Category Archives: Information Technology

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Ghalia Abel

Degree Subject: MPH Biological Sciences

Job Title: Digital Learning Developer

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Providing digital support to university staff for online and blended learning materials.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

As part of a team I produced a digital magazine showcasing the innovative teaching and learning used by The University of Exeter Business School academics to enhance the student digital Learning experience. This magazine highlighted the numerous methods and creativity of the UEBS academics when teaching.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

An academic was looking to produce a short conference video with the speaker as the main subject on the screen. My task was to find a software that allowed video editing flexibility. I began researching and found an open source software that could be used to achieve the academics vision. The academic was able to produce the video and submit it for the conference in a timely manner. The talk was accepted and received great feedback.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes
  • Organisation
  • IT
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

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

“The internship allowed me to learn many new digital skills and work as part of a welcoming and friendly team. The flexibility of the internship allowed me to manage my time and prioritise tasks while continuing to progress as an individual.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Jude Ratnayake

Degree Subject: BA Geography

Job Title: SCP 5698 Global Systems Institute

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Developing an academic master database that characterised and processed a variety of key academic publications (written by members of the Global Systems Institute) according to their relevance with the Sustainable Development Goals. Reviewing academic publications and identifying key words that would be useful for readers. Reviewing academic publications and identifying specific geographical locations they related to.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I produced an extensive master database comprised of 458 individual publications from 73 Global Systems Institute (GSI) academics covering a range of different disciplinary fields. The database can be used for the GSI Website to highlight the relevance of the University of Exeter’s research (GSI) to the global Sustainable Development Goals. The database can also be used for the GSI Website to highlight how the University of Exeter’s research (GSI) engages with a diverse range of geographical locations on an international/global scale. The database can also be used for the GSI Website to allow readers to better navigate and identify academic publications that are of interest to them using the keywords tool.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was the successful completion of the internship’s final end-product: GSI Master Database. Throughout the month-long internship period, I consistently worked full-time on developing this database (a total of three versions) ensuring I used my critical analysis and research skills to collate various academic publications via a digital database that provided useful information regarding the specific SDGs, specific geographical locations and specific keywords the publications related to. As a result, an extensive master database can be used for the development/advancement of the GSI website. Additionally, the internship gave me a stronger grasp and understanding of the globally significant SDGs.

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

I did not find any specific challenges whilst working on this internship. This was because I remained in regular contact with my line manager who helped clarify any issues could have been encountered, for example, what to do when limited information was available for a particular publication/academic.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Personal Awareness
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic

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

“This internship experience was extremely rewarding for me. I was able to expand my knowledge and engagement with the global SDGs and I was able to develop my digital communication and research skills (critical analysis) whilst creating this master database for the GSI. I demonstrated my self-sufficiency in a remote working environment whilst also maintaining effective communication skills with my line manager that led to the successful delivery of the master database which can inform the GSI’s future website development.”

 

Student Case Study: SageTech

Name of Student:  Hannah Woodward

Degree Subject: BA Geography

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: SageTech Medical Equipment Ltd.

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: SageTech is a medical equipment company that has developed a comprehensive way to capture, extract and purify volatile anaesthetic gases to PhEur monograph standard.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

