Internship – half way point blog
Waking up at 7 every morning was certainly not something I was used to. However, it was something I would have to learn to love – entering into a 9 to 5 job was something entirely new to me, and it is definitely different to pulling pints on the odd evening! The first few mornings were the most difficult to force myself out of bed on, but I think I have got the hang of it now (just).
I did not really know a great deal about what my day-to-day roles would be before I took up this position, only that I would be creating several new referencing guidelines and editing and improving on the current i-cite referencing website that the University of Birmingham offers its students. One of the main reasons for my application to this position was that it was to be my first real insight into the area of work that I would like to go into after university. Working within academia (but not lecturing or in a teaching position) has always been something that has intrigued me, and nothing has put me off so far. In fact, it has simply given me more encouragement to go looking for work within the university, be it in the library or elsewhere, as it would definitely be something that I enjoy doing.
Being a second year undergraduate on a course that is essay based, referencing is something I use on a regular basis. However, the referencing style that I use is a house-style type referencing style, and not one of the main referencing styles that I would have to write guidelines for to put on the new website. There lies my first problem! I would have to learn four new referencing styles from scratch in order for me to create an effective and successful referencing guide for the University of Birmingham. I think I have got my head around the various styles now, however there is still some confusion from time to time though!
Within this project I have been left much up to my own devices, which has been greatly appreciated. I have been allowed plenty of freedom in order to create the guidelines and improve on the website, with nobody standing over me telling me what to do or what not to do. My supervisor, Sue Stevens, has been absolutely fantastic and has helped me greatly when I have had queries or issues. She seems to be happy with my progress and the ideas that I have put forward, so hopefully she will be just as happy with the finished product at the end of the 8 weeks. I hope to do her proud!
There have been many skills that I have gained during the first half of my internship here. My time-management skills have improved no end, and I now feel comfortable setting myself regular targets and meeting these with plenty of time to spare. I have also improved my knowledge of an office environment, as I had never worked in an office previously. Sitting at a desk with my own computer has been something that I have had to get used to, but I can now go several hours without being distracted by YouTube, BBC Sport and so on, whereas if I tried to do this work at home I would be watching football highlights within minutes. My will-power is now second to none.
Furthermore, the Wednesday training workshops set up by the Careers Network have also been of great use. My CV is now looking more professional than ever, and I now have the essentials skills and knowledge to take into future interviews. Fingers crossed these interviews are a success as a result!
Referencing has never been the most interesting topic in the world, but the next few weeks will only get more interesting. The next stage for me is to create the website itself. Not only will this be the most interesting section of my placement, but it will be when I will truly see my ideas and hard work come into fruition. The plans are all in place and the documents have all been created. The images have been chosen, and everything is ready to go.
I’ve successfully reached the half-way point. Now for a week off to put my feet up and have some ‘well-earned’ lie-ins. Having said that, I am very much looking forward to coming back and finishing the project and see what all the hard work has been for. Onwards and upwards!
By Alex Jubb