Category Archives: Access to Internships (A2I)

Student Case Study : Caxton FX

Name of Student:  Olive Stansfield

Degree Subject: BSc Economics

Job Title: Corporate Intern

Company Name:  Caxton FX

Description of Company: Caxton FX is a UK-based foreign exchange, international payments and prepaid card provider based at Portland House in Westminster, London, England. It is a registered money service business with HM Revenue and Customs and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Type of Internship:   Access to Internships (A2I)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Competitor analysis, analysis of low-profit customers and administrative tasks.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Outputs: two competitor research reports for the two main products offered by my employer. Outcomes: a resource for all staff members to use e.g. when on sales calls to assist in promoting Caxton above its competitors. My research were also used by marketing to assist in development of new social media campaign.


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

I struggled with ensuring I was still included in team meetings as this internship was remote. I feel that if this internship was not remote I would have gained more experience and been involved in more tasks.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Customer Service
  • Researching
  • Organisation

Attributes Developed:

  • Commercial Awareness
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

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

“I really enjoyed this opportunity and I am very grateful to the University for enabling the internship. I’ve gained some very important employability skills and am now interviewing for a full-time role within the company!”

Student Case Study: SwapNation

Name of Student:  Mel Watt

Degree Subject: BA History with Study Abroad

Job Title: Sustainability Manager

Company Name:  SwapNation (formerly known as The Dress Change)

Description of Company: We are the UK’s first Peer to Peer Exchange Platform! We make sustainable fashion affordable for women in the UK, by creating an online space to exchange clothing, shoes and accessories with each other. We provide rewards for our members in the form of events, discounts and goodies from local small sustainable companies. Exchanging fashion means we are both saving money and helping the environment, by reducing the amount that ends up in landfill.

Type of Internship:   Access to Internships (A2I) 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My overall role was to enhance SwapNation’s sustainability policies and messaging by: 1) Producing creative outputs including website copy, blog posts, Instagram posts, TikTok videos, and co-ordinating social media campaigns 2) Reviewing SwapNation’s sustainability policies and making recommendations for improvement 3) Sending out a press release and securing press coverage 4) Helping co-organise and host the SwapNation studio – the UK’s first permanent swap shop – and launch event with influencers and journalists 5) Conducting research on the circular fashion industry and our main competitors

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I delivered many outputs including:

1) Writing a website page on sustainability so SwapNation can enhance its USP

2) Creating multiple blog posts and social media content to enhance awareness and click-throughs to our service

3) Planning #Swaptober, a social media campaign and pledge that will heighten public awareness and willingness to swap

4) Successfully distributing a press release which has garnered press interest and secured coverage in an online newsletter and publication

5) Networking with influencers, journalists and businesses to secure future collaboration and coverage

6) Creating an industry research report to help us better understand how to target our chosen demographic

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was tasked with boosting the visibility of SwapNation which I achieved through a range of social media outputs, press coverage and our launch event. I curated the guest list for our opening event which included high-profile fashion and sustainability influencers and journalists. The event was a huge success, generating both press and influencer coverage and greatly bolstering our traffic. It was a worthwhile networking event and one that has seen a rise of visitors to our studio.

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

Myself and the SwapNation team were interviewed for a BBC News segment which showcased the opening of the UK’s first swap studio. However, I was really unhappy with the way it was edited because it made me appear somewhat inarticulate and unable to calculate numbers in my head. I felt embarrassed that I had been misrepresented on national television, but showed resilience in making light of the situation and appreciating that the feature had greatly boosted SwapNation’s traffic regardless.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Organisation
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Initiative
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Creative thinking
  • Work Ethic

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

“As Sustainability Manager at SwapNation – the UK’s first peer-to-peer exchange platform and swap studio – I enhanced the company’s sustainability policies and messaging. I achieved this by researching and creating a variety of outputs including social media content, website copy and blog posts, as well as co-organising an influencer event and securing press coverage. Combined, my work demonstrated the sustainable benefits of clothes swapping, enhanced consumer awareness around swapping and platformed swapping as your guilt-free alternative to shopping, in store and online.”

