Being an average all-rounder and studying such a broad course as International Business with Spanish – I’ve always found it extremely hard to know what career path I want to take after University. With fourth year looming and sadly my time at the University drawing to an inevitable close, I saw the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme (BUIP)as a great way to gain work experience and (I hoped) get a little closer to discovering what it is I want to do. After a tough interview, I was fortunate enough to land the summer internship with Student Services!
For the past 8 weeks I have been working within the Funding, Graduations and Awards Team, reviewing the information on studenthelp and improving/ adding additional FAQs in where necessary – sound a bit like a dull office job? To be quite honest, it was…until I took complete ownership of the role, the project in hand, and once I really understood what was expected of me. It was only then that I was able to set out and achieve my objectives.
I imagine 9/10 people reading this won’t have heard of studenthelp and neither had I before my internship. I have been collaborating with professionals across the University to make the service more easily accessible, informative and generally known about. My role as Student Information Coordinator also involved a lot of independent work and with that came a lot of freedom: freedom to devise my own schedule, my own meetings and ultimately my own success. An abundance of freedom also meant that I had to take my own initiative day in, day out: to find relevant stakeholders, to formulate a project strategy and to ensure I was getting the most out of the internship as I possibly could.
8 weeks later and I feel like I have made an impact and gone a long way to helping not only the team I was working alongside, but various teams across the studenthelp service. From networking, writing FAQs, influencing my FAQ proposals, to web editing; I have developed and learnt a whole range of skills that have helped me to reach my objectives within my internship and not to mention, given me a huge head start in the big, wide world of business.
So from one BUIP intern, to a potential other – get stuck in, don’t underestimate the job you’ve been given, be open to learning new skills, working in new environments and with perspectives that differ from your own.
Top Tip: Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses before starting your internship and try to develop and improve on them throughout.