Scott’s summer placement as a ‘Growth Hacker’ at Skyscanner


Hello Scott, can you tell me about yourself?

Sure, I’m Scott Grigor and I’m originally from Aberdeen. I started studying BSc Computing at Edinburgh Napier in 2013, but quickly decided it wasn’t for me – there was too much coding! Luckily, I was able to transfer onto BSc, Business Information Systems, which was attractive because it still has technology focus, but it’s more about design, planning and management.

Where were you on summer placement?

I was on summer placement with Skyscanner, working in a team called the ‘Traveller Communication Squad’. Basically, we’re in charge of email marketing, push notifications and price alerts, all to make sure that the company is keeping in touch with the customer base.

How did you find the summer placement?

Well, for a start I knew that I wanted one well before I started applying! I’d decided not to do the year long placement that’s an optional part of my course, and so I had my eye on the summer between 3rd and 4th year to get an experience that would look good on my CV. I considered applying for summer camp in the US before hearing about Skyscanner’s internship programme. Skyscanner are probably one of the best known and regarded companies in the tech sector in Scotland, so I was interested straight away. I filled out the online application form last November, then waited until the following March when I had a Skype interview. I was asked along to an assessment centre at the company’s offices straight afterwards. There, we had to work on a group presentation, complete some individual tasks and then have a one-to-one interview. I was one of the lucky ones who was got the job!

Tell us about your role

My job title was ‘Growth Hacker’. Everything at Skyscanner is done along ‘lean’ and ‘agile’; principles, aimed at getting good work done quickly. Growth Hackers help to grow the number of users of the website by trying out new things, quickly! Our focus is on activating user interest, acquiring them as customers and retaining them as loyal users of the website into the future.

I worked on a few projects, two of the main ones were the Skyscanner Forum, where our goal was to increase use of the discussion forum on the website, and a Web Development project, where we had to design and implement some functionality on the website for product price alerts.

How do you think the experience will help you, once you graduate?

I already had some work experience via a part-time supermarket job, but the summer placement is something I’m really proud of and I’m making a lot of it on my CV. I feel that I’ve had a valuable chance to put my skills into practice during my studies – and learnt some good skills and industry practices on top. Getting the chance to do this while working in one of Scotland’s highest profile companies was great. I’ve met lots of new people and made good contacts, and I’ve got lots to talk about in future job interviews. And one of the best outcomes so far is that I’ve been kept on at Skyscanner for a part-time role in the final year of my degree, so it’s goodbye to supermarket shifts! It’s all been very valuable.

How do you feel about the future?

Positive! Now that I’ve had the summer placement I feel that I’ve got experience which puts me in a good position for applying for graduate jobs. And I’ve already been through a lot of the recruitment processes that big companies use, so I feel like I know the ropes.

Can you sum up your placement in three words?

Challenging, rewarding and fun.