Category Archives: Geography

Student Case Study – Bioregional  

Name of Student:  Lauren Allington

Degree Subject: BA Geography with European Study

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: Bioregional

Job Title: One Planet Living Intern

Description Of Company: Bioregional was founded as a charity and social enterprise in 1994 by Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai, two environmental entrepreneurs based in South London. We provide a range of sustainability consultancy services that make it easier for people to live sustainable lives within the planet’s boundaries by helping major developers create pioneering eco-communities and supporting businesses, including retailers, to create sustainable products and services.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key role was to support the One Planet Living team in developing a series of online resources available for Bioregional staff and Local Authorities regarding sustainability actions and initiatives across the world. I was also available to assist with wider research and admin projects, as well as contribute to discussions regarding the inclusivity of sustainability.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced six complete case studies covering a range of sustainability actions (zero carbon, zero waste, materials and products), a library of 38 case study summaries. These will be added to and used by Bioregional in a series of seminars and will later be available for Local Authorities to use. I also summarised a selection of these case studies in a blog post published on the organisations website. I also produced a research document about sustainability schemes in schools and catalogued the One Planet Living mailing list.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

I was asked to summarize my most important findings in a blog post to be published on the organisations website. I approached this task by reviewing the research I had already done, long listing and then shortlisting the case studies based on the brief for the blog. I then crafted a blog post by summarizing the case studies, highlighting the main features and providing context, as well as writing in the ‘voice’ of the organisation. The final blog post was reviewed by the communications team, who asked me to reduce the word count, which I did successfully. The final post was proofread and adapted by the comms team before being posted online with credit given to me. The post was also advertised on LinkedIn, receiving multiple positive comments and likes.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

I initially struggled to always find the most accurate information for the case studies. I overcame this by reading more technical and policy-based documents, as well as undertaking active research by contacting organisations directly to find out the appropriate information.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“The A2I scheme enabled me to do a really interesting, meaningful and educational internship at a fantastic organisation that would have otherwise been unable to welcome me. I am really happy with the time I spent at Bioregional, especially with the work I produced and the opportunities to speak to professionals.”

Student Case Study : International Student Recruitment 

 

Name of Student:  Beau Garry 

Degree Subject: BSc Geography  

Type of Internship: Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs)

Company Name: University of Exeter- International Student Recruitment 

Job Title: International Support Officer 

 What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship? 

-Support academic staff in their engagement with UK international feeder schools.

-Represent the University through attendance at education fairs, University open days and visits to feeder organisations.

-Collaborate with colleagues in other departments 

 What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I’ve added to the engagement and recruitment of the UK International market in the international Student Recruitment Team. I’ve also been the lead on International Foundation programmes and have been the person which has dealt with all the incoming referrals from the admissions team. 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?  

My biggest achievement during my internship was attending a postgraduate fair in Frankfurt and speaking to a student who was interested in studying at the University of Exeter. I spoke about the various different courses which we had on offer and assisted the student during her application via e-mail. As a result the student has successfully been made an offer by the University and will starting her course in September. This student emailed to thank me for all my help. This is just one of example of the many students I have helped at recruitment events and post recruitment events. 

Skills Learnt:  

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure 
  • Organisation 
  • Decision Making 
  • Researching 
  • Time and Work Load Management 

Attributes Developed: 

  • Initiative 
  • Perseverance 
  • Professionalism 
  • Confidence 
  • Motivation 

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“Very worthwhile indeed.  I had some valuable work experience and gained an understanding of some of the research being undertaken at the University of Exeter and the confidence to get more involved. “

Student Case Study:  The Eden Project

Name of Student:  Max Parkin

Degree Subject: BA History – Cornwall

Job Title:  Research Writer Intern

Company Name:  The Eden Project

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)Student Business Partnerships (SBPs)

Description of Company: The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

To research specific briefed environmental/social/sustainable topics for the Eden Project as directed by the Director of Interpretation. To write, summarise and authenticate research documents and storylines with references. And/or to write final copy across a range of media using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

