Category Archives: Environmental Work

Ambios – Employer Case Study

 

Name of Organisation:  Ambios

Description of Organisation: Ambios Ltd provides nature conservation training in UK and EU via traineeships and volunteering opportunities. Our Mission is to ‘provide inspirational education, practical action, science and technology training and volunteering opportunities in nature conservation in the UK and abroad.’ We help people achieve their goals for nature, science, education and employment.

Name of Employer:  Simon Roper

Job Title: Director

Internship Scheme used:  A2I, SBP

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Student Business Partnership (SBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We have  hired  a number of interns from the University of Exeter’s Internship scheme.

One intern was as a part-time Grant Funding & GiftIn-Kind Researcher and Bid Writer. The intelligent and dedicated individual  we chose managed to successfully juggle a complex and diverse work pattern. She balanced the demands of her studies while building networks and undertaking the research and bid-writing tasks we asked of her with amazing operational dexterity. Her overt enthusiasm is a credit to her and will undoubtedly support her future career. While with us, this enthusiasm for learning how to research specific funders in the context of our organisation’s mission was a great asset.

Our intern successfully undertook very detailed research into possible funders we might approach for assistance with a capital project at our nature conservation training farm in South Devon. This research is challenging, as funders can have a long list of criteria, any one of which can mean the applicant is unable to apply. Sorting through this data was a major task which our SBP completed well. This learning led to her formulating and proposing a written letter-form application to a specific Charitable Trust identified from her initial research. This letter was submitted in the Ambios Ltd name by the end of her time with us. In the context of what was about to unfold with Covid-19, and the response of the charitable sector (to reallocate their funding to Covid-19 emergency support), the bid was not successful on this occasion. It does, however, represent an asset which can be used to approach other funders when the time is right.  Our intern therefore leaves Ambios Ltd with that legacy for which we are very grateful. We have no doubt that there is bright and exciting future for her and we wish her well in her future endeavours.

We also recruited a Carbon Offset Project Development Officer and were very impressed with how prepared they were for the workplace. Our Intern looked at our carbon footprint in relation to our European mobility programmes. She proved to be an excellent asset to our organisation producing quality outputs which challenged our thinking, and which signposted an urgent need for change.

We recommend the Internship Scheme to other companies. It is very well managed and implemented.  We thoroughly enjoyed taking on an intern and hope to host more in the future.

Quote from Carbon Offset Project Development Officer Intern:

“I carried out internet searches on the potential options and finally found documents which enabled me to work out the values. As a result, I demonstrated to Ambios how harmful flying is and they are now looking at changing the business model to less harmful methods of travel or looking at generally less movement- perhaps focusing the work of the projects to the UK rather than abroad. Also they are looking at planting trees because I presented the positive benefits of this apart from just offsetting- air quality, water quality, biodiversity, mental health etc.”

 

Seasons Ecology -Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Seasons Ecology

Description of Organisation: Seasons Ecology is an ecological consultancy providing expert technical support on a range of development and conservation projects. There is a Bath and North East Somerset team as well as, another team of ecologists in Somerset West, Taunton and Devon who all work out of our office in Wiveliscombe, however, we work nationwide, providing services across the country.

Name of Employer: Hannah Maben

Job Title: Director

Internship Scheme used:  A2I

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We recruited an intern to work as an Assistant Ecologist. She was able to accompany staff on surveys and assist in preparing technical reports which was extremely helpful as its freed time up for senior colleagues. Our University of Exeter student was fantastic, she was prepared for the workplace and worked well within our team.

She is returning to university to continue her studies; however, we hope she will keep in touch and would encourage her to apply for any appropriate roles we have when she graduates.

Exeter University’s Internship Scheme has been a great experience. Being able to provide an enthusiastic student with an opportunity to gain experience during our busy summer season has been rewarding on many levels for all involved. Thank you.

Artecology- Employer Case Study

 

Name of Organisation: Artecology

Description of Organisation: Artecology is the innovative research and development department of ARC Biodiversity and Climate. Based on the Isle of Wight, Artecology work with industry and research partners to create bio receptive construction and landscape designs for marine, freshwater and land-based development.

Name of Employer: Ian Boyd

Job Title: Director

Internship Scheme used:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Internship Feedback:

We recruited an intern to work as a Research Assistant within our organisation. We set her a number of objectives that she met to a very high standard and she made a very positive contribution to our company.

The key output from our Intern’s work was feasibility work on new ideas for Artecology training modules, essential work that we are continuing to take forwards.

We were really impressed with the calibre of the University of Exeter student. She was well prepared for the workplace and worked very well as part of our team.

The Intern was ‘poached’ by a very large international consultancy! We were very happy for her and actually rather proud that we played some small part in her success.

We found the internship experience with Exeter University (and our outstanding intern) to be really useful to our work and to our thinking about future HE collaboration. We would highly recommend any firm to participate in taking on an Intern with the University.

