of the company and how it operates as a whole.'

Ella, Client Account Support - 'I would have to say the most valuable takeaway from my time in London was getting to experience what working in the capital is like as it’s so different to Lancaster. Also, getting to connect with people from different offices is an opportunity I am very grateful for in terms of networking and building relationships for my future career.'

What has this experience taught you about working life and overall work culture? 

Alex, Marketing Support - 'The week taught me that it is important to be adaptable and challenge yourself professionally. The key USP of SilverDoor is its friendly work culture, which has made my experience at the company an enjoyable one both inside and outside of work.'

Savannah, Client Account Support - 'The week in London, and the placement year as a whole, has been an amazing opportunity. I've learned so much professionally, but it’s taught me that the people around you are what make a job such a rewarding part of your life.'

 

If you would like more information about the SilverDoor Academy, you can download our informative brochure here.  

All our placement opportunities are listed on the careers page and, if you think you have what it takes, you can apply by sending your CV and cover letter to [email protected]. Be sure to include which role(s) and office you’re applying for and why you think you’re right for the position.


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