Category Archives: Modern Languages

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Olivia Foulkes

Degree Subject: BA Sociology and Modern Languages

Job Title: Family Support Worker Intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties as a family support worker was liaising to help run the prison visits, help support inmates with any family related issues and get in contact with their families.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I started a project for the company looking at the impact of parental imprisonment on children, and what services there are and how liaising between services can be improved.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Confidence
  • Personal Awareness
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic

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

“My internship really helped me get a better sense of the sector I was working in. It has definitely helped with improving my social skills (especially after COVID) as it has been a long time I have had to use those skills. The internship has really improved my confidence and belief in myself. It has motivated me to take be confident in starting my career path as I now know I have the skills to do so.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Miranda Sandy

Degree Subject: German and Spanish/now MSC Marketing (9 months)

Job Title: GBP 5436 Education and Student Support Assistant

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

– Working in the Quality and Standards Team for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and the Business School.

– Liaising with academic staff members to process changes to modules and the addition/withdrawal of modules.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Ensuring that module information was correctly input into iPaMS and therefore correct on the university website – My line manager often asked me to undertake investigative work. This involved searching through emails, our tracking spreadsheet and various SharePoint sites to ascertain the progress of a module’s approval. – My line manager asked me to create spreadsheets for him, often related to the above and to undertake audits (i.e. Arabic modules). One day when he was not at work he left me with instructions to create a spreadsheet using documents with Accelerate survey responses. This involved inputting figures from a large number of survey results to calculate percentage satisfaction. I worked hard to finish the spreadsheet that day, and my boss was pleased to be able to use it in a presentation the next day.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

We quite often received requests from departments with missing or incomplete paperwork, which I would often return to them asking for the correct information. On one occasion, an Accreditation Officer had submitted several requests on old template versions of the coversheet, thus some of the information we required was missing. Rather than returning everything to him and asking him to redo it, I decided to copy all the details we did have onto the correct coversheets and highlight the information we still required. This approach meant that I was able to provide a good service to the staff member while obtaining the information we required to process his request.

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

The main challenge I faced concerned my poor WiFi at home. On a couple of occasions this meant that spreadsheets I was working on jointly with another member of staff became corrupt and an earlier version had to be restored. I overcame this by contacting my internet service provider and purchasing new WiFi extenders which helped the problem, I improved my use of Windows; closing Excel when I wasn’t using it and shutting down my laptop every night. This meant that such issues occurred far less frequently.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • IT

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative

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

“I am very grateful to the Quality and Standards Team for giving me my first graduate-level role. Although I never met my colleagues in person and my role was for only 3 months, I was very much made to feel part of the team. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but the experience has given me confidence going forward and applying to other graduate-level roles due to the recent and relevant examples I will be able to talk about in applications and interviews.”

Student Case Study: Vigo Presses 

Name of Student:  Max Cousins

Degree Subject: BA Modern Languages

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Vigo Presses

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Our Apple Juices and Cider are made naturally, just using the apples from our traditionally managed ‘non sprayed’ Orchards at Whimple in Devon. Our Silly Cow and Prize Bull Ciders are naturally fermented using the wild yeasts on the skins of our Devon Cider apples. No sulphites or added yeasts or preservatives, just cider apples and love… Throughout October, the whole family, picked & pressed apples from our orchard, a ton at a time and discovered that the cider apples made delicious apple juice! We all play our part in the business & go out & about to sell our wares at farmers markets & food fares as well as selling via shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes & tea shops etc.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

  • Analyse business data including invoices, expenses, energy consumption etc to gauge current sustainability of the business and to highlight areas of improvement.
  • Conduct employee surveys in order to establish their knowledge of current sustainable strategies and to establish which type of recommendations would be best received culturally by the staff.
  • Generate a list of actionable steps to take action in making those improvements
  • Provide possible marketing strategies in order to not only ‘brag’ about current sustainable initiatives in the company but also to encourage sustainable behaviours amongst their customers

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a slide deck that audited and set out action steps to improve their sustainability in the following areas:

  • Energy Usage
  • Scope 1 & 2 Carbon Emissions
  • Procurement
  • Culture

Produced practical plan detailing how to run monthly ‘green meetings’ and how to use marketing channels to advertise these efforts.

Recommended that they separate their general waste and separate their recycling to make it easier to record waste data, waste reduction progress and to estimate their CO2 emissions from their waste management.

Provided list of possible and practicable next steps to help them achieve the status of B-Corp

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was by establishing a full picture of how the organisation operates and how the attitudes towards sustainability differ throughout the organisation. I was able to do this by working in an open office with the whole team and car sharing with a number of staff members during my commute as well as more formal interviews with staff members and the leadership team.

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

I had to go to hospital due to an asthma emergency and so internship was disrupted. I was able to complete my internship remotely while I recovered.

There was no waste data which made it hard to measure key aspects of sustainability. I was able to identify the key data points that would be required and then provide actional recommendations in order to collect this data.

Skills Learnt: 

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

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“Do It ! – through the green consultant internship you also will inevitable receive great insight into other functions of the business / organisation and you may develop interests in roles or sectors that you had never considered before.”

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum – Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Description of Organisation: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is home to one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain. We are both an accredited public museum and an academic research facility and we hold a collection of over 85,000 items. Over 1,000 of our items are on display in our Galleries and are available to be viewed by the public.

Name of Employer:  Phil Wickham

Job Title: Curator

Internship Scheme used:  A2I

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

Feedback:

We recruited a Curatorial Intern who researched and produced data to support a planned funding bid and also assisted with other key duties in the museum. The main research task was to assist with funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NLHF). This work was completed to a very high standard. She also looked into an array of academic researchers who had used the museum’s collections and got in touch with them about their publications or projects. The intern was confident, organised and hardworking, this showed specifically through her preparation of a talk on pre-cinema in the museum’s gallery. She then went on to present this to visitors which was received with much enthusiasm. The internship went very well. She continued to volunteer for us after her internship and did some really valuable data analysis work on the museum’s visitors that will help us to develop. 