Travel Behaviour Analyst – Devon Country Council

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

  1. Completion of survey with shared path users and other contacts via email and social media including promotion by Devon County Council.
  2.  Research into other share this space guidance/information.
  3. Report and presentation recommending how project could develop, awareness

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

My biggest achievement has been having the confidence to approach strangers and persuade them to pause their walk/cycle to talk to me about the shared space provisions across Exeter and Devon. Then, as I was representing the DCC, fielding questions about unrelated complaints which the public had. I have also had to create a report and deliver a presentation on my findings from this week in front of a large group of industry experts, which tested my presentational skills.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The feedback on the Exe Estuary Trail that we collected provided valuable evidence that the initiative is working, and that people understand the message. We highlighted key areas for improvement, whether physically along the trail, or with the existing signage. This sort of data hasn’t been collected yet, as the council couldn’t spare staff members for it, and so they are exceedingly grateful to have had us working on it this week- even if it was only for a few days.

 What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, customer service, assessing and managing risk

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, logical thinking, work ethic

Research Assistant – Coldhabour Mill Trust Ltd

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

My responsibilities were to research the mill pond on the site to support a 1.8M renovation project and grant bids. The main details they wanted to know about the pond was, when it was built, how it was built and how it was used. To conduct this research I worked both at Coldharbour and visited local archives.

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

I was able to conduct research outside of a university classroom, and had the opportunity to go to archives and see the source material myself.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to find out when the pond was roughly built, and also provide a list of areas of future research so the next researcher would have a starting point. Despite the fact I found little evidence, what I did find was actually rather fundamental to the grant bids.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, ability to work under pressure, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, cultural awareness, independence

Social Innovation Consultants Intern – University of Exeter

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

Approach and communicate with a variety of companies, via email, to secure student work experience placements for the Easter to summer period of the next academic year. Initial research of the company was needed to ensure they were suitable for Geography and Environmental Science Students and then an email was drafted and sent. I was responsible for any communications between the company and the university through answering questions, queries or any ideas they may have for the placements.

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

I created loads of new networking links and provided my fellow students with exciting work experience prospects that could lead onto further employment.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Completed a project that lightened the workload of other colleagues.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Persuasion, customer service, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, independence

Research Assistant – University of Exeter College of Humanities

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

I assisted with the geophysical survey in the Bishop’s Palace gardens. This involved laying out grids, carrying out both Resistivity and Magnetometry surveys. I was then responsible for sorting out the visual results for the written report.

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

I gained confidence in carrying out 2 types of geophysical surveys, both key for professional archaeological work.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to assist Professor Creighton in one of his research projects, helping him save time as he transitions to head of the department.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Strategic planning, teamwork and collaboration, degree specific skills

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence and independence

Administration Intern – Royal Geographical Society

globe

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

Helping sort the RGS records and archives, with 5 other interns. We also shadowed members of staff in different divisions to grasp the various aspects of what the RGS does, and worked in the fundraising, education, research & higher education departments. We were responsible for handling confidential membership material and for organising important archives for their journals.

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

I lost my fear of not fitting in, as I was nervous that I wouldn’t. Within a few hours I felt very confident and at home there, the staff made us feel very welcome and I picked up some professional vocabulary that I feel comfortable using now.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped them sort out some of their many paper archives to aid them transition to becoming a more digitised organisation, and helped the education department by planning school visit sessions for them.

 

Renewable Technology Designer – Eco NRG

energy

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

The internship was at a small company that provides quotes and installations for various renewable energy technologies across the south west. Because the team I was working alongside was so small, I had a varied range of roles. I sized up heat demands for new builds and selected the pumps that would be installed for many projects. I relayed the potential energy generation and panel layout for solar PV projects. During the internship it quickly became apparent that my IT skills were far beyond that of anyone who worked for the company, so I was put to work updating the website, which hadn’t been touched in years.

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

I gained some real world work experience in the renewables sector – something that I never managed to engage in during or between years of my degree!

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Adding a layer of IT fluency no-one else had, taking over the website, social media management, and some aspects of administration, allowing others to focus on more technical aspects of the company. Most notably, I discovered techniques and simple software that drastically reduced the time needed to convert architect blueprints into usable measurements for heat loss calculations.

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

During the second half of the internship business really slowed down – which is really to say that the first six weeks were unusually busy, and during that period I had very little downtime. When the technical side of my job got more quiet it was then I turned my attention to the IT side of things, but even then this did not completely solve the boredom that came up from a lack of work to do.

Marine and Freshwater Intern – Zoological Society of London

marine

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

To support the Marine and Freshwater ZSL team, on the Penryn campus. Projects included literature review on the distribution and species of marine turtles in the Philippines; PET plastic bottles literature review and general support for the #OneLess project; Mangrove and beach forest medicinal properties; Artificial reefs and coral transplantation review for the Philippines.
I also attended a Marine conservation conference at the Penryn campus and a Marine Management Organisation Meeting with the ZSL team during my last week.

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

I learnt and improved essential skills needed to work with an environmental NGO, such as networking, building relationships, organisation, managing work load, communicating with international environmental groups and promoting work via social media. It was great to gain experience within an office based team, instead of out on the field, which is the majority of my experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to support ZSL Marine and Freshwater by completing small, but essential pieces of work as well as contributing to larger projects. This lightened the work load for my colleagues in Cornwall, London and the Philippines.