Category Archives: Psychology

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.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter: Child Health Group – Institute for Health Research    

Name of Student:  Rebecca Bates

Degree Subject: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

Job Title: Research Assistant

Company Name: University of Exeter: Child Health Group – Institute for Health Research

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I) 

Description of Company: The Child Health and Wellbeing Research Network brings together researchers across the University of Exeter that conduct research in the area of children’s health and wellbeing. The network spans many of the University’s colleges and represents 13 different groups, all with related work in this important field of enquiry. It was formed to ensure that strong collaboration and inter-disciplinary thinking and skills are at the heart of the research conducted, for the benefit of children and young people.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were research data analysis, report writing, proofreading and preparing a conference presentation.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I presented our research at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s annual conference. I also began work on national paper grown from the data analysis done on local data (I will be an author on the former, and lead author of the latter) – up to two PubMed papers can be taken into account during the Foundation Application process (the process you must undertake to be allocated a job after medical school), and being able to work on two so early will mean that I will have these reviewed and published by the time I am applying.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Situation: Annual conference of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Task: Presenting the research and data I had been working on

Actions: Preparing presentation, trial run with research team for feedback,

Result: Successful presentation in which I “didn’t seem like a medical student”, including two contacts made after which will hopefully lead to research links. This will also be relevant all the way through to my specialty applications as I have now presented at a national conference.

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

I was very lucky in that no major challenges spring to mind, and any small queries and blips were well handled by my supportive supervisor – even down to worrying about the cost of travel to the conference resulting in this being covered by the team.

I had been worried my ADHD would preclude me from being successful in research but the structure the team provided meant that I was able to meet crucial deadlines such as being prepared for the conference and succeed in a way I could not have imagined at the start of my degree.

Skills Learnt 

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

Attributes Developed 

  • Personal awareness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence

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

“My internship has helped me truly accept that there can be a place for me in research, as someone with ADHD – a dream I thought I’d have to give up when I first realised that not everything comes as easy to me as it does to others. It also meant I could afford to take the time to get my presentation right, and play a significant role in the writing of the paper, based on my data analysis – meaning I could see it through from beginning to end. I am so grateful for the opportunity and hope I can find a way to afford to continue this journey.”

Student Case Study:  Mental Health Intern

Name of Student: Emerald Hughes

Degree Subject: BA Archaeology 

Job Title: Mental Health Intern

Company Name: Young Devon

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Young Devon is the largest young people’s charity in the South West. Our mission is to make Devon a better place for all young people. Each year we work with over 2,000 young people, building quality relationships to help them thrive.

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

I had a variety of roles including supporting my manager in the development and running of a social media campaign called Minds That Matter. This included building a website and creating social media/website content, as well as scheduling posts and attending project meetings. In addition to this I took up the role on Mentor, and currently have two mentees who I will continue to work with following the completion of my A2I internship for free as I enjoy this role greatly.

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

I created a website and a vast amount of social media content which is ready to be put out over the next month. I collected a series of mental health stories from young people which are being placed online periodically.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My success with my mentees, this has really helped with my career prospects and has allowed me an invaluable insight into working in mental health. I believe this has helped me understand the difficulties of working with vulnerable individuals.             

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time and work load management
  • Strategic planning 
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“I would not have been able to afford to have given this time voluntarily and therefore receiving help from the A2I fund was of great value to me. The application process was simple for both me and my employer, and once my employment had begun there was little else to worry about. My internship has really helped better my career prospects and given me a great insight into the field. Since graduating in 2019 I’ve gone on to be employed full time at Young Devon. The internship that I had there gave me a great foot in the door and I’ve now been working there for almost a year and am loving the role.”

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.

