Category Archives: Degree subject

Student Case Study:  Switch Systems 

Name of Student:  Josh Oxenham 

Degree Subject:  BSc Computer Science 

Job Title:  Software Developer  

Company Name: Switch Systems 

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: We are a small but perfectly formed IT company based in the heart of Exeter. We’ve been building websystems (not websites) for over 14 years. We’ve worked with a huge variety of organisations including local businesses, Schools, Universities and the NHS. 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?   

 My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were to develop software and design back-end and front-end systems for clients, including IoT, serverless programming and database design. 

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?   

 The outputs and outcomes I delivered for my employer were the development and testing of new and pre-existing software for clients, which resulted in software being delivered in time. 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?   

Situation: Client had requested a feature in their software

Task: New feature had to be developed and deployed within the month

Action: I worked with a company director to design, develop and test this feature

Result: Feature got completed on time and deployed          

Skills Learnt:   

  • Problem solving  
  • Negotiation  
  • Persuasion  
  • Leadership  
  • Customer Service    

Attributes Developed:  

  • Confidence  
  • Initiative  
  • Perseverance  
  • Motivation    

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

This internship allowed me to further explore this side of the industry after my degree, giving me the experience within the industry to make more informed choices on a career path. It will also give me further opportunities which I may not have been given without practical career experience. I really recommend to any student to do an internship, I really enjoyed it.  

Student Case Study:  College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Name of Student:  Keith Harrison

Degree Subject:   MSci Computer Science and Mathematics

Job Title: Research Assistant (A2I)

Company Name: College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs) , Access to Internships (A2I)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My role was to decrease the amount of time taken to run code given to me by the supervisor which had to do with modelling clouds (geophysical modelling). To do this I implemented OpenMP alongside different compiler flags in order to achieve time reduction. We would have near daily meetings to discuss progress and what methods we could implement next and also to discuss what issues I had as this internship was also to inform my supervisor on using this library and how to speed up code execution.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

At the end of the internship I had spreadsheets showing numerous tests of the effect of making different subroutines parallel in their code, a research log of learning how to use OpenMP and some challenges I came across, how I solved them and what I would do in the future with what I have learnt, Altered .f90 files for the subroutines made parallel which achieves this time reduction, Multiple performance analyses of the code showing how long the code takes divided into subroutines and a quick guide to using OpenMP to help my supervisor learn OpenMP and improve the ~30% reduction in time I achieved.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

At the end of the third week I had reached another dead-end as I could not make any meaningful reductions in execution time past my usage of performance analyses. To remedy this I decided to go back to the document describing OpenMP and came across another type of construct !$OMP PARALLEL DO which combines two separate constructs into one. This would grant a major time save and changing just a singular Do loop to a Parallel Do loop took my time reduction from 9.6% to 16.1% for the resolution I was working at. However, the use of Parallel Do also came with issues to do with memory location access to further research had to be done to decide which variables had specific properties to ensure that errors did not occur. And in the end it allowed me to achieve a time reduction when implemented into the other subroutines of up to its max of 36%.

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

For the first week I had issues using Fortran alongside OpenMP. I found this was because this library is not well supported for windows so I switched to a virtual machine to run Linux as it was more up to date for that operating system. Also I was wanting to test my code on better machines but as campus was shut I was not able to access them, until i thought of using the VPN to access the machines from home to be able to test my code on. Towards the end of the second week I found that I was not getting any major reductions in time, and then after talking to my supervisor he informed me of performance analysis for Apple computers, from this I researched if any existed for Fortran specifically, luckily I found one and it allowed me to properly target the subroutines which would grant me the biggest reductions in time when made parallel. When making my code parallel I found that OpenMP did not like dealing with Global variables and after communicating with my supervisor I came up with the idea of using dummy variables.

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?

“It was a great experience working with an academic in research as I could see the tangible evidence of what I was taught in lectures. Was also great to see how my knowledge in computer science could be used in other subjects. The remote working also helped tremendously with practicing good communication and work ethic as I was not working on campus or in an office but from my room.”

 

Student Case Study:  Digital Humanities Lab

Name of Student:  Ollie Anthony

Degree Subject:  BA CH Archaeology and Anthropology

Job Title:  Advisory Intern

Company Name: Digital Humanities Lab, University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?  

