Category Archives: Health Care

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.”

Student Case Study:  Mental Health Intern

Name of Student: Emerald Hughes

Degree Subject: BA Archaeology 

Job Title: Mental Health Intern

Company Name: Young Devon

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Young Devon is the largest young people’s charity in the South West. Our mission is to make Devon a better place for all young people. Each year we work with over 2,000 young people, building quality relationships to help them thrive.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I had a variety of roles including supporting my manager in the development and running of a social media campaign called Minds That Matter. This included building a website and creating social media/website content, as well as scheduling posts and attending project meetings. In addition to this I took up the role on Mentor, and currently have two mentees who I will continue to work with following the completion of my A2I internship for free as I enjoy this role greatly.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a website and a vast amount of social media content which is ready to be put out over the next month. I collected a series of mental health stories from young people which are being placed online periodically.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My success with my mentees, this has really helped with my career prospects and has allowed me an invaluable insight into working in mental health. I believe this has helped me understand the difficulties of working with vulnerable individuals.             

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time and work load management
  • Strategic planning 
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“I would not have been able to afford to have given this time voluntarily and therefore receiving help from the A2I fund was of great value to me. The application process was simple for both me and my employer, and once my employment had begun there was little else to worry about. My internship has really helped better my career prospects and given me a great insight into the field. Since graduating in 2019 I’ve gone on to be employed full time at Young Devon. The internship that I had there gave me a great foot in the door and I’ve now been working there for almost a year and am loving the role.”

Research Assistant – University of Exeter

Full Frame Shot of Abstract Pattern

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was tasked with exploring a model of single hair follicle dynamics with focus on hair growth and its primary factors. This role had a number of central goals:

– To verify previous results in the MATLAB software package Matcont, seeking accuracy and precise conclusions.

– To write code that enables results to be easily repeatable.

– To further explore the model parameters and develop insight into how they relate to future refinement of the model, and what it reveals about hair follicle dynamics

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I greatly developed my familiarity with MATLAB – something I’ve only really used at a surface level before. Spending extensive time debugging code written by myself and others has helped me to improve my ability to write functional scripts. I also gained a greater insight into the day-to-day reality of research. I am now more familiar with the process of learning and building towards a defined, specific output. With this has come a greater appreciation for the unpredictable ebb and flow of progress when trying to breakthrough a barrier in understanding.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I hope that my verification of past results is a useful resource, one that strengthens confidence in the assumptions upon which the model is founded. With this done, in a repeatable piece of code, it supports further divergence from the prototypic case to a more advance and detailed model (or a model with a different focus). New results regarding the parameters of the model provide a more complete picture of how the model may react to change/stimulus. With these in hand, conclusions can be drawn about which parameters are key influences, those in which change elicits dramatic variation in model dynamics.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, focus on goals and outcomes, degree specific – coding for dynamic modelling

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, independence

Research Assistant – University of Exeter CEMPS

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I assisted my professor in putting together a presentation for a research consortium. This involved researching the area of injury biomechanics for the built environment and age friendly cities, an exciting area that I wish to pursue further. I made visual diagrams to help non-experts understand the subject, reviewed literature and identified possible research areas for grants. I then attended the research consortium where I met academics involved in the subject from a range of universities and made some good contacts. I was also involved in the design and manufacture of a headform drop tester. I made models and drawings on Solidworks and then used the mechanical workshop to make my design.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt the process of putting together research proposals for grants, and how to create a presentation for a research consortium.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped my professor structure research ideas into a presentation to apply for grants. I started work on an ongoing project for the design of a headform drop tester, providing an initial prototype and engineering drawings to be developed further. I also identified relevant literature for the project.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, research, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Cultural awareness, logical thinking, creative thinking

 

Research Assistant – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was to process and analyse research data using statistical software with the aim of developing research questions relating to dementia and hearing loss. I worked with research team members to develop a study proposal which I will develop into a paper over the summer. In order to complete the tasks that my supervisor and I set, I was required to learn the basics of SPSS, and the statistical methods that are required as part of the analytical approach.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I have not yet had the opportunity to develop a research project of my own, and have no experience in using statistical software to analyse large sets of data. During the course of my internship, I learned how challenging this process can be and with the help of the team discovered solutions to the many issues that were found. As a result of this internship, I have been able to set the foundation for my career in medical research.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I hope that I have been able to reveal some additional insight into their data so far. Over the next few months, I will also submit a paper to research journals for consideration.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Statistics, problem solving, enterprise

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, motivation, creative thinking

Research Assistant – University of Exeter RILD

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I had to constantly be reading and analysing new research papers on type I diabetes and glucose variation as well as P2Y receptors. I also completed a small research project where I came up with a research question, planned an experiment to analyse the data (this was a western blot) and then came to a conclusion. I also helped other scientists with changing media on cells in tissue culture where I learnt important aseptic techniques. I calculated protein concentrations and made serial dilutions from this to assist with other experiments.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

At the end of the internship I had to present to a room full of expert scientists about the project I had been working including some background, methods, results and conclusions which helped me work through my dislike of presenting.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I completed a project that one of the PHD scientists did not have time to do but really needed the results.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Research, strategic planning, lab techniques

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, professionalism, perseverance

Engineering Intern – Designability

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

  • Design work on a saddle seat for a dynamic wheelchair for children with dystonic cerebral palsy.
  • Documentation of the engineering design process, including design specification, research findings and concept and detail drawings.
  • Home visits to a family with a child with dystonic cerebral palsy (who will test the wheelchair in its early stages and eventually use it) – I collaborated with other engineers and occupational therapists to determine the best design for the saddle seat.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My work proposed a specific design for a saddle seat to replace a currently used off-the-shelf bicycle saddle which was unfit for purpose. The design better addresses the complex needs of the user. The research and design work I completed lightened the workload of colleagues.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My time included home visits to a child who would be using the saddle seat – this improved my skills in user-centred design and helped me understand the complex requirements of seating for dystonic cerebral palsy children. I improved my team working skills, in consulting other engineers/ occupational therapists on my design. I became more confident in putting forward my ideas, as well as understanding criticisms.

Trainee Mental Health Support Worker – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities involved going on home visits with the well-being navigators to observe and support their one-to-one meetings with clients. I was also involved in co-facilitating the well-being groups across South Somerset offering support to people suffering with low level mental health problems. Alongside this I was carrying out a research project gathering information on the different support available for people with specific needs such as eating disorders, older people, bi-polar etc.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was gaining practical knowledge of mental health and gaining the confidence to use this knowledge to support people who needed it.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to carry out this research project that the other staff would not have had time to do without me. I was also able to fill in for people co-facilitating the groups when they were off sick or on holiday.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Time and workload management, focus on goals and outcomes, research

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, personal awarenes and work ethic

eDNA Laboratory Internship – Applied Genomics

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

During the course of the internship, my main role was to carry out general laboratory duties and perform eDNA testing on a variety of species from various locations. I was allowed to be completely hands on and I took part in all of the testing services that they have available as well as some of their research and development which consisted of some field work and gathering data. I also analysed various scientific journals to aid their research projects for further development.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt a huge amount in regards to the business, industry and general day to day tasks that are required within an eDNA business. I also gained a huge amount of laboratory skills working 1-1 with a very skilled technician.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I aided in their research as well as assisted in the laboratory to complete daily sampling tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, focus of goals and outcomes, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, motivation, independence