My BUIP Summer Internship: Thank you past-Matt!

By Matt Capaldi, BUIP Intern

I can distinctly remember writing my applications for the BUIP internships, it was spring break, and I was sitting on cramped airplane seats, travelling around the US with my year abroad host college’s Pep Band. Although it was a few of the best weeks of my life, it was also probably the most hectic, basketball games finishing late at night, and flights leaving at 5am the next morning. Honestly, there were more than a few occasions when I thought, “this can’t be worth it” and “maybe I should just go back and work in retail over summer”. Looking back, I can’t thank past-Matt enough for persevering, as my BUIP internship has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and I have had a lot of fun along the way!

800px-Al_Mamzar_-_Dubai_-_United_Arab_Emirates_-_panoramio_(57)

trolvag [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I have spent this summer in Careers Network, working as an International Employer Liaison Assistant for the Middle East. My internship was particularly unique for two reasons. Firstly, due to the size of the task at hand, there were two of us working together on the project. Secondly, the Dubai campus was unveiled a few weeks before we started, and so we ended up getting involved with some of the work to set up a remote careers service over there as well.

Everyone says it, but it’s true, if there is one thing that sets the BUIP programme apart from a standard internship, it is that you do actual work and produce something more than just photocopies and cups of coffee! Our project had two main tangible results, a list of around 40 companies that are interested in working with our Dubai campus, and a set of resources for students interested working in the Middle East, including a complete set of information sheets, and a fully functioning Canvas course.

I was the odd one out from this year’s cohort of BUIPs, as I did actually go into the internship with my sights already set of a career in higher education. This internship really helped me as it confirmed my expectations and settled any doubts I had about a career in HE, whilst providing me with that invaluable first professional experience in the field. That being said, even I wasn’t quite prepared for the scale of what goes on behind the scenes at university. I expected the

Careers Network office to consist of about ten careers advisors all sat in a small room, hidden away in some far-flung corner of campus. Let’s just say I couldn’t have been much more wrong!

If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone considering a BUIP internship, is just do it! You don’t even have to be considering a career in HE, although, that’s not to say you won’t be tempted after the 10 weeks are up…

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About Bethany Baxter

University of Birmingham Careers Network Student Employability Team Member (Information Team Support Assistant)

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