Ten weeks ago I began my job as a Postgraduate Induction Process Intern for the college of Life and Environmental Sciences. It was a very nerve-wracking and daunting experience and the task seemed like a massive challenge and I had no idea how I was going to be able to get it done. 10 weeks on I have completed my proposal and have learnt so much.
One of the most obvious changes is in my confidence levels, when I initially started having meetings with any member of staff I became a bundle of nerves who became preoccupied about thinking of all possibly ways I could mess up the meeting. After attending approximately 30 meetings in 10 weeks they no longer faze me. This will be so useful for my future career as almost any job will involve interactions with peers and colleagues.
Another learning curve for me was being in control of my own schedule and deadlines. When I initially started I was given a few loose deadlines and some meetings were organising but the rest was down to me. Since the initial meetings I have organised further meetings and have made my own deadlines to ensure my work was completed by the end of my internship. I also learned the importance of keeping these plans flexible as throughout the internship I was asked to complete other tasks that weren’t expected to occur or jobs we thought would take a long time were actually much quicker.
One great experience I was lucky to have the chance to participate in was the colleges away day where we went to the Vale and participated in team building activities. One of the tasks was for multiple groups to create a Picasso painting by each group doing an individual bit that when put together created the whole painting. This was made more difficult as only one member of the group could look at the image of the piece of the painting the group was trying to recreate. The member who could see the image was only allowed to see it for three lots of 2 minutes and then could only use words to describe what needed to be painted. This was a great task as it showed the importance of communication between groups as the group member who had seen the image needed to explain using clear and careful descriptions for the picture to be recreated accurately. It also showed that although you were only working in a small group, unless all the groups completed the task successfully the whole picture wouldn’t work, which is like a workforce.
I feel very privileged to have been offered this opportunity by the University, it has taught me so much and will help out in my future career without a doubt. I would recommend anyone considering an internship with the university to apply as it has taught me that I am capable of tasks that I never thought I would be.