Category Archives: Education, Teaching and Research

Employer Case Study: RAMM

Name of Organisation: RAMM

Description of Organisation: RAMM will enhance people’s quality of life. It’s a place of discovery which encourages everyone to be curious. RAMM uses its local and global collections to connect people to the world and inspires them to shape a better future.

Name of Employer: Sophie Harbour

Job Title: Engagement Officer (Skills Development)

Internship Scheme usedGraduate Business Partnership (GBP) 

Feedback:

“Our intern’s main responsibilities were coordinating the Lost Words Exhibition, ‘What’s on Guides’ and coordinating our school visits programme. He also provided administrative support such as, organising meetings, minute taking, raising purchase orders, providing a central point of contact for the Audience Development Lead.

Our graduate was also a massive help when providing marketing assistance, including researching websites, writing copy, email marketing, implementing marketing campaigns, uploading content to websites. He assisted with the execution of events and activities within the museum and art gallery to include Gerald’s Birthday and the Lates events.

The research skills our GBP gathered from RAMM’s Customer Relationship Management System and booking system as well as from visitor surveys and other sources was completed to a very high standard.

The student was a great member of our team for the 18 months of his internship. He approached his role with enthusiasm and commitment and always had a fantastic ‘can do’ attitude. He also brought a different perspective to our organisation which was really useful when thinking about marketing and social media to our wide range of audiences.”

Heritage Innovation Website Content Developer – University of Exeter Culture Team

“I built some strong connections whilst also deepening my love of the heritage sector through my writing”

Name: Frank Allen

Degree Programme: BA History

Year of Study (at time of completing internship): 2nd Year

Pathway Programme Completed: Pathways to Arts, Culture, and Heritage

Internship Role/Job Title: Heritage Innovation Website Content Developer

Internship Employer: University of Exeter Culture Team

Please outline the project you worked on during your Pathways internship. What achievements are you particularly proud of? How will your work be helping others?

At the tender age of eight, I fondly remembered visiting Lichfield Cathedral. I was awe-struck by it. The Cathedral’s imposing spires, majestic arches, and grand scale captured my imagination. Therefore, when I saw the opportunity to work for the University of Exeter’s heritage team as a website content developer, I immediately applied.

I was asked to produce articles and blog pieces for the University’s Heritage website with my colleague, Kate, whilst also suggesting upgrades for the website and tweets to write. With only a brief knowledge of Devon and Cornwall’s heritage, and of the work that the University was doing to study it, I was excited to begin the role and learn more. The research assistants, Gilda and Eloise, guided me towards some captivating projects. Their research ranged counties and specialities, considering both natural and man-made heritage and its effects on communities, policies, and even animals! My task was to synthesise these insights into four enthralling pieces of writing for a wider audience, which would then have to be publicised. I started with the news articles. Consisting of only a few hundred words, I scoured my research reports for recent events that took my interest. Using a few examples on the Heritage website as my guide, I was excited to discuss Professor DeSilvey’s project, which would investigate strategies into heritage loss and conservation. I was also eager to talk about Dr Naomi Sykes’ new research into why we love to feed animals, using heritage sites as a testing ground. This followed nicely from Dr Brazier and Puttock’s research into Eurasian beavers on Holnicote estate.

Moving onto the blog articles, two themes across the heritage sector caught my attention: climate change and the debate around the loss of heritage. Touching upon artistic projects and a bid involving University of Exeter professors, I highlighted how important the consideration of Climate Change was in heritage conservation in the future. However, does this heritage even need to be conserved in the first place? In her book ‘Curated Decay’, Professor DeSilvey suggests that we should allow nature to take its course. This discussion around heritage conservation informed my second blog post. A common thread through these themes, though, was an ethical discussion of what heritage meant to a community. This captivated me the most, reminding me of how I became interested in my own heritage, to begin with.

How did you overcome a particular challenge during your internship, for example, challenges linked to working remotely?

I found the work with the Culture Team’s heritage sector challenging, but at the same time incredibly thought-provoking and rewarding. Time management was key. Kate and I managed to produce a schedule for the week, dividing each day into achievable objectives. This skill was very useful in creating the Heritage website’s Twitter timeline as well. However, this would not have been possible without strong teamwork and communication. Meetings and emails with both my team and the professors I wrote about were integral to producing high-quality pieces of writing. In the end, I built some strong connections whilst also deepening my love of the heritage sector through my writing.

Why would you recommend a Professional Pathways internship to future students?

The role of website content developer equipped me with some invaluable skills whilst I pursued a field that I would love to work in again in the future. I could not recommend the role enough to anyone keen on finding out more about heritage and what it means for them and their community.

Heritage Innovation Researcher – University of Exeter Culture Team

“I cannot express in words how unbelievably enriching both personally and professionally this internship has proven to be, and I would highly recommend it to anyone to apply and give it your best shot”

Name: Ellie Speechly

Degree Programme: BA Archaeology

Year of Study: 3rd Year

Pathway Programme Completed: Pathways to Arts, Culture, and Heritage

Internship Role/Job Title: Heritage Innovation Researcher

Internship Employer: University of Exeter Culture Team

Please outline the project you worked on during your Pathways internship. What achievements are you particularly proud of? How will your work be helping others?