As an intern, I actively contributed to current College of Humanities research and teaching, by engaging in: digital photography, 3D printing, 2D and 3D imaging of artefacts and visual/audio media production. I also supported staff, partners and students of the University of Exeter to engage with the Lab’s facilities and equipment from the advisory desk. 

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I successfully contributed to the running and delivery of three conferences, multiple seminars, two open days, numerous group tours and a digital exhibition. In large, this was hugely beneficial for the lab in contributing to their outreach to other parts of the University, including, though not limited to, prospective students, academics and alumni.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I led a collaborative project between the Digital Humanities Lab and The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. The project included digitisation of a panorama dating to 1845, forming part of the museum’s collections. The end goal was to create an online, interactive version of the panorama to increase interest in the collections within the museum. To undertake this task I utilised the Digital Humanities Lab spaces to take high quality photographs of the panorama, following this I created a .html webpage to display the digitised images. The result of this is that viewers on The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum website are now able to successfully interact with part of the panorama collection, increasing accessibility and interest in their broader collections.

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

Being the customer-facing team member of a highly technical field, I was often faced with difficult or highly specific questions related to parts of the lab spaces. I committed a lot of time into learning as much as I could about Digital Humanities, but the key is to acknowledge when you don’t know something and to ask those who do know for next time.

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?  

“I would highly recommend anyone to uptake an internship with the university or another organisation. The experience I gained was amazing and it has really helped me going forward in my career.”

Student Case Study – True Story

Name of Student:  Emma Fear

Degree Subject:  BA English

Job Title:  Christmas Account Manager

Company Name:  True Story

Type of Internship:  Santander SME

Description of Company: As an independent creative agency, we’re used to working with brands and retailers across all channels, both in the UK and globally. Our concepts translate into real-world experiences for customers that deliver measurable commercial results. 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship? 

I was on a team that was the liaison point between a large team of designers and the Boots UK in store marketing Christmas team. I had to ensure briefs were communicated effectively and deadlines were met for delivering completed artwork files to the client.   

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer? 

I produced weekly market research reports for Boots which allowed other account managers more time to manage larger projects and also gave Boots an insight into their competitors. I also ensured that artwork files were delivered in a timely manner so that print deadlines were hit. This meant being aware of the designers workloads and timeframes and doing everything in my power to support them to reach the deadlines we set.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

Boots asked true story to produce prototype artwork of in store marketing materials that were not yet fully completed in the creative stage for use in a mock-up show room. I project managed this whole product, which meant delivering over 200 pieces of prototype artwork to a really tight deadline. To do this, I ensured I provided daily updates to the client, the designers and the rest of my team so we were all aware of how much work was left to do. I also made sure that things went as smoothly as possible by remaining in constant communication with the client so feedback could be delivered and auctioned promptly. We ended up meeting the deadline and all material was in the showroom on time for the senior members of the Boots team to see it.

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

There were large issues on a piece of work I was covering for somebody who was on holiday. As I was the only one in the office, I had to ensure that the client knew the limitations of the situation and the problems we had. This was incredibly difficult as it was not a client I had built up previous rapport with and this was my first dealings with them. I overcame these challenges by remaining calm and honest with the client and helping them to understand how the situation had occurred. I also contacted my line manager and alerted her to the problem so that if it escalated further she would know the situation clearly enough to have an input. This move proved invaluable when she was later called up and asked to make an important decision regarding this project.

Skills Learnt:

  • Problem solving
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation

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

“My internship was enormously useful to me both personally and professionally. It has given me the confidence and experience to pursue a graduate position in a large company and taught me so much about having a full-time job.”

 

Student Case Study-Ridgeway Information Ltd

Name of Student:  Umaira Navaid

Degree Subject: BA History and Politics, MA Applied Security and Strategy

Job Title:  Research Intern

Company Name:  Ridgeway Information Ltd

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

Description of Company: We work with major corporates, not-for-profit and public sector organisations. Our current and previous clients include the United Nations, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the European Union, the UK Gambling Commission, multinationals and private clients. We give our clients the confidence to identify opportunities, mitigate risks, tackle challenges and understand the landscapes they inhabit. We do this by providing verifiable insight gained through expert research and analysis of client-supplied and open sources.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities were to help research and write reports on nuclear proliferation. I also created resources for some of the training schemes the company provides.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced a report for the IAEA on Pakistan’s nuclear complex using my Urdu language skills. I also helped produce two other reports on Taiwan and Jordan. I planned and produced a short activity for people who undertake the OSINT course with Ridgeway. My skills in Urdu led the IAEA to have a better understanding of what is being written and posted about nuclear ongoings in Pakistan.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was tasked with researching and writing about Pakistan and its new Nuclear Complex from sources in Urdu. I was able to read and translate sources that would have otherwise been unusable. I wrote a report summarising my findings.