Key accountabilities (depending on area the student wishes to gain experience in):
1. To research specific briefed topics using literature searches and by communicating with organisations and experts in the field, working to set deadlines.
2. To write master files (as laid out in the Eden guidelines) on specific briefed topics with full list of references.
3. To write compelling storylines, narrative and content briefs to enable interpretation of specific subjects across a wide range of media.
4. To write final copy for specific exhibits, events, digital and web content and publications using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The main task for the interpretation department at that time was Eden’s summer content – Earth Story. I was asked to research in detail Megafaunal extinction during the end of the last Ice Age and the potential human involvement. The end result was a detailed document which was then used to help the graphics team produce an extinction timeline which can now be seen in the Earth Story exhibit at Eden.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was given a topic I had 0 previous knowledge of – Megafauna. I was asked to produce a detailed research document and became an ‘expert’. My research was verified by Natural History Museum Professor, Adrian Lister and played an instrumental role in producing content which is now displayed in one of Britain’s top visitor attractions. 

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

Initially, it was difficult to get to grips with my task, my progress was slow to start – I made sure to communicate well with Sarah, my boss, and ask lots of questions when I became lost.

Skills Learnt 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Communication
  • Team Work and Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation
  • Personal Awareness

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“Working with the Eden Project for my internship was highly rewarding, exciting and eye opening. I became an ‘expert’ in a topic I’d never even heard of before, I met some great people and a future career path.”

Student Case Study: The Rock Pool Project

Name of Student:  Eleanor Stanton

Degree Subject: BSC Marine Biology – Cornwall

Job Title:  Digital Development Intern (Rock Pooling Platform)

Company Name:  The Rock Pool Project

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: We are a social enterprise that encourages people of all ages to discover the incredible marine life found around our beautiful coast. Our expert marine biologists offer bespoke private rockpool safaris, educational group field trips and public beach events.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties included working closely with the project leader to run events. I spoke to members of the public about what the project does and helped attendees to identify and record species they found. I also worked a lot on the project website, social media and newsletters, and coordinated other staff members and volunteers.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced were social media posts, newsletters and updating the website, including targeting a new demographic through Instagram.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

On one event I was running with the project leader his car got stuck, and while he was dealing with that I took over running the event. I had to take a register of all the children attending (it was a kids event in the school holidays), and then talk to them about beach awareness and safety, before teaching them how to use the devices we use to record species we find. I then ran the first half of the event myself, helping them to find and identify species and record them in a useable manner. The result was that the event ran smoothly despite the major car issue.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

My main challenge was having to learn quickly on the ground how to identify species and talk about them to the public. I am quite shy normally, so being forced to interact with and educate others was a struggle at times but it is definitely a challenge I am overcoming,

Skills Learnt 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes

Attributes Developed 

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“My internship experience was incredibly valuable as it gave me experience in the marine field, working with experts in the subject I am interested in. I was able to gain lots of knowledge on the UK’s coastal wildlife as well as transferrable skills such as teamwork and communication, which will be useful to me wherever I end up in the future.”

Student Case Study:  Asbri Planning  

Name of Student:  Alec Stevens 

Degree Subject: BA/BSC Geography – Cornwall 

Job Title:  Graduate Planner

Company Name: Asbri Planning

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Asbri Planning is a planning and development consultancy, which has offices based in Cardiff and Swansea. We work in the development industry with the main aim to see our clients obtain planning consent for development. At Asbri Planning, we pride ourselves on offering honest and forthright planning advice and we only promote projects that we are confident will result in a successful planning outcome. Central to our approach are the client’s business needs and commercial objectives.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Research of planning policy and procedure of relevant planning acts and regulations in relation to potential developments; completing initial planning applications for potential developments; aid in the completion of site appraisals and design and access statements and to observe and make relevant minutes for offsite meetings.           

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I delivered several design and access statements where I documented information for the client and relevant governing bodies such as Powys County Council. I was also involved with pre-applications and appraisals where the viability of proposed developments were investigated.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Completing a full design and access statement individually.