The key aim of this internship was to improve SageTech’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). I looked into gaining B Corporate certification for SageTech and also investigated its engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals. Due to SageTech being a relatively small company without extensive policies in place, the corresponding questionnaires insinuated that the company was only 17% aligned with the SDGs; since SageTech’s technology is designed to reduce the NHS’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, I deemed this to be an inappropriate representation of the business. After further discussions with the client, the chosen method for improving SageTech’s CSR was to investigate the possibility of joining a carbon credit scheme. I looked at numerous options, including the UK government’s new cap and trade scheme that was implemented this year post-Brexit. However, ongoing communication with the client led to the decision that I would work on creating a methodology that would be required for SageTech to join the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), a voluntary carbon credit scheme.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a presentation for my client that outlined what information would be required from SageTech in order to join the VCS. I generated this after looking at previous accepted templates from other companies that joined the scheme. This presentation and all my sources were sent over to my client, who passed it on to the relevant team to begin putting the information together in the required format.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Helping a company like SageTech improve its reach was a significant achievement in my internship. SageTech’s technology is revolutionary for organisations like the NHS, which emits extensive of volumes of anaesthetic gas annually. If more hospitals install the technology to tackle this, encouraged by schemes such as the VCS, GHG emissions could be reduced significantly. The ability to join a carbon credit scheme would promote the technology on an even greater scale, encouraging investment and the potential for implementation internationally.

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

It was challenging to not be able to access SageTech’s offices, as it limited contact with the client. However, through multiple Zoom calls and email correspondence, I was able to overcome this due to how helpful my contact at SageTech was. Finding a sustainability solution for an inherently environmental company in the first place was a challenge and required me to think outside of the box from my Green Consultant training. Coupled with communication with the client, an appropriate solution was found, and the project was a success.

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?

“It is always best to be confident and to not be afraid to ask questions, as it ensures that you are on the same page as the client when it comes to producing a piece of work or conducting research for them. Communication is key as it inherently establishes confidence in both parties. Suggesting your own ideas will demonstrate your ability to show initiative too, so it is important to back your own thoughts rather than being scared of being wrong!”

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.

Employer Case Study:  Jurassic Fibre Ltd

Name of Organisation:  Jurassic Fibre Ltd

Description of Organisation: Jurassic was founded by CEO Michael Maltby, a resident of Sidmouth in East Devon. Michael has built fibre and similar networks around the world, including in Russia and the Caribbean, and his goal is to build the digital infrastructure you deserve to support your lifestyle in the 21st Century.

Jurassic Fibre is part of the Fern Trading Group, and has substantial funds available to deliver a top quality fibre broadband network for the South West. We are planning to invest over £250m into building a fibre network in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, passing over 300,000 homes, making gigabit speeds a reality.

With the valued support of our partners – who together form a world-class supply chain to deliver fibre to the region – we started to build in 2019, with continued growth always on the horizon.

Name of Employer:  Gillian Huppler

Job Title: SHEQ Manager

Internship Scheme usedGreen Consultants 

Feedback:

“We recruited an intern to work as a Green Consultant. They provided us with a report identifying JFL strengths, weaknesses, opportunities to improve and potential threats associated with current compliance. He gave us an overview of what competitors are doing and gave us recommendations. He used our auditing tool (iAuditor) and build useful audit formats which will enable us to monitor compliance and track our performance.

I was hoping to get the student involved in review our waste management but the manager involved had been given an important task and was not forthcoming with the information. Our intern handled this well and we discussed other objectives, he got on very well with the change of plan.

I would have been more than happy to offer our intern a role if there was one available and I will be discussing this with CEO to see if there is any future opportunities.

The student provided us with some extremely useful information which will add value to our business. He was professional, pleasant, enthusiastic and would be a great asset to any company. He worked well in the office and on site talking to the civils teams undertaking excavations. Our intern provided us with a useful presentation to enable our company to understand our opportunities for improvement and developed useful tools for monitoring progress, which is amazing as we only had him for 35 hours. If this is the quality of Students Exeter can provide, we will definitely be looking to repeat this in the future.”

Employer Case Study: EFFECT Photonics Ltd (2)

Name of Organisation:  EFFECT Photonics Ltd

Description of Organisation: EFFECT Photonics have been shaping the future of photonics by interconnecting humanity through fast, affordable, sustainable, and effective communication technologies. The emergence of DWDM is one of the most innovative and important phenomena in the development of fibre optic communication technology. From both technical and economical perspectives, the ability to provide the world potentially unlimited data transmission capacity and bandwidth is a massive advantage of our DWDM technology.

