Category Archives: Education, Teaching and Research

Employer Case Study: People and Mining: University of Exeter

Name of Organisation: People and Mining: University of Exeter – SSIS – Politics and International Relations

Name of Employer: Deborah McFarlane

Job Title: Lecturer

Internship Scheme used: Access to Internships (A2I) 


“Our intern contributed to some of the ongoing activities of our network, helping to organise online workshops, taking minutes from meetings, note taking and writing up blogs from research panels. He has also done a range of development work, for example infographics to use on social media.

Working closely with members of the People and Mining team gave the student experience of a range of tasks and also situated him as a core member of our group. Our intern’s confidence grew and he took on some projects that he was instrumental in creating and planning, such as the infographics.

It’s been great, we have learned a lot working with Jack and I believe the experience has been beneficial for him.”

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter – TQAE

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter – TQAE

Name of Employer: Craig McEwan

Job Title: Academic Developer

Internship Scheme used: Student Campus Partnership (SCP) | Employer Engagement & Student Employment | University of Exeter


“The interns worked as a team accross three main university projects:

Assessment Reimagined:
Interns mapped the assessment journeys of students on 16 undergraduate programmes that had been identified as priorities by the project lead; painting a detailed picture of what assessment consists of on these programmes. After gathering data module-by-module, the interns compiled reports summarising the assessment journeys for each programme, before zooming out and looking at any broader trends that could be identified accross HASS and STEM programmes. In addition, they conducted a survey of students about their assessment experiences at Exeter and incorporated their key findings and analysis into a final report. This work forms part of the university’s wider Assessment Reimagined project. The findings from both their mapping and student engagement work will help to influence proposals around potential assessment changes over the coming months.

Learning Landscapes:
The interns produced a report with their analysis of study spaces at Streatham campus. This included their views on what defines a good study space and examples of good practice that we currently have at Exeter. Their recommendations focused primarily on how the university could raise awareness of underutilised study spaces and better communicate them to students at Exeter. They created several mock-ups / prototypes of comms in a variety of mediums that the university could use or expand upon to get these messages accross. One of the interns also conducted a series of short interviews with students to better understand their study preferences and their awareness of the range of study spaces on campus. These findings were included in the final project report.

Development of a new chatbot with the Digital team:
Although the Digital team are working with external consultants to develop the technical elements of the chatbot, the interns played an important role in defining and articulating the chatbot’s ‘personality’ and communications tone. They compiled research on other chatbots, before creating a name for the new chatbot (Robi) and defining its personality traits and backstory (creating storyboards and promo materials to communicate this effectively). They drafted answers to a series of personality/non-support questions that can be used by the chatbot and created a Tone Blueprint, which will act as something of a style guide for the chatbot’s responses when it is up and running. This work has been gratefully recieved by the Digital team and complements the more technical work that they have been doing to develop the chatbot.

I think their biggest achievement was meeting all of their main project goals in what was essentially five weeks of work. Their ability work as a team and support each other was crucial and a big part of their success. I was blown away by their professionalism and their willingness to take on challenges and tasks that were out of their comfort zones.

This was my first involvement with Students as Change Agents, and was my first time managing SCP interns. While I was a little nervous about taking on six at once, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I was fortunate enough that they were an absolute dream group. I really couldn’t have asked for a better bunch. Their ability to support each other was so impressive and certainly made my job a lot easier. It was great to watch them develop new skills and interests that they didn’t expect, and to see their confidence build over the course of the internships. Based on the feedback that I’ve received so far, they have been positive about their experiences and some have even applied for other internships at the university. I also want to note the benefit that we had from adopting an agile working framework for the duration of the internships, facilitated and supported by colleagues in the Digital team. The use of agile working methods gave the interns a real sense of structure and was instrumental in them getting off to such a quick and successful start with their projects.”

Employer Case Study: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum University of Exeter






Name of Organisation: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum University of Exeter

Name of Employer: Phil Wickham

Job Title: Curator, The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum


The student researched and curated a permanent exhibition for the museum on Black screen history. As well as a physical display created a digital exhibition , recorded two podcasts and wrote a blog about her process.

Our intern’s work is a big step forward in making the museum more inclusive and her intelligent and rigourous approach has produced a very strong set of outcome for the project.

I found the student to be an excellent intern and we were lucky to have her. It was important that this task was paid and she was exactly the right person to do the job through the combination of her research interests and skills. You can link to her work here

We are delighted that she may continue to help us as a volunteer in her third year.

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter

Name of Employer: Dr Jennifer Lay

Job Title:  Lecturer

Internship Scheme used: Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) , Access to Internships (A2I) 


“The student contributed to two research projects. For the first project she assisted with designing a participatory study involving street-attached individuals. She researched potential university and community collaborators and prepared materials for ethical approval (including consent forms and study protocol). Hence, our internwas instrumental in getting this study off the ground and in preparing the necessary documentation. For the second project, she conducted a thorough literature search on the use of spoken language biomarkers for dementia detection. She examined hundreds of articles and compiled summary information on those of interest to our review article on the topic. The GBP suggested useful ways of improving the literature search process and her analysis of the literature provided novel insights that have been useful in this paper project.

