It is now the final day of my internship and it has been an enjoyable and very useful six weeks. I am pleased that I have successfully fulfilled my main objective and was able to hand the final draft of guidance on student handbooks for undergraduate and post-graduate taught programmes to my manager. Yesterday I went out for lunch with my colleagues from the Registry (Policy) division and in the afternoon I had my exit interview and lessons learnt discussion with my manager. This was a great way to close the project and reflected the well-structured and very clear nature of the entire internship.
One of things that has surprised me most is my suitability to working in an office environment. I had previously assumed that working in an office would be rather dull; however, my colleagues were all very friendly and welcoming and I never felt out of place. It was nice that I had the opportunity to set up meetings with various stakeholders, because this enabled be to see other parts of the university and meet a wide range of people. An example of one of these meeting was one that I set up with Library Services. The purpose of this meeting was to understand exactly what a handbook should ideally contain with regard to Library Services and reading lists. The outcome of this meeting was the agreement that the head of Library Services would send me a piece of text which would be in accordance with the QAA guidelines that could be included in our guidance and thus copied into every handbook from 2015 onwards. This should make compiling future handbooks considerably easier. I have also enjoyed talking about football with some of my colleagues and watching the progression of the new sports hall – I have a great view from my office in Ash house.
A few weeks ago I gave a presentation to members of the Careers Network on the subject of my experience as an intern. This was the last of four training sessions which were ran as part of the Birmingham University Internship Programme (BUIP) and allowed me to consolidate various skills which I had learnt over the other three sessions. As part of my presentation I had to discuss why a graduate should consider a career in higher education. I originally envisaged that this question would be difficult to answer; however, as I gave the matter some thought I realised that a combination of the variety of roles that are offered, the beautiful location, the room and opportunities for personal development, and the opportunity to view the university as an institution from a different perspective make a career in higher education a very appealing prospect. Indeed, following my internship I am definitely going to research career opportunities within the University of Birmingham.
I have had a really wonderful six weeks in the Registry department and I feel like I have made a valuable contribution in producing guidance on student handbooks. It has been very interesting to meet so many different people and I really appreciated how well structured my internship was. I have made some good friends here and definitely hope to keep in touch!