 

Travel Behaviour Analyst – Devon Country Council

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

  1. Completion of survey with shared path users and other contacts via email and social media including promotion by Devon County Council.
  2.  Research into other share this space guidance/information.
  3. Report and presentation recommending how project could develop, awareness

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

My biggest achievement has been having the confidence to approach strangers and persuade them to pause their walk/cycle to talk to me about the shared space provisions across Exeter and Devon. Then, as I was representing the DCC, fielding questions about unrelated complaints which the public had. I have also had to create a report and deliver a presentation on my findings from this week in front of a large group of industry experts, which tested my presentational skills.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The feedback on the Exe Estuary Trail that we collected provided valuable evidence that the initiative is working, and that people understand the message. We highlighted key areas for improvement, whether physically along the trail, or with the existing signage. This sort of data hasn’t been collected yet, as the council couldn’t spare staff members for it, and so they are exceedingly grateful to have had us working on it this week- even if it was only for a few days.

 What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, customer service, assessing and managing risk

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, logical thinking, work ethic

Assistant Games Manager – SportInspired

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

  • Supporting with the organisation of SportInspired Games programmes
  • Carrying out and compiling research on community need in the areas in which SportInspired Work
  • Exploring new business opportunities for SportInspired by researching and identifying potential partners
  • Administrative tasks such as putting together and printing essential documents for SportInspired Games
  • Supporting internship recruitment programme
  • Supporting the Event Director to run the SportInspired Games festivals

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

I learnt lots of information regarding children wellbeing and mental health which as worrying as it was, was informative and gave me reassurance that what I want to do with my life is still the same.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I gave them an insight into their well-being programme from a psychology perspective. I also, using my knowledge of statistics from my course, was able to provide the company with a free, more detailed and efficient way to analyse their data which saves them time and money needed for a data analysis software.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, research, degree specific

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Cultural awareness, logical thinking, creative thinking

Research Support Intern – University of Exeter CLES

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

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

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

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

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

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

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Ability to work under pressure, organisation, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, motivation, logical thinking

Student Engagement and Employability – University of Exeter CLES

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

Completing tasks delegated by my line manager, assisting in activities regarding student engagement and employability within CLES. This included updating displays, compiling a database of placement opportunities and creating a mock-up of a website to showcase success stories of societies and groups associated with CLES.

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

I developed skills in efficient research techniques, as well as contacting an array of different people for informational purposes. I feel more confident in contacting businesses and organisations, alongside using the people around me to gain knowledge from their advice and experiences.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to complete tasks that have been otherwise neglected throughout the year, giving my full time and attention where this may not have otherwise been the case.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, organisation, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Commercial awareness, creative thinking, independence

Volunteering Assistant – Hospiscare

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

My main task for the week was to develop a brief and recruitment plan for a new volunteer role to support the HR team. I had a meeting with the HR team members and identified some of their tasks that could be fulfilled by a volunteer. In addition, I identified a new volunteer role that would improve the recruitment process at Hospiscare; I decided that there is room for work in equality and diversity in Hospiscare, and that they needed stronger links between the HR and communications teams. Therefore, I created a volunteer role that would overlap between both areas. I created a recruiting strategy and produced some marketing materials for this, including posters and social media posts. I also did some patient-facing work, including helping out in day care and on the ward.

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

I was initially very nervous about working in this environment, with people nearing the end of their lives and with bereaved families. However, I overcame this fear during my internship through patient-facing work.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I took some of the workload off the volunteering manager who deals with Hospiscare’s 1000 volunteers. Also, I have created a plan which will lighten the workload of the HR team who told me that they are very busy and would love me to create a new volunteer role which would allow them to focus on more difficult tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Customer service, organisation, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, cultural awareness, creative thinking

Graduate Ambassador (Widening Participation and Direct Recruitment) – University of Exeter

The internship was invaluable in helping me to develop the skills required to secure a training contract to be a solicitor. I am now back in full time education completing an MA in Law and look forward to starting with the firm in 2020.

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

As a Graduate Ambassador, I worked in both widening participation and direct recruitment. This involved delivering presentations for schools and colleges to inform students about their Higher Education options. I represented the University of Exeter at Information Fairs and UCAS Exhibitions, as well as helping with events on campus such as Open Days and Offer-Holder visit days.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Leadership, strategic planning, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Commercial awareness, logical thinking, professionalism