 

Employer Case Study – Harbour Housing (Cosgarne Hall Ltd)

Name of Organisation: Harbour Housing (Cosgarne Hall Ltd)

Description of Organisation: Harbour Housing provides accommodation and support for homeless and vulnerable people across Cornwall. We house a variety of people and our aim is to provide tailored support in order to help them to eventually live independently. People stay with us for up to and sometimes over two years in order that they have the chance to really turn their lives around at a pace appropriate to them, often moving through our different properties which offer increasing independence until they are ready to move on.

Name of Employer: Emily Hill

Job Title: Communications Manager

Internship Scheme used:

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) , Access to Internships (A2I) 

Feedback:

“Our intern became responsible for our social media accounts and oversaw a vast increase in our following and engagement across these channels, including a 37% increase of our Twitter following and a 72% increase on Instagram. She also developed relationships with the press and was responsible for various stories being covered in print and digital media, including appearing herself on BBC Spotlight to represent the organisation. This helped to raise awareness for the charity and established us as a key player in the sector. She also gave presentations to local community groups which resulted in the development and improvement of stakeholder relationships which are really key to the successful operation of the charity.

Our intern helped to coordinate a response through the local media that helped to combat this and safeguard the reputation of the charity. The pandemic was also an unanticipated element to the internship and she responded well through being adaptable and flexible in her approach, taking on different roles where necessary including working on reports for commissioners and funding applications. The GBP also adapted her role during the lockdown period to support with efficient internal communication of information and coordinating a video for our Crowdfunder appeal that raised £1,000.

Our intern proved to be a huge asset to the organisation, creating engaging content for our social media channels and helping us to develop our relationships with the community as well as key stakeholders such as commissioners and members of local government. She excelled at liaising successfully with the press and developing innovative strategies to promote the work done by the charity, including establishing her own projects and seeking out stories internally. She has integrated positively within the organisation, made a lasting difference to the charity’s image and we are glad that she has accepted a full-time role with us which we offered her off the back of her internship.”

Employer Case Study: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Name of Organisation: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Description of Organisation:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the UK. With the invaluable support of our volunteers, members and corporate supporters we manage over 50 nature reserves, including an island for wildlife and people in Cornwall. We also work with other organisations and landowners to protect and connect wildlife sites across the county and inspire local communities and young people to care for wildlife where they live.

We want to create safe havens in which wildlife can thrive and from which it can spread. We need to inspire people to love and care for the natural environment, and enable more people to experience, enjoy and understand it. We are a charity and rely on membership, legacy gifts and donations from our supporters and on the efforts of our 300 regular volunteers to help us make Cornwall wilder. Our vision is to bring about a Nature Recovery Network to bring back Cornwall’s wildlife.

Name of Employer: Abigail Crosby

Job Title: Marine Conservation Officer

Internship Scheme usedAccess to Internships (A2I)

Feedback:

“Our intern became an extremely valued member of the team, as she efficiently carried out her duties within the Marine Stranding’s Network project. As a result of her work, the project now has a well-recognized and highly followed social media presence including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

She also played a key role in the production of our annual 2019 MSN report. She helped process thousands of MSN records. The student created several monthly Mailchimp newsletters to help communicate with our network of trained volunteers. I also really appreciated the intern assisting me with the training days, it was a massive help. A huge thank you to our intern for her fantastic work.

I would highly recommend the internship schemes The University of Exeter has to offer. The process was fairly effortless and for little administration we were able to support a fantastic student who carried out some incredibly useful work for the Trust. She was a brilliant support to the team, and we are very grateful for her time.”

Employer Case Study: QWERTY Beer Box

Name of Organisation: QWERTY Beer Box

Description of Organisation: QWERTY Beer Box is a year one University of Exeter startup, formed in March 2020 to give independent breweries the national recognition they deserve. We’ve since put together 4 independent craft beer selections (Best of the Cotswolds, Devon, Bristol and Wales), partnered with over 40 breweries, worked with numerous high profile corporate clients and sold over 1500 QWERTY Beer Boxes. In 2021 we are looking to triple our 2020 annual sales, export British craft beer to the EU and explore numerous other sales channels.

Name of Employer: Quinn Leatherbarrow-Stokes

Job Title: Co Founder

Internship Scheme usedAccess to Internships (A2I),  Student Business Partnerships (SBPs) 

Feedback:

Together with the intern we were able to define a project that would entail discovering and pursuing incremental sales opportunities in the B2B market across the Southwest (Devon, Cornwall & The Cotswolds). They became an expert in this area of the business and were able to add value to the overall business. Although not leading directly to immediate sales it has paved the way for future expansion and we are in the process of bringing them back on board come September.

