Online development at Careers Network, a BUIP internship – final thoughts

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Me during my final presentation

Today is the final day of my seven-week internship.  It has been a very dynamic period of time, and I had much more responsibility than I thought I would get. One of the most enjoyable things about this experience was the diversity of tasks – no day was ever the same. My technical abilities were stretched, and I was often forced to find creative solutions to problems that were new to the Careers Network team. I am very happy of the freedom that was given to me by my line manager Marcus, which greatly stimulated my productivity.

To make sure I don’t get a boatload of e-mails from perplexed members of staff while on my (well-earned) holiday, I’m currently trying to put together a handover document. But, seeing how this internship has made me very reflective of my experience and future career, it seems like a good time to write this blog post instead.

The user and staff feedback for the online improvements I have made is overwhelmingly positive, and gives me great satisfaction for my work. It is for the first time that I am working not for myself (as part of coursework/personal interest), but for the amazing student community that University of Birmingham has. Working “for the greater good”, and seeing tangible outcomes of your activities is what makes people so happy about working in HE.

Throughout this seven-week period, I have worked with the web content that Careers Network provides, unwillingly (at first) familiarizing myself with it. I feel that this has given me a great understanding of issues around employability, making me form a general idea about the graduate job market. I would recommend every student to have, at least, a quick read-through.

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Impromptu selfie with the Information Team

In BUIP, there is a very strong emphasis on the enhancement of the students’ skills. We were allocated time to attend interactive training sessions led by Carl Jukes, one of our careers advisers. These sessions offered me an insight into what employers are looking for, which is particularly useful since I will be applying for a placement year soon.

All in all, the BUIP internship has been an amazing experience. Getting the job was rewarding in and of itself, considering the highly competitive nature. But there was no time for me to rest on my laurels. I am grateful for the opportunity to practice my technical skills – relevant work experience looks great on any CV. But, as I mentioned before, I consider that this internship has helped me develop as a professional, above all. I now possess (subjectively) excellent communication and organisational skills, and feel much more confident in my abilities.

If you are reading these words contemplating whether you should apply for BUIP, just go ahead and do it. As one of the other interns this year said, “Summer is generally a time of regression, not development”. I recommend to all students to seize this opportunity.

By Victor Darvariu

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