Category Archives: Politics and International Relations

Student Case Study: Camborne Town Council 

Name of Student:  Phoebe Ranger

Degree Subject: BA Politics and International Relations

Type of Internship: Green Consultant Scheme

Company Name: Camborne Town Council

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description of Company:  Camborne is geographically the largest parish in Cornwall. Reflecting Cornwall’s diversity of urban areas, characterful villages, and sparsely populated rural areas of outstanding natural beauty. The Council administers an area of approximately 2,800 hectares and nearly 23,000 people live within the boundaries. Although Camborne was formerly one of the richest tin mining areas in the world, it is now among the 2% most deprived areas in all of England. As the Town Council is the tier of local government closest to the people Camborne Town Council is committed to empowering the local community by encouraging town pride and proactively engaging the parish with new community improvement projects.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

The key duties and responsibilities of my internship included producing a 3,500-word report to present to Camborne Council’s Climate Action Group Working Party with the intention of forming the blueprint for a future climate action plan. I was also given the opportunity to attend council meetings concerning upcoming sustainability events as well as discussions with Cornwall Council, the second tier of government for Camborne, on the future of recycling in the county. Each meeting I attended helped me to create a report that accurately reflected the needs and concerns of Camborne Town Council regarding sustainability.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

My final deliverable was in the form of a sustainability report detailing recommendations for Camborne’s Climate Action Working Party to take forward and to consider when writing their 2021 Climate Action Plan. Each recommendation needed to align with the objectives specified in the council’s 2020-2022 Strategic Action Plan in order to support Camborne Town Council’s mission statement and to ensure the needs of the community remained central to all environmental and sustainability recommendations. Camborne Town Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and affirmed its commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of more sustainable practices within the community in order to achieve this ambition had been delayed. The council felt it was imperative that they reaffirm their declaration of a climate emergency and support their commitment to protecting the environment by detailing environmentally responsible recommendations in a sustainability report. My recommendations included making the council building a model for sustainable practice, engaging the youth of the parish through the implementation of a repair café, maximising community carbon sequestration by initiating a local rewilding project and detailing how the council can attract funding for eco-friendly infrastructure projects.

What was your biggest achievement in your internship? 

I was able to present my recommendations to the mayor of Camborne for my final presentation at Camborne’s Climate Action Working Party meeting. Here, I was able to discuss with other party members the details of my recommendations and share my findings on how to create a sustainable future for the town. At the end of the presentation, the Mayor stated that she would like me back to work with the council again in the future.

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

Although embarking on my internship was daunting at first, I felt that the Green Consultants training gave me all the tools I needed, and I felt well equipped. Completing the on-campus project beforehand provided me with a good understanding of environmental and sustainable consultancy and I was able to navigate through any challenges using the knowledge I had gained from the programme.

Skills Learnt: 

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

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“If you are considering a similar job role in the consultancy sector, I would strongly recommend taking part in the Green Consultants Programme. I have learnt invaluable skills both through my internship with Camborne Town Council but also through the training and on-campus project elements of the programme. As a Politics student, I began the Green Consultants programme with very little knowledge of the industry, however, completing the scheme has given me great insight into the job role and what to expect from a career in consulting. Through my internship, I discovered my passion for protecting the environment and I now wish to pursue a career in the sustainability sector. Once you have completed the programme you will receive a certificate in recognition of your achievement, and I have found that this is a great talking point in interviews as well as an experience that will make your CV stand out. “

Student Case Study: Preston Street Films 

Name of Student:  Kathryn Offer

Degree Subject:  BA History & International Relations Study Abroad

Job Title:  Documentary Research Assistant

Company Name: Preston Street Films

Type of Internship:  Student Business Partnerships (SBPs) 

Description Of Company: Preston Street Films is a documentary film and branded content production company based in Exeter, Devon. The team combines decades of experience working for broadcasters such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, NBC and Channel 4 and a range of high profile brands and clients.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were researching ideas for documentaries, researching and getting in contact with archives for documentary footage.
I also researched for potential companies to make short-form documentaries for as well as,  helping with filming as a runner and getting in contact with people.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The outputs and outcomes I delivered for my employer was where I produced a list of potential companies to liaise with. I gave ideas for new projects and got in contact with people to appear in documentaries.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I got to work as a runner and see a project through from the researching phase, to completion. I researched the history of table manners for a documentary, contacted people to appear, and then helped with the filming itself.

