Category Archives: Politics and Government

Student Case Study: Sutton Council

Name of Student:  Alice Dunsmore

Degree Subject: BA Geography with European Study

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Sutton Council

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: London Borough of Sutton Council offers a range of statutory services to the local community.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I had two main duties during my internship. One of them was to go through an environmental report and write justifications for actions in a manner which the general public could comprehend. I also rang all schools in the borough and tried to get them to separate waste and food waste, this also caused me to set them up with a specific waste collection company.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

Justifications for report and arranged food waste collections in all schools in the borough.

 What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement on my internship was reducing food waste in over 70 schools and nurseries.

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

My internship was very positive. I felt a little lost as the internship was remote and not in person however, I had a really nice team who helped me feel very welcome.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Communication
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“I would highly recommend working alongside the Council in the sustainability sector. The Council has real power to be able to make significant and positive environmental change, so working alongside them has possible significant outcomes for the reduction of climate change and saving the environment for the future.”

Devon County Council – Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Devon County Council

Description of Organisation: Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon which is based in the city of Exeter. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

Name of Employer:  Nicola Channon

Job Title: Resilience Lead

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

The internship process enabled us to recruit an intelligent and capable young person to be part of our Emergency Planning Team. The intern responded effectively to emergencies in the County by having up to date and comprehensive plans, specifically the Coastal Pollution Plan. The information was gathered through site visits and meetings with partners and the data gathered in this way provided. the detail needed to ensure plans are up to date and reliable sources of information. The intern completed all tasks with enthusiasm and diligence.

The graduate completed a piece of work that needed focused effort and would have been difficult to get done otherwise – but that is an important aspect of our work. It was completed to a very high standard.

Our intern has proved to be an interested and effective member of the team. His experience has led to a post with a neighbouring authority which he well deserves.

 

Saudi British Joint Business Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Saudi British Joint Business Council

Description of Organisation: We are an independent and private sector-led body, which aims to develop and enhance business relations between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Through both its British and Saudi members and its Secretariat in London and Riyadh, the council offers a range of services and provides access to high-level governmental and private sector networks in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Name of Employer: Chris Innes-Hopkins

Job Title: UK Executive Director

Internship Scheme used:  A2I, SBP

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Student Business Partnership (SBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We hired a Business Council Membership and Marketing Assistant through the University of Exeter Internship Scheme. The intern was prepared for the workplace and worked extremely well. He made an excellent contribution to SBJBC’s work and events, including leading on development of a new website.

The intern quickly made an impression and became a valuable member of our small team, leading on a number of events as well as preparation also. He demonstrated flexibility through remote working, working when necessary.

This is the sixth time we have used the University’s Internship scheme, and as before it was a very positive experience. We received a good service from the Internships Team and would definitely recommend the Internships Scheme to other employers.

The Exeter internships at SBJBC have offered students the opportunity to help manage high profile events and important business relationships.  We were so impressed by the calibre of the student that we extended his role and offered him a full-time role for another six months to take forward a number of new projects. It’s pleasing to know that many interns have used the experience to move onto relevant careers in public and government affairs and communications.

This is the sixth time we have used the University’s Internship scheme, and as before it was a very positive experience. We received a good service from the Internships Team and would definitely recommend the Internships Scheme to other employers

 

Devon County Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Devon County Council

Description of Organisation and Role: Devon County Council is the county council administering services across Devon. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

The main purpose of the internship was to support the Democratic process of Devon County Council to assist in ensuring those processes are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and the Council’s Constitution and procedures and also with the promotion and encouragement of public involvement and participation through, for example, webcasting and social media.

Name of Employer: Karen Strahan

Job Title: Head of Democratic Services

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We recruited an intern to work as a Democratic and Scrutiny Support Officer. He worked on a task group which researched air quality and congestion in Devon. This included producing a report with innovative recommendations targeted at improving air quality and congestion. The report attracted media attention with the Chair undertaking a radio interview, based on the work done by our brilliant intern. Our student became a very important part of our team.

I believe quite passionately about giving young people the opportunity to start their careers and give them a platform to move onwards and upwards. At present there was no vacant full-time position to offer so I made the decision to go through the intern process for a second time.

As a newly appointed manager, I was keen to explore the opportunities offered by the GBP. The fact that I am about to undertake a second placement is testament to the GBP and the calibre of candidates that apply for the positions. The experience was very positive, support from the University of Exeter is excellent and also a fresh face joining the team is always good to shake things up and look at how we do things differently. I recommend hiring an intern, ours was timely and smart and made a positive contribution to our organisation.

 

ESI Research Assistant – University of Exeter, Penryn

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

During my time as a research assistant I had one main role – this was to research Circular Economy in both theory and practice across several different nations. Nations and areas researched included Costa Rica, Kenya and the European Union which was to be used during presentations and a very brief start to a research paper. I was given a new nation to research each time I finished my work making this was my main role in ESI.