Name of Employer:  Tim Durrant

Job Title: Engineering Manager

Internship Scheme usedGreen Consultants

“The green consultant student was tasked with providing a top level briefing for a gap analysis of our high tech start up business for plans to achieve ISO14001 in 2021. With her we worked up a plan for surveying the business though all the main stake holders. This work was then followed through and an excellent Executive Summary report with appendices showing main points for 14001, with linkage to ISO9001 (which we are working on this year). A very useful foundation document setting the scene for the future. The intern fully fulfilled the brief and even exceeded it by linking across to ISO9001.

The student worked flexibly and coped well with working around her exams and the additional challenges of Covid19. We had no issues and highly recommend the Green Consultants Scheme.”

Employer Case Study: Appen 

Name of Organisation:  Appen

Description of Organisation: Appen collects and labels images, text, speech, audio, video, and other data used to build and continuously improve the world’s most innovative artificial intelligence systems. Our expertise includes having a global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors who speak over 235 languages, in over 70,000 locations and 170 countries, and the industry’s most advanced AI-assisted data annotation platform. Our reliable training data gives leaders in technology, automotive, financial services, retail, healthcare, and governments the confidence to deploy world-class AI products. Founded in 1996, Appen has customers and offices globally.

Name of Employer: Morag Van Niekerk

Job Title: Business Operations Manager

Internship Scheme usedGreen Consultants

Feedback:

“We recruited an intern to work as a Green Consultant as we were developing our Sustainability policy over the next year and the internship would provide great support with this piece of work.

The student looked into how we can catalyse good practice across our sites. She also calculated our GHG emissions and created a waste management plan and environmental policy. This was completed to a very high standard.

The whole experience has been a very positive experience for the company. Our intern’s knowledge and skills exceeded our expectations and she contributed considerably to our new ESG, Sustainability and Impact initiative. With her input we have completed our Scope 1 and 2 GHG inventory calculations. I would highly recommend the Green Consultants Scheme, we found it very valuable.”

Student Case Study – OverAir 

Name of Student:  Brittany Willis

Degree Subject: BA English

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Company Name: OverAir

Job Title: Marketing Co-ordinator

Description Of Company: OverAir works exclusively with Apple products, we are also certified Mac Technicians, meaning we use Apple diagnostics and Apple parts where needed. We specialise in helping businesses, schools, and individuals with all things technical, including; troubleshooting, repairs, upgrades and general advice. With Apple certified experience across the entire product range, you’re in the safest of hands.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I was first in charge of building their social media presence, mainly on Facebook and Instagram, as well as designing and organising the company van to get wrapped. Recently, I have helped to organise and promote their first giveaway and going forward, I am designing and organising new signage for their new offices, as well as maintaining their social media presence.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced a social media campaign that focused on their giveaway. This gave me further insight into using social media for a business. I also designed their van wrapping, being introduced to new design platforms.  

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

I organised the giveaway of a new iPad. This involved promoting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, working with a budget in order to maximise social media campaigns as well as organising, copy-writing and sending out their first email to their customer list of over 900 people. This resulted in over 400 entries to the giveaway and over 5 thousand engagements on Facebook.

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

My first initial task was to design and organise the van sticker and wrapping. This involved visiting a business partner of his in Torquay, who is a designer. While we ended up with a great design, I found it challenging working with the company who were to translate our design onto the van. Eventually, I researched other companies and I am currently working with a different person to translate my design onto the van. I have already received more and better communication with this company.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“My internship gave me insight into a small, independent business. The manager worked closely with me, giving me insight and opportunities to learn about his business, social media marketing and I even visited a designer in Torquay to learn about new design tools. The internship was very relaxed and flexible and I am happy to say it has been extended for another term.”

