Category Archives: Employer Feedback

Graduate Finance Associate – University of Exeter, Finance Services

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What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities were assisting my colleagues with various daily and monthly tasks (including staff monitoring and modelling bursary allocations), carrying out and presenting data analysis and processing journals for management accounts. I contributed to the preparation of the University’s Access Agreement (a document that outlines the work that the University will undertake to widen participation) for 2018/19. I was also able to attend a variety of meetings and get an insight into different areas of the University.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt a lot about working in finance and confirmed that  I would like to pursue a career in this sector. I was able to use the knowledge and experience I gained in my internship to secure a permanent graduate role in finance.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to lighten the workload of my colleagues during busy periods by taking over some of their usual activities.

“Our GBP made a really valuable contribution, was a fast learner and fitted in well to the team.  She was able to use her experience here when interviewing for the permanent finance role that she has secured.” – Management Accountant. 

Geography Writer – ZigZag Education

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was to write various GCSE level geography resources, such as topic tests and case studies. I have also been given other smaller tasks to complete. In addition I have been given plenty of training in order to work to the best of my abilities.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement has probably been completing the resources that I have. Although I am yet to see the full published versions, it’s fulfilling knowing that what I have written is going through the production phases. I also feel that I have taken on a lot of information and learnt lots of new skills!

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

There are always tasks to be done at ZigZag so I imagine I have helped to get more projects completed so they can produce more resources at a faster rate.

“Rachel is a very proficient employee and has settled into the company very well and now forms a core part of her subject team of writers. She has already written a number of new teaching resources as well as critically assessing the work of her peers” – Line Manager.

Employment Services Administrator – Career Zone, Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Over the course of my internship I had several  responsibilities. At the beginning of the internship I helped to process intern contracts, inputting student and employer information and making sure that our records were up to date. I also ran finance reports, and made sure that the information in our finance spreadsheets matched expenditure. In the second half of my internship I was responsible for organising a careers event for CEMPs students. This involved shortlisting potential employers based in the South West, and getting in contact with them via email and telephone to encourage them to sign up to the event. Whilst doing this, I marketed the event to students via social media, targeted emails, and through student societies. I was also responsible for making sure that facilities were booked for the day of the event.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Organising the careers event for CEMPs students. I became much more confident speaking to external contacts after inviting employers to the event and providing them with further details about the event. I also gained new skills in areas that I previously had limited experience in such as digital marketing, through marketing the event to students.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped to streamline the processing of intern information during the busy period before Christmas, which meant that departments and employers were able to employ student and graduate interns quickly and easily. I also helped to make sure that the finances were accurate, as I was able to check them more frequently. Finally, I organised the careers event for CEMPs students, which my manager would not have been able to organise alongside their other responsibilities.

“He has been an excellent team player, very hardworking, flexible and reliable for the 3 months he was with us. He has been involved in calling employers about attending an event, writing promotional text to send to students and drawing up an action plan list. He also helped prepare GBP and SCP contracts and worked on finance.  Having him in the office really helped us get on top of the workload.” – Line Manager.

Employment Services Support Assistant – Employability Services, University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

The main purpose of my role was to ensure the delivery of professional and helpful administrative support within the Employment Services Team, in particular for the Graduate Recruitment Team. I played a key role in supporting the arrangements for the careers fairs and a wide range of employer events, in particular showcase/drop-in events, recruiter in residence and mock interviews. I assisted the team in developing relationships with local, regional and national employers, institutions, Alumni, internal Colleges and Services for the benefit of the University and its students and graduates.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Throughout the course of my internship, the team was faced with a number of issues and obstacles out of our control that potentially threatened the organisation of successful events, such as double-bookings and extreme weather conditions. One of my biggest achievements was dealing with unexpected problems calmly and smoothly, always making the employer a priority and quickly creating contingency plans. My confidence has significantly increased as a result of this and I now feel more equipped and capable of dealing with the unexpected.  My internship offered a fantastic opportunity to put my skills into practice and gain invaluable office experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I played a key role in the organisation and delivery of four major careers fairs and a large number of smaller employer events, such as presentations and showcases. I coordinated the arrangements of several events from start to finish, taking the original booking, making the necessary arrangements and hosting the event on the day. I feel that my work helped to ease the workload of my colleagues in what was an extremely busy autumn term and was crucial to the smooth running of employer events.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

The main problems that I encountered during the course of my internships were relating to procedural/system changes, such as alterations to evening event bookings and changes to the newsletter format. I worked closely with colleagues to ensure that transitions were smooth and asked further questions where necessary. I created a comprehensive document detailing the new procedures to guide others in future.

