As I approach the halfway point of my internship, I’ve realised just how quickly the time has passed and how much I have achieved. I’ve met some fantastic people during my time within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, and improved some of the skills that I already have and also learned some new ones.
I expected being an intern would definitely be a challenge, and it has been. Its very fast paced, and after you’ve worked with a lot of people, you find you have a lot of emails to deal with first thing in the morning before you can start any work you had planned. Its certainly interesting and something I’d recommend to anyone who is considering applying for an internship.
So far, I’ve tackled a variety of tasks, which have required the application of a number of skills. During the production of my first Health and Safety video for first year lab inductions, I used almost half a dozen individual pieces of software to process audio and video to produce a high quality result. This video is now going to be used in September when the new undergraduates join the University and is really good material to add to a CV. This was a task I undertook and organized myself, away from any outside help from line managers and the like.
The independence is something you have to get used to. Simon, my manager, initially set me a few tasks to complete, however, once he was satisfied I was relatively capable, I was free to source my own work and complete it by myself. Arranging meetings is something strange as well; you’re not treated as a student, but as a work colleague by the people you’re working with, even if they’re teaching fellows or managers. It definitely helps you build confidence talking to a different group of people everyday once you’ve got a couple of meetings under your belt.
With that in mind, its nice that as an intern that if you feel you can’t do something, there’s plenty of help available. Simon gave me contact details of technical training for a couple of things. Fortunately, I haven’t had to use any of it yet, and I feel like I’ve dealt with the majority of issues I’ve faced really well. The work is challenging, but not impossible, and certainly enjoyable for me.
I’ve still got half the internship to go, and hope to be continuing to work hard and contributing towards LES. Currently, I’m working on a Health and Safety document which relates to the British Geological survey. It’s over 100 pages long. I’m also improving the layout of Risk Assessment forms to encourage academics to stop cutting corners. Hopefully, LES will get as much from me as I have from them, and its going to be exciting to see my work being applied in September, providing the results I collect from the survey I’m using to evaluate my work are positive. My work may even have far reaching effects, as people from the Collaborative Teaching Project have been expressing an interest in the evaluation of my work, and the data I gather regarding it’s success.
I’m really enjoying my time working in LES; its very rewarding and challenging, and everyone I work with seems to be very satisfied with their jobs. I actually think its making me consider a career in Higher Education, which I hadn’t previously considered. I can only hope the remainder of the internship is as rewarding and challenging as the experience has been so far.
By William James