Student Case Study:  Switch Systems 

Name of Student:  Josh Oxenham 

Degree Subject:  BSc Computer Science 

Job Title:  Software Developer  

Company Name: Switch Systems 

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: We are a small but perfectly formed IT company based in the heart of Exeter. We’ve been building websystems (not websites) for over 14 years. We’ve worked with a huge variety of organisations including local businesses, Schools, Universities and the NHS. 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?   

 My key duties and responsibilities during my internship were to develop software and design back-end and front-end systems for clients, including IoT, serverless programming and database design. 

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?   

 The outputs and outcomes I delivered for my employer were the development and testing of new and pre-existing software for clients, which resulted in software being delivered in time. 

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?   

Situation: Client had requested a feature in their software

Task: New feature had to be developed and deployed within the month

Action: I worked with a company director to design, develop and test this feature

Result: Feature got completed on time and deployed          

Skills Learnt:   

  • Problem solving  
  • Negotiation  
  • Persuasion  
  • Leadership  
  • Customer Service    

Attributes Developed:  

  • Confidence  
  • Initiative  
  • Perseverance  
  • Motivation    

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

This internship allowed me to further explore this side of the industry after my degree, giving me the experience within the industry to make more informed choices on a career path. It will also give me further opportunities which I may not have been given without practical career experience. I really recommend to any student to do an internship, I really enjoyed it.  

Student Case Study:  College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Name of Student:  Keith Harrison

Degree Subject:   MSci Computer Science and Mathematics

Job Title: Research Assistant (A2I)

Company Name: College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs) , Access to Internships (A2I)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My role was to decrease the amount of time taken to run code given to me by the supervisor which had to do with modelling clouds (geophysical modelling). To do this I implemented OpenMP alongside different compiler flags in order to achieve time reduction. We would have near daily meetings to discuss progress and what methods we could implement next and also to discuss what issues I had as this internship was also to inform my supervisor on using this library and how to speed up code execution.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

At the end of the internship I had spreadsheets showing numerous tests of the effect of making different subroutines parallel in their code, a research log of learning how to use OpenMP and some challenges I came across, how I solved them and what I would do in the future with what I have learnt, Altered .f90 files for the subroutines made parallel which achieves this time reduction, Multiple performance analyses of the code showing how long the code takes divided into subroutines and a quick guide to using OpenMP to help my supervisor learn OpenMP and improve the ~30% reduction in time I achieved.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

At the end of the third week I had reached another dead-end as I could not make any meaningful reductions in execution time past my usage of performance analyses. To remedy this I decided to go back to the document describing OpenMP and came across another type of construct !$OMP PARALLEL DO which combines two separate constructs into one. This would grant a major time save and changing just a singular Do loop to a Parallel Do loop took my time reduction from 9.6% to 16.1% for the resolution I was working at. However, the use of Parallel Do also came with issues to do with memory location access to further research had to be done to decide which variables had specific properties to ensure that errors did not occur. And in the end it allowed me to achieve a time reduction when implemented into the other subroutines of up to its max of 36%.

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

For the first week I had issues using Fortran alongside OpenMP. I found this was because this library is not well supported for windows so I switched to a virtual machine to run Linux as it was more up to date for that operating system. Also I was wanting to test my code on better machines but as campus was shut I was not able to access them, until i thought of using the VPN to access the machines from home to be able to test my code on. Towards the end of the second week I found that I was not getting any major reductions in time, and then after talking to my supervisor he informed me of performance analysis for Apple computers, from this I researched if any existed for Fortran specifically, luckily I found one and it allowed me to properly target the subroutines which would grant me the biggest reductions in time when made parallel. When making my code parallel I found that OpenMP did not like dealing with Global variables and after communicating with my supervisor I came up with the idea of using dummy variables.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

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

“It was a great experience working with an academic in research as I could see the tangible evidence of what I was taught in lectures. Was also great to see how my knowledge in computer science could be used in other subjects. The remote working also helped tremendously with practicing good communication and work ethic as I was not working on campus or in an office but from my room.”