“Jess was brought in to cover maternity leave of a permanent member of staff.  She was an excellent team player, flexible and hard working.  She was keen to ensure she understood what was required of her and wanted to learn.  Her positivity was a delight to have in the office.  As part of her role she had to communicate regularly with employers wanting to work with the University in promoting their internships and graduate role.  Her interpersonal style and customer service were excellent and I had no hesitation in leaving her to get on with it.  We would have offered her a permanent role had she not already secured an alternative role at the University!” – Line Manager.

Research Assistant – South West Heritage Trust

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities as a intern with the South West Heritage Trust were cataloguing material dating from the First World War, for a HLF-funded scheme called the ‘Devon Remembers Heritage Project’. My role involved organising and attending meetings with local heritage centres across the county, as well as compiling the results of volunteer research groups into accessible formats such as Excel or Word.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement during the internship was securing an additional three months of employment with the company, which commenced immediately after the initial contract was due to finish. I was really pleased to see that my work and contribution to the company had been so highly valued and a contract extension will allow me to become more heavily involved in various aspects of the Devon Remembers project.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I saved my line manager a great deal of time searching through archive collections and driving around the county to visit other local archives. I was able to compile large amounts of information into a usable form for Katherine and the company’s archivists.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Whilst not directly related to the content of my work, the most major problem in my internship was the hour-long commute by car. I overcame this by downloading audio books to listen to whilst driving and it made the travelling much more bearable.

“Ciaran is an excellent member of the team and we have offered him further employment as a result of his internship. His skills, attitude and aptitude for learning all make him an asset to the organisation” – Devon Remembers Heritage Project Officer

Research Intern – CLES, University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I had to write up first-draft reports on British mammal species to be submitted into the review. Other tasks included creating questionnaires, emailing, communicating with other researchers and assisting with the collation of the results. I also worked on developing code in R to produce species-specific population estimates from large data-sets of mammal population densities in different habitats. In addition, I researched using ArcGIS to model species distribution, and to extract habitat data to go towards initial population estimates.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I developed my skills in GIS and R, by a considerable degree. It was fantastic to potentially be the first person to know how many of a particular mammal existed in the UK! It was very rewarding to go through the process, from using GIS, carrying out meta-analyses, obtaining the estimate and finally writing up the species account. I learnt a great deal about the amazing mammalian wildlife we have here on our shores.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The Mammal Population Review is a huge undertaking, and I hope I hoped to considerably lower the workload needed to be done. I hope others felt I became a valued member of the team. I felt that I was, and had an incredibly enjoyable time working with the others in the lab.

“Luke made an excellent contribution to the team. I believe he also gained valuable skills that will help him get a job in the future” – Associate Professor.

Global Employability Assistant – University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

The main objective of my role was to provide administrative support to the Employment Services Teams in the Career Zone (Global & UK). My main responsibility was to upload  vacancies on to CareerHub, and so this required acquiring all the necessary information from the employers beforehand, and formatting vacancy advertisements so that they were accessible to students looking to apply. For this reason, I had to liaise with employers via email about the positions they were offering, and create an online vacancy based on the information provided. I also carried out some ad hoc work, such as flyering for our careers fairs and inputting data about our employer contacts.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I have learnt a considerable amount about the application process for graduate schemes by being ‘behind the scenes’; uploading vacancies on a day-to-day basis has highlighted to me what it is that employers are looking for, and how to succeed in filling out tricky application forms. Also, I am a lot more familiar with Microsoft Office, for instance I dreaded using Excel before and avoided it at all costs, but now I have been shown how to use it correctly and efficiently, I will certainly be using it more in the workplace.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

A lot of my work for the CareerZone required autonomy, especially because I was split between two departments (Global & UK Vacancies), so I would say that I helped my colleagues most by working efficiently and getting tasks done swiftly. One of the tasks I worked on was uploading a number of Studentships to CareerHub, and I composed a spread sheet to keep a log of what ones had been uploaded/deleted, which others can use as a reference. Also, I helped out the careers fairs by flyering around the university; I was therefore more than happy to carry out additional tasks besides my main responsibility of uploading vacancies.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Sometimes in quieter periods there would be a shortage in vacancies, which, as a main part of my job role, meant I had little to do. I overcame this by asking around the office for ad hoc tasks and helped out wherever I could. It was never a major problem as someone always had a task for me to do.

