Emily Hackett – College of Life Sciences InternMy internship within the College of Life Sciences is almost over and the past ten weeks have flown by! It has been a very stimulating experience and I never expected to be granted so much independence with regards to my report, allowing me to be creative with how I solved the tasks I set for myself. I was also given a lot more responsibility than I could have ever imagined; I feel I have grown tremendously in a professional capacity during this internship due to this.
Every week, I was able to discuss my progress with my managers, Kerri and Ann. These weekly catch-up meetings were extremely beneficial and allowed me to gauge my progress and ensure that I was heading in the right direction. The meetings also allowed me to put my progress in perspective and realise how much I have been able to achieve while being here. It has been a very enjoyable ten weeks and I think it will take a while to adjust to not coming into the office and waking up early every day!
Many of the staff members I have spoken to during my internship are excited about the outcomes and conclusions of my report. This has given me great confidence and satisfaction throughout my time here, as it evident that everyone is working for the collective goal of providing the best experience possible to students. Knowing that my investigations could have the potential to develop future Welcome Week arrangements in LES has therefore been an invaluable source of motivation throughout my internship.
During the internship, we were very fortunate to be able to attend a number of employability workshops provided by Careers Network. Through attending these, I feel we were able to enhance our employability and presenting skills in a number of ways. Last week, we were able to put these new skills to the test as myself and the other two LES interns performed our final presentations and showcased our work to senior colleagues from the College.
Meeting a variety of staff and students from across the University has really increased my confidence and communication levels; I feel I am able to adapt appropriate communication styles to suit my audience in order to gain the most beneficial outcome from a meeting. Every colleague I’ve met so far has been incredibly friendly and willing to help, which has been another positive of my internship. I feel truly valued as a member of staff here… The BUIP internship completely defies the coffee-making/photocopying intern stereotypes!
To conclude, I would not hesitate in recommending undergraduates at the University of Birmingham to apply to the BUIP programme. The opportunity to be immersed in a professional environment for ten weeks is invaluable, and will have a significant impact upon future job applications. It is also fascinating to view higher education ‘from the other side,’ and gain a real insight into the inner workings of the University of Birmingham.
I have had a really wonderful ten weeks in the College of LES and I really appreciated how well structured my internship was. I hope to stay in touch with the good friends I have made here!