Alba Orbital's Intern Program

Alba Orbital runs an annual summer internship program. Could this be for you? To find out more - here is Hayley Valentine, an International Business Management and French student from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. She reflects upon her recent position as marketing intern at our office:


Describe your role as an intern.

I assisted Alba Orbital’s sales and marketing activities alongside Business Development manager Andrew Paliwoda. We aimed to sell the remaining space on the Cluster 2 launch of the latest nano-satellite platform, Unicorn 2. With a particular focus on web marketing, I also hoped to increase public awareness of Alba Orbital, especially in the higher education sector as the main target market.


What did your role entail?

During my two weeks, I focused on the creation of online content for marketing purposes. I had to initially familiarise myself with basic jargon and knowledge on space technology itself. I was completely new to this exciting industry. Working alongside a skilled team of engineers, I began to write various blog articles for the company’s website, covering topics such as PocketQubes for education, Unicorn-1, as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Alba Orbital’s partnerships. I interviewed CEO Tom Walkinshaw for first hand market research to support the content of these articles. I was able to clarify information on the company’s current market position as well as its visions, values and future objectives. I spent a few days on producing a mailing list of potential contacts for an upcoming press release. This was then prioritised into the most relevant journalists who we could contact. I also had access to the marketing automation tool MailChimp. Here, I sent out email updates to Alba Orbital’s subscribers as an announcement on recent company activity. I later analysed the web design and content of the launch page, trying to find key areas of improvement where we could increase traffic, in other words, sales on the upcoming launch. As university academics seem to be Alba Orbital’s main target market, I created targeted brochures and posters to promote PocketQubes as valuable educational platforms for both research and teaching purposes. Finally, I comprised an in-depth SWOT analysis which reflected upon my observations and experience of Alba Orbital.


Discuss the challenges you faced.

As a business student, my main challenge lay in trying to get my head around the space technology that Alba Orbital uses. It was not important for me to understand the mechanics but I felt the duty to understand the product before I could produce any marketing materials. Space is also an industry I knew nothing about which meant that I conducted a large amount of research during my first few days in the office. I see challenge as a positive - my limits were tested and I learnt a lot. It helped me to work more creatively.


What did you learn?

As previously mentioned, I learnt about the basics of space and its industry. Most importantly, in terms of business, I can now say that I am more confident in the field of marketing. For instance, I had practise in copywriting, marketing automation tools and formal interviews. I learnt about the key techniques that startup companies adopt to attract its prospectus markets. I applied academic theory to a real-life environment. Through professional feedback, I also learnt about myself as a worker: my strengths and weaknesses. I believe that this internship will help my progression into fourth year in terms of future learning prospects.


How did this opportunity benefit you?

An internship really sets you out. The benefits are undeniable. I now have a better idea of what to expect from the working world and what is expected of me. I have discovered new interests in business which I am excited to explore after graduation. I gained great experience for my CV in an industry that I did not ever consider working for and can confidently say that I learnt much more than I ever would in a lecture theatre.


What do you feel that you brought to Alba Orbital?

I hope that my work was able to benefit the company in some way, whether it be in general awareness of PocketQubes and their launch opportunities, or in the sales themselves. Only time will tell. In any case, I tried my best to work hard and felt a responsibility to fulfil the company’s objectives of this role.


How did you find out about this program?

The role was advertised through my university’s careers service. I had left it so late to find a summer internship that I was delighted to hear about this internship


Would you recommend this program to other students?

Yes, definitely! What was asked of me was rather challenging at times but manageable. I was made to feel very welcome in the workplace. The team is both friendly and laid back. I felt as though my opinions were valued and respected which I appreciate given that it was my first ever time working in a business.


Do you see a career in space?

I personally am not sure if I have enough interest in this industry to pursue it. As a business graduate, I think that it would be a challenging field to crack. However, that is not to say that I would right it off. I am very grateful for this opportunity. It is definitely the up and coming marketplace to watch.


If you are interested in taking part, please send your CV to with the subject line ‘Intern’.