Intern-view with Leah Hancel


7 August 2023


What does a partnership with the 10,000 Black Interns scheme mean for us as an organisation?


It means affording opportunities, providing exposure, and offering guidance that may not have otherwise been attainable.


Young black people are not given the opportunities their white counterparts get, so it’s our duty to partner with schemes like 10,000 Black Interns to create equity in the industry.


Our summer programme is the perfect place to gain the confidence, skills, and experience needed to launch an exciting career and break down barriers in finance.


Leah Hancel, intern in our London office, joined the programme through the scheme, and stars in the third instalment of our Intern-views series.


Where are you at in your studies?

I’ve just graduated from Queen Mary University of London. I studied Economics, Finance, and Management.


What are your hobbies or what do you do for fun?

My hobbies are reading and going to the gym. I like to try new activities with my friends too.


What made you apply for an internship through the 10,000 Black Interns scheme?

I wanted to gain insight into the finance industry – it’s often hard to do so when you have nobody in your network to guide the way. 10,000 Black Interns supports your application from start to finish, then providing pre-internship training. I chose to apply because it offered clear direction, access to companies in finance, and how to secure a role there.


What’s your role and what are your responsibilities at Saltgate?

I’m an intern in the accounting department, working with the client Europa. I focus on checksheets, invoice updates, cashbooks, investor queries, and any other tasks that help accounting team to serve client needs.


How are you finding it at Saltgate? What are you enjoying?

Saltgate has a very welcoming team. Everybody is happy to spend time explaining the answers to any questions you have, despite the busy period.


What’s been the best experience you’ve had as an intern at Saltgate so far?

I’ve enjoyed the morning training sessions hosted by the Saltgate team. I particularly enjoyed learning more about Excel, private equity, and the professional qualifications Saltgate sponsor. All these sessions have been very informative, and I’m very appreciative of the time people take out of their busy schedule to provide them.


What’s been the most surprising thing?

I was surprised to learn London is the smallest office out of the three. Usually London is where finance businesses are headquartered in my past experiences.


What’s your favourite part of Saltgate culture?

Saltgate has a very friendly culture. Immediately you feel comfortable approaching the team, no matter their seniority, to ask questions and get guidance on tasks.


How do you think this programme is helping young black people who are looking to start their career?

Programmes like 10,000 Black Interns are extremely important to give insight into career paths young black professionals are considering. Often, we have little or no connections within our networks to aid our career choices. It’s important we have an avenue to get our foot through the door. It gives us a chance to gain experience, access to jobs, and hopefully to help other black professionals we know in the future.


How important is it for companies to team up with programmes like 10,000 Black Interns?

Companies have direct access to talent from minority backgrounds, improving their diversity. Diverse thought is important because it fosters innovation within teams and throughout the organisation. It also creates a refreshing work culture as it increases the cultural capital and empowers people to mix who otherwise aren’t in the same circle.
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