Category Archives: Access to Internships (A2I)

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.  

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-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.”