  • Situation – Client (Powys County Council) needs a design and access statement which includes all relevant information and debate over a proposed development in LLanidloes.
  • Task – Complete the full DAS for the client in time bound conditions.
  • Actions – Acquiring the relevant data and information from a variety of sources and then compiling an attractive document that is also effective for all parties involved.
  • Results – The DAS was officially confirmed and sent to the client and the governing body and will be accepted subject to pre-commencement conditions.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

In hindsight I felt as though I was reluctant to ask questions during office hours due to the intensity of the office environment. All of my colleagues were busy at almost all times and I felt questions would have hindered or slowed their progress on other jobs. In the future I will most definitely address this by not being afraid to interrupt others if its for the overall benefit of the company I am working for.

Skills Learnt 

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Ability to work under pressure

Attributes Developed 

  • Researching
  • Networking
  • Independence
  • Confidence
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“My internship was career specific and enjoyable and thus given me that extra boost of motivation going into my third year to continue on my current path to achieve what I want out of my career. I would thoroughly recommend any student going into a career specific internship as it gives you experience that just is not acquirable in the University Library.”

 

Student Case Study:  Carbon Offset Project Development

Name of Student: Tara Chaussalet

Degree Subject: Flexible Combined Honours w Study & Work Abroad

Job Title: Carbon Offset Project Development Intern

Company Name: Ambios Ltd

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: 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.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

It was mainly a research based internship, with two main focuses: looking at the potential for tree planting at Lower Sharpham Farm to offset carbon emissions and finding alternative travel options to flying to the programme in Portugal.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

-Research on the options for tree planting schemes at the farm.
-Figures on the carbon sequestration rates for tree planting
-Research into alternative transport methods for the journey from Totnes to Coruche in Portugal
-Present figures on the emissions

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Finding data on the emissions values of different transportation methods from Devon to Portugal and also data on the carbon sequestration potential of tree planting. 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.

  1. What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

It was very challenging and carbon offsetting is a very complicated issue- something which I was not aware of before I started the internship. There was a huge lack of data for both sections of the internship which meant that it was difficult to locate documents I needed to find the information to present to Ambios.

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Networking
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Decision making
  • Information technology
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Logical thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“My internship was very challenging but extremely rewarding. I am able to see results of the research that I carried out and the figures that I calculated and presented on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration potential of trees. It was amazing to see that Ambios has taken on board suggestions that I made, from little things in waste management such as baking rather than buying biscuits in packaging to looking at changing the business model from movement to Europe by flying to more local projects or at least ones which involve less travelling and emissions as a consequence.”

  1. Employer Quote

“Tara is a very capable individual who has produced quality results and in so doing challenged our thinking about our organisational carbon impact. She has now completed her time with us and it has been excellent. Very valuable.” – Director, Ambios Ltd

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.”

 

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

Research Support Intern – University of Exeter CLES

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

My main role was recruiting and meeting with participants to take some data from them, and showing them how to use an app, as well getting feedback from them in a follow-up meeting a month later. I also collated this data, and helped to contribute to a research paper by analysing some qualitative responses and adding the introduction section. Moreover, I promoted the research at various events including the Staff Wellbeing Day.

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

I think my biggest achievement was being able run a small research collection study quite independently – I was daunted before starting it about the task at hand so have proved to myself it is possible.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I think it lightened the load of other members of the department who are more senior, as they had numerous projects, teaching etc. going on.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Ability to work under pressure, organisation, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, motivation, logical thinking

Cognitive Abilities of Grey Squirrels Intern – University of Exeter

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

Coding videos and preparing the different nuts for the experiment and placing the cameras and replenishing the nuts in the apparatus.

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

I learned a lot in terms of analysis of data collected from animals and in particular using a Behaviour Observation software which has made me more confident in my ability to analyse different types of data in different circumstances.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I managed to help with creating a buffer of chopped nuts so that more time could be spent for marking the squirrels and analysing the information, I completed a third of the video analysis of the project which alleviated the workload of the other team members by leaving them to do only two thirds of the analysis.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, ability to work under pressure, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, initiative, motivation