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

It would have been great if my contract could have been extended. But there was limited funding for this.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service

Attributes Developed:

  • Researching
  • Networking
  • Degree Specific
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Confidence

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

“I genuinely loved every moment of working with Preston Street Films. I felt I gained so much experience, in so many areas during the placement, and it was such a great opportunity to experience something outside my general academic focus. I could not recommend it enough to anyone else considering a similar route. Everyone at Preston Street Films made me feel so welcome, and was so supportive of my applications to similar schemes after it ended. If there was greater funding in place to extend my contract this would have made it even better.”

 

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:  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.”

Devon County Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Devon County Council 

Description of Organisation: Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon which is based in the city of Exeter. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties. 

Name of Employer:  Heather Hillman

Job Title: Team Manager

Internship Scheme used GBP 

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback: 

We recruited a graduate to work as Economic Development Project Assistant in the Business Innovation Team within the Economy, Enterprise and Skills ServiceThe intern provided secretariat and administrative support to 2 ERDF funded Programmes.   

Our Intern’s hard work enabled both Programmes to meet the funders requirements for complianceIn order to do this, she organised and recorded steering group and management board meetings, checked output claims and instigated robust document retention plans.  

We enjoyed a positive intern experience and found that the candidate was fully able to understand the complexities of providing Project Management support within the content of European Funded Programmes. Our graduate was offered another role in Devon County council when her contract had finished. She made a very brilliant contribution to our company and worked well within our dynamic team.  

 

  

  

  

Devon and Cornwall OPCC -Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Devon and Cornwall OPCC

Description of Organisation:  The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is a non-political, impartial organisation and its head of paid service is the chief executive officer. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is a separate organisation to Devon and Cornwall Police. It fits into several categories such as strategy, policy and performance, Criminal justice, commissioning and partnerships, collaborations, and national activity as well as, many more. The Police and Crime Commissioner is to be the voice of the people in policing.

Name of Employer: Andrew Kirchin

Job Title: Communications and Engagement Manager

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We employed an intern to work within our office of the police and crime commissioner. The GBP became a valued member of the team very quickly and showed her worth. She worked hard in the workplace and made a great impact on our organisation. We were very impressed with her work so we have extended her internship with us and we would also like to offer her a full-time contract too.

This is the third intern I have brought into my team and, in all the fifth into the office. All have made a fantastic impact, and all have been offered a full-time roll as a result. Bringing in bright, ambitious individuals has changed the dynamic of the office for the better in a way I have seldom seen in the public sector.

I would just like to say that, yet again, the standard of applicant we attracted through the University’s Graduate Business Partnership was outstanding. All three passed the threshold for appointment at interview. We were very impressed with the way the chosen candidate presented herself. She was a credit to whatever work the University does to prepare students for this next stage of their lives. I would highly recommend the University of Exeter’s internship team and we will continue to use this brilliant service.

 

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 County Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Devon County Council

Description of Organisation and Role: Devon County Council is the county council administering services across Devon. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

The main purpose of the internship was to support the Democratic process of Devon County Council to assist in ensuring those processes are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and the Council’s Constitution and procedures and also with the promotion and encouragement of public involvement and participation through, for example, webcasting and social media.

Name of Employer: Karen Strahan

Job Title: Head of Democratic Services

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We recruited an intern to work as a Democratic and Scrutiny Support Officer. He worked on a task group which researched air quality and congestion in Devon. This included producing a report with innovative recommendations targeted at improving air quality and congestion. The report attracted media attention with the Chair undertaking a radio interview, based on the work done by our brilliant intern. Our student became a very important part of our team.

I believe quite passionately about giving young people the opportunity to start their careers and give them a platform to move onwards and upwards. At present there was no vacant full-time position to offer so I made the decision to go through the intern process for a second time.

As a newly appointed manager, I was keen to explore the opportunities offered by the GBP. The fact that I am about to undertake a second placement is testament to the GBP and the calibre of candidates that apply for the positions. The experience was very positive, support from the University of Exeter is excellent and also a fresh face joining the team is always good to shake things up and look at how we do things differently. I recommend hiring an intern, ours was timely and smart and made a positive contribution to our organisation.