Given the results achieved and the attitude and talent demonstrated by the student I do not think there are any obvious improvements. One aspect that I did find helped the relationship was that I was a student at the University of Exeter last year and so was aware of other commitments and we were able to work together on this.

The A2I team have been amazing. They worked with us to put together a job listing and advertised it to the talented students at the University of Exeter. We had a shortlist of students and were able to find someone who was perfect for the role. The student themselves added significant value to the QWERTY Beer Box team and business and gave us the extra capacity to pursue incremental opportunities.

Student Case Study – Bioregional  

Name of Student:  Lauren Allington

Degree Subject: BA Geography with European Study

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: Bioregional

Job Title: One Planet Living Intern

Description Of Company: Bioregional was founded as a charity and social enterprise in 1994 by Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai, two environmental entrepreneurs based in South London. We provide a range of sustainability consultancy services that make it easier for people to live sustainable lives within the planet’s boundaries by helping major developers create pioneering eco-communities and supporting businesses, including retailers, to create sustainable products and services.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key role was to support the One Planet Living team in developing a series of online resources available for Bioregional staff and Local Authorities regarding sustainability actions and initiatives across the world. I was also available to assist with wider research and admin projects, as well as contribute to discussions regarding the inclusivity of sustainability.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced six complete case studies covering a range of sustainability actions (zero carbon, zero waste, materials and products), a library of 38 case study summaries. These will be added to and used by Bioregional in a series of seminars and will later be available for Local Authorities to use. I also summarised a selection of these case studies in a blog post published on the organisations website. I also produced a research document about sustainability schemes in schools and catalogued the One Planet Living mailing list.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

I was asked to summarize my most important findings in a blog post to be published on the organisations website. I approached this task by reviewing the research I had already done, long listing and then shortlisting the case studies based on the brief for the blog. I then crafted a blog post by summarizing the case studies, highlighting the main features and providing context, as well as writing in the ‘voice’ of the organisation. The final blog post was reviewed by the communications team, who asked me to reduce the word count, which I did successfully. The final post was proofread and adapted by the comms team before being posted online with credit given to me. The post was also advertised on LinkedIn, receiving multiple positive comments and likes.

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

I initially struggled to always find the most accurate information for the case studies. I overcame this by reading more technical and policy-based documents, as well as undertaking active research by contacting organisations directly to find out the appropriate information.

Skills Learnt: 

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

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“The A2I scheme enabled me to do a really interesting, meaningful and educational internship at a fantastic organisation that would have otherwise been unable to welcome me. I am really happy with the time I spent at Bioregional, especially with the work I produced and the opportunities to speak to professionals.”

Student Case Study – OverAir 

Name of Student:  Brittany Willis

Degree Subject: BA English

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: OverAir

Job Title: Marketing Co-ordinator

Description Of Company: OverAir works exclusively with Apple products, we are also certified Mac Technicians, meaning we use Apple diagnostics and Apple parts where needed. We specialise in helping businesses, schools, and individuals with all things technical, including; troubleshooting, repairs, upgrades and general advice. With Apple certified experience across the entire product range, you’re in the safest of hands.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I was first in charge of building their social media presence, mainly on Facebook and Instagram, as well as designing and organising the company van to get wrapped. Recently, I have helped to organise and promote their first giveaway and going forward, I am designing and organising new signage for their new offices, as well as maintaining their social media presence.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced a social media campaign that focused on their giveaway. This gave me further insight into using social media for a business. I also designed their van wrapping, being introduced to new design platforms.  

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

I organised the giveaway of a new iPad. This involved promoting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, working with a budget in order to maximise social media campaigns as well as organising, copy-writing and sending out their first email to their customer list of over 900 people. This resulted in over 400 entries to the giveaway and over 5 thousand engagements on Facebook.

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

My first initial task was to design and organise the van sticker and wrapping. This involved visiting a business partner of his in Torquay, who is a designer. While we ended up with a great design, I found it challenging working with the company who were to translate our design onto the van. Eventually, I researched other companies and I am currently working with a different person to translate my design onto the van. I have already received more and better communication with this company.