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

It was difficult to find much information at first and I spent many days without any relevant information. However, with further encouragement, I was later able to find better details and make the most of my findings.

Skills Learnt 

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

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Perseverance

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

“My internship was both fun and hard work. My colleagues were extremely friendly and the Access to Internship team is super helpful. I worked on a number of projects with Ridgeway and was impressed with the amount of autonomy I was given during my time here. I was also given good career and life advice and feel like I have a better idea of what I want to do in the future and my options.”

Student Case Study- Threshold Housing Link 

Name of Student:  Georgina Pitts

Degree Subject: BA International Relations

Job Title:  Social Impact Research and Project Worker

Company Name:  Threshold Housing Link

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I) 

Description of Company: Threshold Housing Link is Swindon’s Homeless Charity. We aim to end homelessness in our town and to help vulnerable people create a better life and independence. We offer support in a holistic approach and in a person centred way to local homeless individuals and to those threaten with homelessness.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were coordinating NCS social impact projects, being the main editor of the charity’s Facebook page and organisation of the pride campaign. I also attended meetings, interviewed associates and produced newspaper articles.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The main output I delivered for my employer was being the editor of the Facebook page. This resulted in a partnership with Mindcanyon’s page to raise awareness for World Suicide Prevention Day.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement on my internship was when I was asked to write several articles for the Swindon Advertiser.

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

Presenting to the NCS students was challenging and put me out of comfort zone, but I made sure I was prepared so it went well.

Skills Learnt 

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

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

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

“My internship experience was very much worthwhile. I experienced what is required to run a homeless charity and operate in the charity sector. I was taught valuable communication skills and witnessed behind-the-scenes aspects of homelessness in Swindon. I was given real and important tasks, and felt my skills and development were important to the company. I would very much recommend the A2I scheme.”

Student Case Study- Planet Earth Games

Name of Student:  Dominic Hughes

Degree Subject: BA Politics with Study Abroad

Job Title:  Marketing and Communications Officer

Company Name:  Planet Earth Games

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

Description of Company: Young people and adults are more concerned over climate change and its effects on the natural environment than at any other time. At the same time, inactivity and obesity are at record levels. We are a not-for-profit organisation who passionately believe in the symbiotic relationship between the environment and human activity.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties were the management of digital platforms and to develop content for digital platforms. I was also responsible for website management, including regular updates as well as, PR and Communications, including media relations and generating media coverage.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The outputs and outcomes I delivered for my employer was strong digital engagement on all platforms and I drove event sales towards minimum of 60% occupancy.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Being involved in the launch of the first ever Planet Earth Games, our team sought press coverage in the lead up to the event and also media coverage on the day. The task was to contact media organisations with press releases and invites to the event. We were delighted as a BBC representative attended on the day.

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

It proved really difficult to convert digital engagement to event sign ups, particularly filling boys football teams and tennis teams. As a result, we were forced to drop boys football and tennis from the schedule.

Skills Learnt 

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

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation
  • Personal Awareness

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

“I cannot recommend the Access to Internship scheme enough. Chris Broadbent, the CEO of Planet Earth Games, has worked in media and marketing for many years and was fantastic to work with. We worked to deliver a meaningful project – the world’s first environment themed multi-sport event.”

Employer Quote:

“Working with the University internship scheme was transformational for our growing organisation and allowed us to deliver a highly ambitious event with very little resources.” – Chris Broadbent

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 – Roly’s Fudge

Name of Student:  Annabel Ilic

Degree Subject: BSC Management with Marketing

Job Title:  Communications Assistant Intern

Company Name:  Roly’s Fudge

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

Description of Company: Originating from Devon in the West Country over 30 years ago, we now have independently-run family fudge pantries across the UK. Each shop uses traditional recipes to make fresh fudge every day, handmade in full view for you to see.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

During my internship I created blog posts and social media posts. I also produced newsletters and general marketing (with a focus on re-branding and the environment and sustainability).