Our intern was consistently thoughtful and proactive in her work, and she challenged me to improve the way I conduct research. For example, she identified potential ethical challenges involved in working with street-attached research participants, as well as solutions to these challenges, which I am implementing. She also taught me about software tools and other resources that are instrumental to the experience-sampling work that we do. The student was well-organised and able to analyse complex information in a timely manner. Her capabilities as a research intern far exceed those of most other students at her level. If I had the requisite funding, I would have gladly kept her on as a research team member.”

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter, Student Comms (Law)

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter, Student Comms (Law)Name of Employer: Student Communications Manager

Job Title: Jo Cole

Internship Scheme used: : Student Business Partnerships (SBPs) | Career Zone | University of Exeter


“Our intern made a real impact in terms of rising engagement rates, particularly through social media and newsletters. I think he navigated quite a complex organisation, really took time to meet people and understand their needs and was focused on improvements

Our intern was a dream. He was passionate about his role, worked hard, got on well with everyone and was always happy to learn new skills and share his own experiences with us. It was a pleasure to work with him.”

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter: Market Research

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter: Market Research

Name of Employer: Nick Long

Job Title: Market Research Office

Internship Scheme used: Student Campus Partnership (SCP) | Employer Engagement & Student Employment | University of Exeter


“The key output was supporting facilitating student focus groups as part of an ongoing University project, followed by contributing to a written report summarising key outcomes and insights from the focus groups. The report was shared with a senior leadership group within the University.

Our intern’s work on the written report; she provided a very detailed summary or insights that made up a big proportion of the final report. The report was reviewed by both myself (direct line manager) and our Market Research Manager and we both felt there was real quality in the work.

Overall, working with the student was a very positive experience; she was enthusiastic, engaged and produced high quality work. “

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter

Name of Employer: Nicholas J. Moberly

Job Title: Senior Lecturer

Internship Scheme used: Student Campus Partnership (SCP) | Employer Engagement & Student Employment | University of Exeter


“Our intern worked as a research assistant on a psychophysiological experiment, helped to recruit participants to recruitment target, test them and also trained another intern to run the experiment and process psychophysiological data. Intern also processed, collated and archived all data.

The internship provided a very valuable experience in working with an enthusiastic and conscientious student to deliver a research project in a timely manner. This allowed me to complete work on a timescale that would otherwise have taken many more months, and therefore to deliver a research grant efficiently. The intern had already worked on the project (as an undergraduate) previously and so were able to continue where they left off and further develop their skills, while increasing their skills in people and time management. I hope that they have found the experience as useful and interesting as I have.”

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter, Department of Classics

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter, Department of Classics

Name of Employer: Claire Holleran

Job Title: Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History

Internship Scheme used:  Access to Internships (A2I) 


“Our intern was employed as an Research Assistant on an ongoing digital project on Latin inscriptions recording migration in Roman Iberia, and worked on finding further references and images of inscriptions. This was very important for future proofing the project.

The student did a fantastic job as an intern on the project. She followed the instructions carefully and worked efficiently and independently throughout her internship

Employing our intern through the internship scheme was an excellent experience and I would thoroughly recommend it (and her). Her work was important for the project overall and saved me a considerable amount of research time.”

Employer Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Organisation: University of Exeter

Name of Employer: Siobhan Mitchell

Job Title: Research Fellow

Internship Scheme used:  Access to Internships (A2I) 


“Our intern provided excellent project assistance while working with me. She has worked independently to analyse data and compile a report as part of the GuiDANCE project, making a substantial contribution to the project. As well as this she has developed skills in both quantitative and qualitative analysis and has also been successful in applying for further funding to continue to develop her research skills.

The student has demonstrated perseverance, initiative, and dedication throughout the studentship. She has actively contributed ideas and insights when discussing the research project and has worked hard to develop new skills. Having our intern as part of the team has been a fantastic experience. She has contributed excellent work and has played a role in the overall success of the project.”

Student Case Study: Ask An Alum (UofE)


Name of Student:  Emily Im

Degree Subject:  English

Job Title: SCP 5520 Ask An Alum Administrator

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My main responsibility was to manage and record Ask An Alum applications and then connect students and graduates with alumni who could give them careers advice. I also searched and inputted data from Raiser’s Edge onto Microsoft Excel, produced and scheduled social media marketing material to promote Ask An Alum, and wrote copy advertising Ask An Alum for the careers newsletter.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I helped connect over 60 alumni with students and graduates who applied for Ask An Alum.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Customer Service

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Confidence
  • Independence

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

I had a brilliant time as Ask An Alum Administrator for the University’s Employability team. My three lovely managers gave me support and guidance when needed but also welcomed my own ideas. There was a lot of data inputting involved but I had the opportunity to be creative too when working on the marketing side of things. The internship as a whole has helped me develop the skills I need for the future and boosted my confidence. Therefore, it was a worthwhile experience.