Going into 2020, I was fortunate to have been involved with the University of Exeter’s Professional Pathways scheme, an internship programme designed to give students an authentic workplace experience, along with specialist training in a field of their choosing. I was privileged to have been offered a role at the University itself in the Culture team with the Heritage Innovation department, a team that ensures the University has an extensive pool of partnerships and collaboration networks, operating on an international scale. I gained infallible insight into the networking skills required within the heritage sector, in addition to learning how many large-scale organisations such as the National Trust operate. A fellow student and I were entrusted to assist in researching and constructing a compressive report, containing all ongoing and completed partnerships, operations of a memorandum, and projects that the Humanities department was/are undertaking, in addition to the staff involved. This will later become a digital tool for students, staff, and external parties to consult in order to better understand the vast number of projects the University has had a hand in. I was particularly proud of the sheer quantity of information my colleague and I managed to read and research; it was all so interesting and engaging that I could easily have spent days at a time reading about a single project, such as those ongoing with Powderham Castle or the fascinating upcoming project on Vivien Leigh being untaken by the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

How did you overcome a particular challenge during your internship, for example, challenges linked to working remotely?

As an archaeology undergrad, I was over the moon to have been accepted and was waiting with anticipation for a heritage-related placement! But much like the rest of the world, all these plans were put on hold thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the efforts of the Pathways team and the wonderful collaborating organisations, remote working positions were arranged so no one missed out on gaining from this worthwhile and professionally enriching experience. Though working remotely had its setbacks, with interaction being limited to the video chatting format, with which we are all so familiar now, I couldn’t have asked for better employers or co-workers. I cannot express in words how unbelievably enriching both personally and professionally this internship has proven to be, and I would highly recommend it to anyone to apply and give it your best shot.

How has your Professional Pathways internship helped you in taking the next steps in your career, for example, have you gone on to secure another role, or has it helped you decide the sector you want to work in?

The internship proved to be great practice in contacting those within the heritage field, in addition to building relationships with those in the sector that has proven valuable as a new graduate, particularly in these difficult times! Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, my internship was a wonderful experience as it provided me with realistic skills needed in the heritage sector today, such as effective communication and research through more innovative means. I’m now fortunate enough to be involved with the SS Great Britain as a direct thanks to my wonderful employers, who have continued to support, mentor, and provide invaluable insight and advice into the world of work. Good luck and all the best in all your upcoming endeavours!

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 : International Student Recruitment 

 

Name of Student:  Beau Garry 

Degree Subject: BSc Geography  

Type of Internship: Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs)

Company Name: University of Exeter- International Student Recruitment 

Job Title: International Support Officer 

 What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship? 

-Support academic staff in their engagement with UK international feeder schools.

-Represent the University through attendance at education fairs, University open days and visits to feeder organisations.

-Collaborate with colleagues in other departments 

 What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I’ve added to the engagement and recruitment of the UK International market in the international Student Recruitment Team. I’ve also been the lead on International Foundation programmes and have been the person which has dealt with all the incoming referrals from the admissions team. 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?  

My biggest achievement during my internship was attending a postgraduate fair in Frankfurt and speaking to a student who was interested in studying at the University of Exeter. I spoke about the various different courses which we had on offer and assisted the student during her application via e-mail. As a result the student has successfully been made an offer by the University and will starting her course in September. This student emailed to thank me for all my help. This is just one of example of the many students I have helped at recruitment events and post recruitment events. 

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? 

“Very worthwhile indeed.  I had some valuable work experience and gained an understanding of some of the research being undertaken at the University of Exeter and the confidence to get more involved. “

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- 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:  The Eden Project

Name of Student:  Max Parkin

Degree Subject: BA History – Cornwall

Job Title:  Research Writer Intern

Company Name:  The Eden Project

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

Description of Company: The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future. Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

To research specific briefed environmental/social/sustainable topics for the Eden Project as directed by the Director of Interpretation. To write, summarise and authenticate research documents and storylines with references. And/or to write final copy across a range of media using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

Key accountabilities (depending on area the student wishes to gain experience in):
1. To research specific briefed topics using literature searches and by communicating with organisations and experts in the field, working to set deadlines.
2. To write master files (as laid out in the Eden guidelines) on specific briefed topics with full list of references.
3. To write compelling storylines, narrative and content briefs to enable interpretation of specific subjects across a wide range of media.
4. To write final copy for specific exhibits, events, digital and web content and publications using Eden’s house style and brand guidelines.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

The main task for the interpretation department at that time was Eden’s summer content – Earth Story. I was asked to research in detail Megafaunal extinction during the end of the last Ice Age and the potential human involvement. The end result was a detailed document which was then used to help the graphics team produce an extinction timeline which can now be seen in the Earth Story exhibit at Eden.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was given a topic I had 0 previous knowledge of – Megafauna. I was asked to produce a detailed research document and became an ‘expert’. My research was verified by Natural History Museum Professor, Adrian Lister and played an instrumental role in producing content which is now displayed in one of Britain’s top visitor attractions. 

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

Initially, it was difficult to get to grips with my task, my progress was slow to start – I made sure to communicate well with Sarah, my boss, and ask lots of questions when I became lost.

Skills Learnt 

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

Attributes Developed 

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation
  • Personal Awareness

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

“Working with the Eden Project for my internship was highly rewarding, exciting and eye opening. I became an ‘expert’ in a topic I’d never even heard of before, I met some great people and a future career path.”

Student Case Study:  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.”