Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions – Bella Smith

In 2020 Stonehage Fleming joined over 700 companies to participate in the 10,000 Black Interns scheme. The programme, dedicated to offering over 2,000 internships to black students across the UK each year for five consecutive years, aims to help young adults kick start their career and improve diversity in the City for the long term.

In June, our Investment Strategy & Research team welcomed third year French and Philosophy student Bella Smith for her six-week placement. We caught up with Bella to find out how it went.

What were your first impressions of Stonehage Fleming? Everyone was so nice! All the people I met actively took an interest in me and were really friendly and down to earth. I was also impressed by the unique service offering of the firm.

What was your top lesson learned? It may sound like a cliché but time management. Carrying out the majority of my internship remotely meant I learned a lot about managing myself independently and had to be proactive in problem solving. It has been steep a learning curve but a very positive one.

What did you enjoy most? The pace of work and the opportunity to meet so many different people in the business. Everyone was generous with their time, which enabled me to gather a thorough understanding of the firm and the industry in which it operates. I feel that the company’s values of Family, Excellence and Moral Courage are truly reflected through the people and the culture.

What advice would you give others on the internship scheme? It’s not only about the work you do but also about meeting and relating to your colleagues and wider network. You need the technical know-how but the softer skills are just as important. You only get out what you put in, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.