Skills Learnt: 

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

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“My internship gave me insight into a small, independent business. The manager worked closely with me, giving me insight and opportunities to learn about his business, social media marketing and I even visited a designer in Torquay to learn about new design tools. The internship was very relaxed and flexible and I am happy to say it has been extended for another term.”

Student Case Study – University of Exeter, Biosciences  

Name of Student:  Hateem Rafeeque 

Degree Subject: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery 

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I) 

Company Name: University of Exeter, Biosciences 

Job Title: Research Assistant 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship? 

I discussed and planned projects with my team members to determine future experiments and tasks. I performed immunohistochemistries, counted cells and compiled data.   

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I provided data that compared two methods to see if they were interchangeable or not. This would allow a larger data set to be compiled together. I also double-checked other students work to increase the reliability of their work. 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?  

I was able to bring together various projects together. I counted cells that were treated in slightly different ways to see if the outcome was still the same. I compared data from different projects and found that the slightly different methodology did not make a difference. This allowed the data to be combined to form a much larger data set. 

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

I needed to go into the lab to take pictures of brain slices for cell counting, however, once lockdown started, I was unable to go into the lab. This put a halt to my project, so I discussed this with the rest of the team, and they arranged for me to complete other parts of the project that I could do from home. 

Skills Learnt:  

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

Attributes Developed: 

  • Initiative 
  • Perseverance 
  • Professionalism 
  • Confidence 
  • Motivation 

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

“This experience enabled me to gain numerous practical skills whilst studying. It was nice to be in a work setting related to my degree so that I could see other perspectives of what I am studying. I am glad that I was able to work with wonderful people and develop connections for the future.”

Student Case Study – Test Group

Name of Student:  Georgina Thompson

Degree Subject:  Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I) 

Company Name: Exeter Test Group, University of Exeter Medical School

Job Title: Research Assistant

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

The aim of this project was to review the evidence for the accuracy, effectiveness, and other aspects of the development and performance of symptom scores used in the triage and diagnosis of cow’s milk protein allergy. The project involved conducting a systematic review of published and unpublished research. We aimed to evaluate the validity, accuracy, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of symptom scores. My roles included the following:

1) Literature search of three databases (CENTRAL, EMBASE and MEDLINE) using pre-defined search terms. I developed these search strategies with help from one of the teams information specialists.

2) Reviewed all titles/abstracts and subsequent full-texts using inclusion and exclusion criteria. This included reading over 1000 titles and over 80 full-text articles.

3) Extracted data from each included study using standardised data extraction forms that I designed with my supervisor. Used critical appraisal tools to critically appraise the included studies.

3) Wrote a narrative review of the findings. This involved lots of collaboration with my team.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I have completed the systematic review and written the narrative. I am now in the process of circulating this work around the research team and we will then submit for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Allergy. The findings have been accepted for poster presentation at the MEMTAB2020 conference, which is due to take place later this year.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Writing a narrative review was my biggest achievement. I started writing as the COVID-19 pandemic began which meant I wrote the majority of the review at home. This was challenging as it meant I could no longer chat face to face with my supervisor and had to rely on MS teams meetings. The review itself is a 4100 word manuscript which includes Tables and Figures to illustrate the methods and findings. It was a challenge writing for a new and learned audience. I took notes during meetings so that I could work on feedback from members of the group. It was also a challenge combining ideas from all the authors. I am really proud of the finished draft, and that it is a good enough standard to submit to a peer-reviewed journal.

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

It was challenging adapting to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been able to organise meetings with my supervisor on MS teams, however, I found it easier to be able to walk to the office and show him my work in person. I also found it difficult not having two screens to work from at home. Having two screens makes it easier to read the papers, and also to look between excel spreadsheets and the manuscript. I printed off some of the papers to overcome this challenge which made it easier to refer to specific parts whilst I was writing.

Skills Learnt: 

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

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“My internship with Exeter Test Group has been a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed having my own project to get stuck in to where I conducted a systematic review evaluating the use of symptom scores in the diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy in infants. I have learned so much from all members of my research team who were incredibly supportive throughout – they have been amazing! With their help I have written a paper that we hope to get publish later this year. I would urge all students to consider an internship at University of Exeter!”

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.