Computer Science
University of Aberdeen
Year of event: 
Every single person I’ve met at Skyscanner has been extremely welcoming and more than willing to help.

Do you remember your first day at your first proper job? The inevitable nerves of an unfamiliar workplace, meeting a whole slew of new people and learning a whole new set of rules? All that is pretty intimidating in and of itself but now also imagine you’ve:

  • Somehow managed to beat out the competition to become the Software Engineering Undergraduate of the Year, despite facing literally the best undergraduates UK universities have to offer
  • Been handed a very fancy award by the lovely Myra Fulton, VP of Engineering at Skyscanner
  • Cried in front of the Sue Perkins, who hosted the event
  • Thrown everything you own into a very flimsy cardboard box to move to Edinburgh at short notice
  • and finally:

  • Been told you’re currently the ONLY intern in the whole of Skyscanner
  • ...and you’ll have an idea of how I felt on my first day. No pressure, right?

    My first week at Skyscanner was both easier and more challenging than I was expecting. My first morning was full of scheduled onboarding sessions, meaning I got to avoid the panic of being left alone and clueless until at least lunch. These sessions lead me through everything from setting up my laptop to where to get my morning cup of tea. Luckily for my poor overworked brain cells, I was also sent a follow up email with all the same information and a list of next steps.

    The rest of the week was spent clinging to my to-do list like a lifeline; completing various training modules and getting to know my new team members. A few of them were even kind enough to set time aside to talk to me about their experiences at Skyscanner.

    Despite my fears of not being able to live up to the standards of a real industry job I did almost no coding in my first week. When I did start working on real tickets, I was paired with other members of the team. All of them were and still are happy to talk me through what we’re looking at and what we’re trying to achieve.

    It’s not just handholding for the newbie either. I was surprised to learn that engineers at Skyscanner often work in pairs when someone needs help, or even just another set of eyes, either over Zoom or in person.

    This is all part of Skyscanner’s culture and values. Something I’d heard about but not really understood until I got here and experienced it for myself. There’s a massive emphasis here on growing and developing your own skills and supporting others to grow and develop theirs. Knowing that no one was going to think I was an idiot for not knowing how things worked right off the bat was a huge relief. No one even batted an eye at my admittedly less than stellar JavaScript skills.

    And this kindness and patience extends far beyond just my own team. Every single person I’ve met at Skyscanner has been extremely welcoming and more than willing to help. From the workplace team - who are happy to give me directions to the stationary cupboard for the third time in a row - to the people I met before I even started at Skyscanner through the Undergraduate of the Year competition - who have continued to reach out to see how I’m getting on.

    I still have a lot to learn about this job and about Skyscanner as a company, it honestly feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface. But the knowledge that I am surrounded by people who are willing and ready to support me on that journey certainly makes everything a lot less intimidating.

    I’ve no doubt that the 24 grads starting across engineering, finance, marketing, and BAR in September will be lucky enough to receive the same warm welcome. Unfortunately, I’ll be too busy back at university finishing my final year to join in but there’s always next year. It’s never too early to bookmark Skyscanner’s early careers page after all!

    Truthfully, it may be tricky to squeeze everything I’d want to into the ten weeks I have left of my internship but if I’ve learnt anything it’s that there’ll be plenty of people standing ready to lend a hand as I try.

    Memorable quote: 
    Every single person I’ve met at Skyscanner has been extremely welcoming and more than willing to help.