This is an excellent scheme. We have used A2I twice and both times been able to benefit from exceptional talents. We highly recommend taking on an intern from the University of Exeter.  

Quote from Intern:

“I honestly could not fault this experience whatsoever. I was able to combine my academic studies with real-world practical experience. Phil allowed me to use my initiative and offer my own suggestions in relation to the museum’s redevelopment project, which caused me to feel like a real part of the team. It also allowed me to demonstrate my ability to think creatively and intuitively rather than simply wait for instructions. I am eternally grateful for the encouragement that I received throughout the four weeks. This internship confirmed to me that I have chosen a career path that I am well-suited to.”

Saudi British Joint Business Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Saudi British Joint Business Council

Description of Organisation: We are an independent and private sector-led body, which aims to develop and enhance business relations between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Through both its British and Saudi members and its Secretariat in London and Riyadh, the council offers a range of services and provides access to high-level governmental and private sector networks in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Name of Employer: Chris Innes-Hopkins

Job Title: UK Executive 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 hired a Business Council Membership and Marketing Assistant through the University of Exeter Internship Scheme. The intern was prepared for the workplace and worked extremely well. He made an excellent contribution to SBJBC’s work and events, including leading on development of a new website.

The intern quickly made an impression and became a valuable member of our small team, leading on a number of events as well as preparation also. He demonstrated flexibility through remote working, working when necessary.

This is the sixth time we have used the University’s Internship scheme, and as before it was a very positive experience. We received a good service from the Internships Team and would definitely recommend the Internships Scheme to other employers.

The Exeter internships at SBJBC have offered students the opportunity to help manage high profile events and important business relationships.  We were so impressed by the calibre of the student that we extended his role and offered him a full-time role for another six months to take forward a number of new projects. It’s pleasing to know that many interns have used the experience to move onto relevant careers in public and government affairs and communications.

This is the sixth time we have used the University’s Internship scheme, and as before it was a very positive experience. We received a good service from the Internships Team and would definitely recommend the Internships Scheme to other employers

 

Devon Development Education (Exeter) – Global Learning Resources

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

My main responsibility was to promote the Spanish teaching resource “Hola Peru” at different schools across Devon. I met with teachers on a weekly basis to provide and explain to them how to use this resource. After covering the Devon county, I publicised our resource on other platforms and started to send it to different teachers across the whole country. I held Skype/FaceTime sessions with these teachers.

Apart from promoting Hola Peru, I have also helped the organisation with a wide array of activities. These include: managing Fair Trade events; giving presentations; setting a database of the schools which teach Spanish in Devon; and helping colleagues with their programmes among other duties.

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

It helped me overcome my fear of public speaking in English and gave me the confidence to work in a British workplace.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Thanks to my work, they achieved to give 20 copies of Hola Peru and benefitted from my help to running of their activities more smooth.

Student Researcher – University of Exeter Education Incubator

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

  • Offering administrative support to three Chinese fellows on MOOC course on contemporary Chinese culture
  • Planning and drafting a social media campaign
  • Proofreading and editing of English texts written by non-native speakers, and adapting these to an online context
  • Recruiting student and non-student volunteers for the trial version of the course

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

The independent nature of the role meant that I was able to really strengthen my skills in taking the initiative and working autonomously and independently.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Administrative support, lightening my colleagues’ workload, and ensuring that all course content and materials were adapting and appropriate for an English-language audience.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, leadership, decision making

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, perseverance, independence

Research Assistant – University of Exeter Modern Languages

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

In this internship, I conducted research for the Russian Department on how Russian is taught at every other university in the UK, so the department could analyse the data to ensure the course at Exeter is of the best possible quality. I also conducted similar research for the Chinese, Portuguese and Italian departments. In addition to this research, I also created two documents – a resources guide for students on their Year Abroad and also a ‘Survival Guide’ for the incoming Beginner’s Russian cohort.

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

I have never worked in an office environment before and by working in academia I learnt a lot about teaching and research, and the entire ‘behind the scenes’ of an academic’s life.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The research and Year Abroad document were tasks that the department had wanted to do for a long time, but did not have the manpower or hours to complete. By completing these tasks, I lightened the work load of the department and hopefully provided plenty of data through my research than can be used to make improvements in the future.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, problem solving, negotiation

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, personal awareness, work ethic

Graduate Finance Associate – University of Exeter, Finance Services

euro-seem-money-finance

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. 

Commercial Management Intern – M&G Investments

M&G

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

While at M&G I liaised with TPA’s, compiling information for the internal funds review. This included contributions to conference calls. I was in charge of making sure that fund managers signed off trades on a daily basis, compiling their comments and writing summaries of these comments for board meetings. I also compiled a summary on order inflation for a board meeting as well as tracking internal errors until their closure. I attended high level meetings and had frequent contact with all business areas. A number of staff gave me an overview of different areas of the company and explained in great detail their day to day jobs and business areas.

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

I learnt a lot about finance which is never something I have studied. I acquitted myself well in all situations, meetings, networking etc. even though i had never worked in an office environment.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

i frequently took on jobs from two teams that allowed me to lighten the workload for numerous employees. I could do the work autonomously which meant that I was not a burden to the team once things had been explained.

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

I was overly critical of myself but this got easier with time and experience. I had to improve my attention to detail.  I did this by checking everything a number of times and being overly thorough before handing in completed work.