Category Archives: Geography

ESI Research Assistant – University of Exeter, Penryn

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

During my time as a research assistant I had one main role – this was to research Circular Economy in both theory and practice across several different nations. Nations and areas researched included Costa Rica, Kenya and the European Union which was to be used during presentations and a very brief start to a research paper. I was given a new nation to research each time I finished my work making this was my main role in ESI.

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

My ability to research effectively and put it into writing vastly improved.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to lighten the workload for my professor who is currently researching a project.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, problem solving, time and workload management

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, logical thinking, professionalism

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

Catherine, Higher Education Project Officer

Degree: BA Geography with European Study 2017

Job Role: A Higher Education Project Officer provides support for projects in the Exeter Education Incubator, supporting academics who are working on projects to reimagine how university education can be delivered.

Catherine’s Experience: I decided to apply for a GBP internship to help me further my skills. I have really enjoyed my placement and it has helped me to increase my self-awareness of the type of career I would like to pursue. I learnt I would enjoy working in a community, people facing role in both an in/outdoor setting. Although I am still not entirely sure what I would like to do, completing a GBP has been a fantastic stepping stone into the working environment.

 

Administration Intern – Royal Geographical Society

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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.

 

Graduate Researcher – University of Exeter

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

Using NVivo software ( a qualitative data analysis tool) I analysed the NHS and Cornwall Council’s recent public, community network, and stakeholder survey data for the STP plan in Cornwall. I then produced reports and presented these back to the NHS who will use the results in their publications.

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

I taught myself how to use NVivo software, which was completely new to everyone in the department, and quite sophisticated. Originally I looked to go on a course to learn the software. However I decided to self-teach which was challenging but very rewarding.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I lightened the workload for both my managers. I also provided reports that the NHS will use to improve the NHS in Cornwall.

“Philippa made a highly significant contribution to my research project with the NHS” – Line Manager.

 

Economic Development Assistant – Devon County Council

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

My duties included dealing with business relocation and grant enquiries as well as managing the Business Promotion Grant. In addition, I monitored media, including social media, for local, regional and national news and analysis with inward investment focus. I also attended events with an inward investment/economic focus. I updated the company website by generating content, source news, and case studies. I supported both events and an apprenticeship campaign.

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

Gaining new skills, such as networking.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I lightened the workload for other colleagues by providing support.

 

Employability Project Support Officer – University of Exeter

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

My main role has been to improve the employability of graduates from the CLES department, through updating the DLHE database and making transferable skills clearer in modules. Within this, I organised a large employability meeting with colleagues from the Streatham campus, where ideas to improve employability in the department were discussed and a list of actions was created.

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

Sucessfully organising this large employability meeting, which helped me to gain valuable administration skills and experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I reduced the workload of my colleagues and was able to contribute my own ideas as a graduate on how the department can improve employability prospects for students.

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

I had to purchase a lot of resources for the meeting so I had to understand how the finance system worked and deal with budgets. This was easily overcome by asking more experienced colleagues in the office for help.

Alumni & Employability Administrator, University of Exeter

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

  •  Engaging alumni in volunteering activities such as careers events and creating careers profiles.
  • Organising careers events including alumni careers panels, workshops, mock interviews; booking rooms, ordering catering, parking, promoting to students, etc.
  •  Updating the alumni database.
  •  Promoting careers events to students within our College.
  • Writing and compiling content for the SSIS Employability Newsletter.
  • Helping academics engage alumni in various activities/events.
  • Liaising with the alumni team and working with them on various events/projects when needed.
  • Helping student societies engage alumni & helping promote events where necessary.
  • Dealing with any general alumni enquiries.
  • Organising law mock interviews with alumni, making arrangements for the day, advertising to students etc.

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

I became a lot more confident in speaking to a range of people as I was liaising with students, academics, colleagues across different teams and alumni – many of whom were in senior positions in their companies. I reached a point where I felt comfortable speaking with such a diverse range of people.

Another achievement was starting the College Employability Newsletter from scratch and working on improving on this over the duration of my internship, and being able to see the open rate increase and the subsequent increase in events bookings.

I also had the opportunity to get involved in so many different aspects and gain a lot of experience in organising events, working in an admin-type role in Higher Education which has enabled me to go on to secure a permanent job at the University.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I started up the College Employability newsletter which the team did not have capacity to do so before and I worked with Design Team to rebrand our College employability branding. Our College also had its highest ever number of alumni volunteering hours and number of volunteering activities during 2015-16 as with more capacity, we were able to organise more events, engage more alumni and I was able to update the database much more regularly to reflect this.

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

I was asked to help an academic organise a very last-minute overseas alumni trip which required asking colleagues in GED and they need a much longer time frame to organise these type of events so it caused a problem. I overcame it by ensuring I kept both the academic and the alumni team regularly up-to-date with progress, managing the expectations of the academic and making it clear the number of attendees may be low as it is last-minute. It made sure I was clearly communicating the academic’s requests to the alumni team and being persistent in making sure the academic provided us with the key details as quickly as possible. In response to this we then wrote a procedure summary for all academics to follow in future when wanting to organise an alumni event and to provide them with realistic time-frames.

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“My Alumni & Employability Assistant provided vital support to events, newsletters & alumni engagement” – Line Manager. 

Access to Internships Co-ordinator – University of Exeter, Employment Services

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

Coordinating the A2I scheme:
*Managed the Access to Internships email
*Managed the student and graduate sign up to the scheme, saved applications and highlighted any issues.
*Used My Career Zone to make appropriate changes to the sign up form.
*Managed the A2I email list and sent out fortnightly e-newsletters.
*Prepared A2I Agreements and Appendices for the employer/student/ chased returns where necessary.
*Updated the spreadsheets, recorded accurate and up to date information
*Took part in the weekly Internship catch up meetings.
*Got involved in creative marketing/PR
*Assisted with arrangements for Access to Internships events – ensuring that they were advertised on My Career Zone,
made appropriate room bookings, promoted them across campus and assisted with the preparation of the paperwork.
*Sent out follow up emails to students/graduates and employers to check the progress of the internship.
*Dealt with setting employers up on the finance system, raising purchase orders and payment of invoices and kept
accurate records of the finance activity.
*Arranged grant payments to students and recorded payments grants accurately.
*Obtained feedback from employers and students/graduates
*Contributed to the evaluation of scheme
*As appropriate updated the A2I procedures.
*Assisted colleagues in the team with other activities, particularly at times of peak demand
*Worked together in a mutually supportive way and worked towards shared goals

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

I feel I accomplished many things as my time as GBP – for example greatly exceeding targets set, both in the form of sign ups and financially. I also began to overcome a fear of public speaking and of advising students about potential careers.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I administrated around £237,000 which consequently helped around 218 students with funding. I also often covered and assisted the internship team, especially when a member of the team was absent or when their workload became extra demanding. Similarly, I often assisted the wider team and as a result have gained valuable experience of event organisation. For example I have helped to run events such as the Career Mentor scheme’s ‘Meet Your Mentor’ events, Careers in the South West event and recruitment fairs.

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

Many challenges arose when thinking about how to specifically market to students who meet the Widening Participation criteria. This was very important to overcome as the WP funding was one of the largest pots of funding I was tasked with spending/allocating; over £150,000. This was difficult due to the sensitive nature of the criteria and the fact that I had no means to be able to identify them as a mass. One of the ways I overcame this was by assembling as many data reports as possible in order to be able to identify and target larger numbers of WP students.