Category Archives: Education, Teaching and Research

Student Case Study: Northcott Theatre

Name of Student:  Alice Thornton-Kemsley

Degree Subject: BA Geography

Type of Internship:  Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Northcott Theatre

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Exeter Northcott Theatre is a flourishing mid-scale regional theatre offering high quality performance and participation programmes engaging c.100,000 people per annum. We are based on the Exeter University campus and have been in existence since 1967. The Exeter Northcott Theatre Archive is housed in the University of Exeter Special Collections to ensure its preservation and enable access for research and learning. The Archive comprises of operational and production records spanning the period from its opening in 1967 to its refurbishment in 2007 and is a valuable piece of South West theatre history, showcasing the theatre as a training ground for writers, makers and performers of note.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duties and responsibilities were to assess current sustainability measures in place and then to suggest any further changes which could be made in the theatre to improve the sustainability in both the short and long term future.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

After my initial meeting with the client – where we discussed current sustainability measures and potential changes, I wrote up a detailed report – including other examples and images – which was then sent to the client. There was also the option of a follow up meeting at a later date if required.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement on my internship was developing a good client rapport. Due to COVID-19 after a number of emails beforehand, we had an initial meeting on site, where I had a tour of the facilities and discussed options. This set up an open conversation about the logistic and feasibility of changes.  I was working alone, from home, meaning I had to be organised and independent.

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

With such an open aim of improving sustainability practices I struggled to choose which output to hand back to the client. I decided a document would be most comprehensive which I then confirmed with the client.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Persuasion
  • Organisation
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic

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

“This experience has been truly rewarding and has taught me so much. Even if I do not end up going into the sector, I have gained a wide range of skills which I know will go on to help me in other work environments. Working for a client has been such a key aspect of this project, and I have seen the importance of client rapport, independent research and organisation.”

Employer Case Study – University of Exeter CLES

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter CLES

Description of Organisation: With over 4,100 students including over 280 international students from around the world, the College of Life and Environmental Sciences prides itself in being a vibrant community supported by excellent research and teaching across a number of related disciplines. Our areas of expertise span Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, and Sport and Health Sciences.

Name of Employer: Alan Barker

Job Title: Associate Professor in Paediatric Physiology and Health

Internship Scheme used:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs) ,  CLES Research Internship

Feedback:

“The interns worked on research related projects with an external partner, England Athletics. Their key outputs included three, two hour workshops with over 20 stakeholders to discuss the development of an injury prevention tool. As well as, producing six infographics to be used as part of the Youth Talent Programme run by England Athletics. They also were developing a testing battery to be used as part of the recruitment process for the Youth Talent Programme and then wrote up their findings and produced this into a written document. On their internship work they also presented an oral presentation about their findings to their research group.

The interns were excellent across the piece and formed an important part of our research group team. They were able to complete tasks in a timely and effective manner and were confident to use their initiative to solve problems and make decisions. Importantly, they also had excellent inter-personal skills, and fitted straight into the research team. We will miss having the interns working with us. Overall, the internship was a huge success.”

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.”