Making the Most of it

Four weeks have already passed from my internship and I am dazzled by how much I have learned and experienced. My role within the Welcome International 2015 project is to ensure that all of our international students receive the best possible experience when arriving to the UK. From airport collections to cream teas and police registrations, I am joggling with a number of responsibilities and tasks.

Our Welcome Week 2015 focus is that no matter what the event we manage to provide a great service and student experience. Airport collections are probably central to my role, as I manage the whole event. We have provisioned 22 coaches for approximately 800 students running from three different airports within the UK. Compared to previous years, we have expanded our service to one additional airport and we have decided to run it on three additional dates. 2015 is the first year of such magnitude, so one of the key things I learned is that good quality planning is crucial to the success of the event. Student feedback and lessons learned from previous years are a great way to identify areas that can be improved upon and contribute to the overall Welcome 2015 experience.

During Welcome Week we are also organising two shuttle services for students arriving by train or coach into Birmingham. This the first time UoB is offering this service, so the key challenge is to carefully organise and ensure the success of the service. Being the first event of its type, there are no lessons learned that I could potentially draw upon.

Over the past few weeks, I have supported my team with the planning and logistics of various other activities such as police registrations and Biometric Residence Permits as part of the International Students’ visas and immigration requirement. This has been really helpful to understand what the team does and what the greater Welcome International 2015 week means for us. It has also been a great starting point to building relationships and getting to know everyone a bit better.

My biggest advice to anyone starting a new job would be to interact with as many people as possible as you will be building your future people network. Knowing the people around you will help you to do your job better and easier and also set up the scene for any future team-work activities. If anyone asks you out for lunch, there are little excuses to interacting with your new colleagues.  Ask as many questions and introduce yourself to as many people as possible and be enthusiastic about it.

Given that the internship is over a set period time, understanding why you are there and what your objectives are, will provide your experience a goal/purpose. Furthermore, understanding how your professional objectives and future achievements fit with the bigger picture of the project will make you realise how you are contributing to the team’s greater performance. And of course, never forget what you want to achieve from the internship on a personal level.

Until next time,

Diana

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