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The key outputs and outcomes I delivered for my employer was producing blog posts and social media posts to gain more exposure. I created two newsletters which were a huge success. The first being opened by 1352 people and the second by 1445 people.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was asked to help with the re-branding of the business, focusing on the ‘faces of Roly’s Fudge’ (the families who own different franchises). I had to create profiles for each owner, using Canva and help to create the webpage for it on WordPress. Whilst this is still a work-in-progress, my manager is very happy with what I have done and it has been a very intrinsically motivating task as well. It has provided me an outlet to show what I have learnt during my internship and hope in the future it will help change people’s perceptions of the business.

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

Nothing notable. Sometimes time-management was difficult and I found myself running out of tasks, but by communicating my thoughts and giving feedback to my manager, everything was resolved.

  Skills Learnt 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Leadership
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Organisation

  Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation

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

“I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from my internship, but I have absolutely loved it. This experience has provided me with many useful skills that I will no doubt use in the future. After opting out of my industrial placement, it has given me a real boost of confidence and reassured me that I have the ability to be effective in the workplace. Better still, I was given the flexibility of working from home so it complimented my university studies well. I would recommend this scheme to anyone who is looking for meaningful experience and an insight into what ‘real life’ work is all about.”

Employer Quote:

“I was really pleased with the service from the internships team, who guided us through every step, advertising for the role and even helping with funding.  We took on two interns who were keen to learn and were so pleased with them that we offered them further work with us.” – Dannee McGuire (Director)

Student Case Study:  Colab- Resilient Women’s Project

Name of Student:  Jane Curmi

Degree Subject: BSC Sociology and Criminology

Job Title:  Resilient women project intern

Company Name:  Colab – Resilient Women’s Project

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: As an integrated cross sector wellbeing and innovation hub our goal is to improve lives by improving the context in which support for change occurs, as well as delivering meaningful and relevant services. Supporting people with complex life situations and multiple disadvantages, such as mental ill-health, homelessness, domestic and sexual violence and abuse, substance misuse, (re)offending and poverty we focus our support around recovery, belonging, rehabilitation and wellbeing.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Support the facilitation and delivery of a range of initiatives, working with the team to support women in the Criminal Justice System and those with complex needs, support resilient women’s project navigator scheme to offer direct pathway planning to women in the Criminal Justice System, support the delivery of resilient women financial abuse project training sessions, supporting the women’s sex worker project, take part in team meetings, learning opportunities and presentations, write findings and recommendations for future development as part of my placement requirement.

 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was asked to support the women’s sex workers project; the resilient women’s project was awarded Tampon Tax funding to undertake a further scoping exercise which would include gaining the views of women themselves and were awarded a really small pot of funding. The aim is to inform health and other social policy makers of what the needs are and how women want them to be addressed, with a view to looking at how to further support women in this situation. I was asked by the project manager to look over evidence that was already collected to familiarise myself with the project. I done this and I also spent some time researching recent literature on the subject, then worked out a plan of how the project aims could be met. I researched links that could be involved in the Exeter area and composed various emails and sent it to links that could have some knowledge of women sex workers in the Exeter area. this received a response from SWARM in London who gave me a contact link in Exeter University. I arranged a meeting with my manager, the contact and I. This meeting was successful and provided the resilient women’s project at Exeter University.

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

In general, my internship was very successful, the only thing I can say that did not go very well was when I was co-facilitating a course and a women turned up half way through the course and asked to take part. I felt that on instinct I should let her join the group. however, when reflecting afterwards I should have asked a senior member of staff as the women who attend these groups have multiple complex needs and I felt I may have let someone join and the situation could of changed and I would not be able to handle it. I discussed my feelings with my manager afterwards and came to the conclusions that in the future when a women turns up and the course has already started that she not be allowed to participate for the safety of the other attendees. This made me reflect on making quick decisions, I will in future be aware what the of making quick decisions and what the repercussions of that may be. 

Skills Learnt

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer Service
  • Leadership

Attributes Developed

  • Creative thinking
  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation

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

“Colab is a dynamic place to work, I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement and I have been given work opportunities and experience I would not normally have access to. This internship has provided me with the experience I need to complete my studies and further my career.”

Employer Quote:

“Jane has been an exemplary student whilst working with the project.  She slotted into the team really naturally and went above and beyond the objectives set when needed.   I would like to thank Jane and the University for enabling this really interesting internship to take place.”