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

My ability to research effectively and put it into writing vastly improved.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to lighten the workload for my professor who is currently researching a project.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, problem solving, time and workload management

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, logical thinking, professionalism

Insight, Intelligence and Communications Intern – Southampton City Council

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

I conducted a preparatory briefing on the Brexit White Paper which is circulated to senior staff and councillors of Southampton and completed a task concerning the mapping of public sector and third sector services that tackle serious violence in Southampton in order to inform the council’s decision to bid for Serious Violence Strategy funding. I created a local needs assessment that included current statistics regarding violent, knife, and hate crime, domestic abuse, reoffending rates, comparing the data nationally with statistical neighbours and per individual wards. Additionally, the needs assessment included data on looked after children, deprivation areas and school absences to coincide with the strategy’s youth prevention priority. I reviewed an annual report that records the progress of the actions that respond to the Youth Justice Strategy. From this report I deduced whether the action will remain for the forthcoming year or whether full progress had been made and thus a new action would take its place.

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

I realised my potential within the policy team and have definitely decided this is the career for me. Specifically, I actually aided the team with their work, especially with the creation of the local needs assessment and thus my internship was beneficial for everyone!

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I efficiently completed each task quicker than expected thus, freed up the teams work to do other tasks.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, strategic planning, focus of goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, cultural awareness, logical thinking

Project Leader – BizDef Ltd

Cornwall, UoE Internships, University of Exeter Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

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

My role was to carry out background research needed to support an application for Government funding into a new project.

BizDef is a South East Cornwall based research and development consultancy specialising in new forms of energy. A small privately funded business, it aimed to grow and expand its staff base. As part of its business growth strategy, I was taken on to carry out market research, and review literature into renewable energy, supply markets and the economics of climate change. The results of the research formed part of a Proof of Concept report which was used to apply for a vital research and development grant application for a new product.

“Sara’s enthusiasm to make a difference in her work appealed to the company’s own ethos and her research has taken us closer to achieving funding and beginning Phase 2 in the product’s development” – Line Manager

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Diversity Intern – Civil Service

Parliament

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

This internship was primarily about the interns learning and understanding more about the fast stream and the role of a civil servant in government. Before I arrived I was allocated a fast streamer to shadow in the DEFRA department. I was meant to shadow her duties on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then take part in some other activities on Monday and Friday. However, as the project she was working on was too sensitive and confidential (about the EU referendum) I was not able to, but she arranged for me to talk to various civil servants and other professionals instead. I met senior civil servants, professionals in Behaviour Insight Team and fast streamers in the Department of Health, Education, Work&Pensions, HM Treasury and DEFRA. My role was mainly just to network.

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

I don’t mean to sound too generic, but I really did overcome my alienation and fear of networking. Every interns experience was different, as it depended on the agenda that your fast streamer had set for you. My fast streamer set up meetings for me to speak to loads of people, so I was forced to reach out of my comfort zone and be bold to ask lots of different questions.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I think due to the nature of the internship, the benefits of the intern were limited as it was an internship where interns gain an insight into the world of a civil servant. However, during the week a lot of emphasis was placed on the civil service wanting to achieve diversity within its organisation. It was stated that even though their current workforce comprises of a minority ethnic background of 10.1% which is nearly reflective of general population (around 11%), there isn’t diversity among the senior roles. The civil service accentuated that the promotion of diversity it not just limited to moral reasons, but strategically they need to ensure they reflect the society to know how best to serve them. So, I brought insight into an ethnic minority’s viewpoint of the civil service and a chance for them to promote careers available to me that I may not have considered.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Not so much a challenge but an adjustment. I decided not to stay in Westminster (or nearby), but to commute from home as I thought it would be manageable. However, I found the travel draining, so I had to be very vigilant and organise my time well to ensure I was on time to all the events.

Intern – Istanbul Policy Centre

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

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

I assisted scholars researching the fields of; Syria, Israel-Palestine, Inclusive Economic Growth and Turkey’s AKP government. I also organised conferences, edited policy publications and took conference notes.

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

I learnt how a think tank operates and about the specific think tanks role in contributing to civil society research and policy recommendations.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I eased the workload of my senior colleagues by researching both general and specific information to contribute towards their publications. I helped run the administrative side and on-the-day organisation of the Norwegian sponsored Peace Capacities Network Istanbul conference.

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Assistant to the Ambassador – Luxembourgish Foreign Ministry

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

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

There were two parts to my internship. The first one was centered around the State Visit of the Luxembourgish Grand Duke. Here, my main duty was keeping the programme and motorcade plans up to date before the visit, as well as supervising press and luggage affairs during the visit itself. Throughout the whole run-up, I was also assisting the ambassador in any problems he had to resolve. The second part involved an in-depth research of Polish exports and the opportunities that Luxembourgish logistics companies could make a profit from.

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

My biggest achievement must be the close-up view of diplomacy that I got. There are so many little protocol element that I could have only learnt through such an internship rather than through studies.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Especially for the run-up to and the State Visit itself, my presence was helping my colleagues enormously, which they acknowledged several times during the internship. After the visit, my research piece also gave the Ambassador a more detailled overview of Polish exports than he could have managed to achieve in his tight schedule.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

While there were no major problems during the internship, there were many little protocol things to which one needs to pay attention in the presence of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke. In order to overcome these uncertainties, I needed to rely on my colleagues and ask for their advice, because they were the only ones with the required knowledge to whom I could talk.