Experience, Culture & Hands-On Learning: Q&A with Jamie Mands, FIS Intern
A student at Robert Gordon University, Jamie has been with FIS this year on a dedicated internship placement — gaining first-hand experience of an active business, and finding opportunities to apply what he's learned so far.
We caught up with Jamie recently to chat about his experience to date, his plans for the future and his wider interests beyond the world of work.
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FIS:It's been great to have you on board here at FIS — can you talk us through your background, where you grew up and what you studied?
Jamie: I was born in Arbroath, but we moved to Dubai when I was just 4 years old. From there, my family's career saw me relocate once again to Southeast Asia, spending seven years in Malaysia and a further four in Singapore.
In Singapore I undertook my A-Levels — studying Maths, Business and English Language. This was the beginning of my higher education which brought me back to Scotland, where I’ve been carrying out my Business & Management degree for the past 3 years.
With my Scottish roots and growing up in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, I've certainly had a unique upbringing — and I feel it has moulded and shaped me into the person I am today.
FIS: How did the internship with FIS come about?
JM: RGU offer a placement option which allows students to gain first-hand experience working within a business. I have to say, taking a different approach to learning really appealed to me.
Kenny Woods has been a close friend and work colleague to my dad, who’s recently started a new role here at FIS, which is ultimately how the internship came about. After speaking to Kenny and Gordon, the opportunity was clearly something we were both interested in and so I immediately contacted the University to arrange my placement.
FIS: Can you pinpoint one or two things that you've learned during your internship so far that you think will be particularly useful in the future?
JM: One thing I’ve learned in my time here at FIS is the importance of company culture. This is something that's executed perfectly at FIS — an inclusive and collaborative workspace. All employees are treated with respect, and most importantly people enjoy coming into the office every day.
FIS: What's the long-term plan? Do you have a particular career path in mind?
JM: One of the key benefits of a placement at FIS has been the opportunity to experience all facets of the business from top to bottom.
Gaining experience in operations, finance, sales and QHSEE has been such a unique experience that is unlikely to be found on most placements. This has had an impact on my future career aspirations, however nothing is certain.
Who knows! I may just come knocking on the door of FIS once finished my degree!
FIS: What are your interests outside of work?
JM: Sports has always played an important role in my life in terms of maintaining fitness and the social aspects that come with it. This is something I’ve carried on throughout university, representing RGU Rugby in the Granite City Challenge — where Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen University compete.
Three dislocations and an operation later... I’ve now moved on to golf in a desperate attempt to avoid any further injury! Little did I know, golf causes just as much pain on a bad day!
FIS: Could you sum up FIS as a business in three words?
JM: I would say, Innovative, Green, and Collective.
The innovation that goes on at FIS is quite exceptional. Marcus is constantly down in the lab formulating new solutions for an ever-evolving industry.
Crucially, this is also done with an underlying mission and standard. Chemical manufacturing is often seen as harmful for the environment, however FIS is the only chemical manufacturer in the UK to hold a Carbon Trust Standard. Ultimately the mission is smarter chemistry for a brighter future, focusing on the environment and reducing the impact chemicals have on the planet — FIS are always working hard to maintain the high standards of their 'green' reputation.
'Collective' describes the culture here at FIS, which welcomed me with open arms, and I can truly say I've taken under the wing by so many different colleagues here.
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