“Paige has provided essential support during her time with me, and has been a pleasure to have in the office” – Line Manager

Film Research Support & Administration Intern – University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My duties included:

Updating programme descriptors and modules on iPaMS.
Researching and drafting a plan for the MA IFB webpage.
Collecting student information and formulating a questionnaire for a postgraduate film student database.
Helping with module change and allocation.
Assisting with archiving.
Some reception assistance.
Writing a summary report of film workshop feedback.
Helping with any other general ad hoc tasks.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Helping the team out with iPaMS as I really felt like I made a positive impact which was appreciated. I also feel that my work for the MAIFB webpage and film workshop summary was of a good standard I was proud of.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I feel like I have helped relieve some of the pressures on the team at a busy time. I hope that my work for the PG database helps the film department and that my draft for the MAIFB webpage gets used and benefits the students.

“We have loved having our Intern Maxine, who had an extremely positive impact on the team and the work that we do” – Line Manager

Archives Assistant – Heritage Collections, University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My role as a temporary archives assistant primarily involved cataloguing the correspondence of South West writer Henry Williamson. I was also given the opportunity to supervise the Special Collections Reading Room desk, and participate in key processes in Heritage Collections such as retrievals and re-shelving, selecting and preparing materials for display and working with Arts and Culture to help promote academic events. I was also given the opportunity to shadow other fundamental parts of working in a university archive, such as accessions, digitisation and answering queries, and was given access to wider reading about the sector and archival practices.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement over the course of my internship has been the ability I have gained to try new things, and believe in my own skillset. The department trusted me with some of their most precious collections – including letters by Thomas Hardy and Agatha Christine – and being able to work on such important materials really helped me gain confidence in my own abilities, and the skills I can bring to future employers.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My help in cataloguing Henry Williamson’s correspondence meant that the Special Collections team could present a more detailed record of their collections to the public and researchers, making the materials in the archive more accessible. My proudest moment as part of my internship was when I was informed that the work I had undertaken had resulted in a request for that material – by contributing to the Special Collections catalogue, a process that also taught me about cataloguing software CALM, I had also made a tangible and positive impact on the service they are able to provide.

“Lucy was an extremely high calibre intern who managed much of the intern process herself. There were some hitches in the process and her proactive approach really helped with this” – Head of Heritage Collections

Planning and Research Intern – All We Can, Methodist Relief and Development

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I had a variety of tasks to fulfil during my time as an intern at All We Can as I had various roles in the organisation. I was first tasked to review their travel policy for when staff members would go to meet partners in developing countries. This required extensive research on the transport to and from, as well as in, the respective countries. After this I worked on the organisation’s country profiling documents, assessing which countries would be viable for AWC to work in and find partners. Once again this required research on many aspects of the country such as its HDI, political environment, corruption levels and cultural backgrounds. The third task I was given was to create a flow chart describing the organisations guidance on scoping new countries for partners to work with. I helped at a supporters awareness meeting in the Midlands where I represented the organisation and assisted with answering questions from supporters and clearing down the room. I summarised and tabulated answers from the questionnaires filled in by the international partners regarding the advocacy and humanitarian work of AWC, as well as investigating what the salary scales for international NGO’s staff working in developing countries was.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I received a first-hand eye witness experience of what it means to work in an international humanitarian aid organisation dealing with work directly related to humanitarian development with partners in developing countries. From this I have been able to gain a better understanding of what working in this industry entails, and all of the behind the scenes work that goes into making projects successful. The most rewarding of all was being exposed to a totally new, cutting-edge approach to humanitarian aid that I had not come across before in my studies whereby this small organisation is able to partner with communities and work not only with them, but for them.  The people receiving the funding are at the table with the donors setting the agenda for the aid work that will take place in the community. This was incredibly enlightening and eye-opening for me.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The work which I did for All We Can during my internship enabled them to accelerate their administration and planning programs regarding the new approach to partnerships in developing countries. This decreased and simplified the workload for several of the staff and provided support when several of the staff were away on international trips visiting partners. I also ensured the smooth running of the supporters awareness day.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

There were some occasions when I struggled to understand how to formulate certain information and I was able to ask for advice and support to complete the work effectively. I was unable to access the printer from my computer therefore I emailed the work to a colleague and they were able complete this for me.

“Joel  carried out research, providing global poverty and development statistics that fed into our country scoping strategy. He also analysed survey questionnaires on our humanitarian assistance and advocacy programmes and provided a summarised and condensed version of the results, spelling out trends and patterns. He also supported one of our volunteer training sessions.” – Head of Programme Operations.