Category Archives: Real Estate and Property

Student Case Study:  Harbour Housing 

Name of Student:  Emily Hill 

Job Title:  Communications and Research Intern

Company Name: Harbour Housing

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Harbour Housing provides accommodation and support for homeless and vulnerable people across Cornwall. We house a variety of people and our aim is to provide tailored support in order to help them to eventually live independently. People stay with us for up to and sometimes over two years in order that they have the chance to really turn their lives around at a pace appropriate to them, often moving through our different properties which offer increasing independence until they are ready to move on. 

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

I established and managed our social media, represented the organisation at partnership meetings, wrote and sent out press releases, acted as an ambassador at events, gave presentations and tours to stakeholders managed the company website and branding, applied for funding and managed projects.

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

I increased our social media following and engagement by over 2,000%, regularly had articles published in local press and trade journals, produced reports for commissioners and brought in funding for the organisation.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

The organisation I worked for was a homeless charity, and we found it difficult to move our clients into permanent accommodation due to the reluctance of landlords and lack of funds to cover deposit costs. I applied for grant funding for a project that would solve these issues, and was successful in securing £45,000 for the charity. As a result 20 individuals will now be able to move into their own homes.

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

It was difficult to adapt to not being given instructions and having to use a lot of initiative in managing time and deciding on strategy. This came with time and practice.

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Persuasion
  • Customer Service
  • Ability to work under pressure
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Researching
  • Networking
  • Initiative
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

Before undertaking my internship I could not really visualise myself in any professional role and wasn’t sure what I wanted out of a career. I have now developed the skills and experience to give me confidence in my own abilities, and the knowledge of the sector to help me in my future development. I also secured a permanent contract with the same organisation which I am very much looking forward to.



Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service – Employer Case Study


Name of Organisation: Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service

Description of Organisation: Devon, Somerset & Torbay Trading Standards Service has a wide-ranging role in ensuring fair trading by supporting businesses and protecting consumers. The Service is committed to maintaining legal compliance to help ensure that businesses do not take an unfair advantage over competitors or consumers.

Name of Employer: Jay Capel

Job Title: Trading Standards Lead Officer

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

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


We recruited a Trading Standards Social Media Intern through the graduate business partnership with the University of Exeter. Our intern had a project to deliver which he did in a timely and professional manner. Devon County Council IT and salary payment system left a lot to be desired, but Oliver coped well and used his own IT skills to good effect.

Our intern also gave several presentations where he dealt with the audiences well and answered questions in a very mature and matter of fact manner.

Recruitment of the intern was an easy-to-follow procedure assisted by a knowledgeable team where nothing was too much trouble. It was a pleasure working with the intern who demonstrated a good work ethic and showed a maturity beyond his years. We really enjoyed having him on board and recommend the internship schemes provided by the University of Exeter to all types of businesses.

Renewables Assistant – JHWalter LLP

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

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

Analysis of opportunities for renewable energy investment including wind, biogas and PV. Research on certain technologies as well as policy change.  Consultation with a variety of statutory and non-statutory bodies. Drafting reports on constraints, feasibility and potential for a range of projects.

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

I developed my communication skills through contact with clients and colleagues within the Renewable Energy Team. I furthered my competence in several software systems. I developed skills in Microsoft Office, particularly in Excel through looking at the financial viability of various projects; working out payback periods and returns on investment. I learnt how to structure and present reports for clients and how these differ to a typical university report. Promap software was used for mapping and looking at the feasibility of projects. I recognised the importance of working in a tight timeframe. Often clients want timely and informative answers which are hard to give when waiting on information from third parties. I soon realised the importance of putting pressure on these third parties and following up calls with emails etc. to give more timely responses to clients and provide a better service.  I am sure the skills I have developed and lessons I have learnt will be applied in my future career.

“Sam proved to be a fast learner and  capable analyst and report writer. He provided valued support to the Renewables and Planning team during a very busy period of business development and showed ability to deal with new problems” – Consultant, JHWalter LLP 

Planning Intern – Smiths Gore

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

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

Acting on briefs that changed day by day. A large proportion of my time was working on the public consultation document mentioned below. Answering the phone and taking messages was a regular responsibility to ensure that colleagues did not miss important calls. I was also often tasked  with using local authorities’ websites to research various policies or using Planning Portal to extract relevant documents.

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

I was tasked with collating and summarising over 200 responses to a consultation letter for a proposed development. This concluded in summarising all the key issues and comments that had been raised into a 5 page document. This was later shared at a strategic team meeting with the estate manager for the Duke of Wellington, a major land promoter/developer and other professionals working on the project

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

When work is completed on behalf of a client, they are invoiced based on an hourly rate. I was undertaking work for various clients and my time was billed accordingly at a rate of £50 per hour. I therefore like to think that I generated Smiths Gore some extra revenue by charging my time to clients. In respect of making a difference to the customer, I believe I have been a good ambassador for Smiths Gore, being affable, professional and presentable when dealing with clients.

I also worked through a stack of filing that my colleagues had no time to look at in the last six months. Whilst it was not the most exciting of jobs, it’s very necessary to ensure paperwork is in order, in the unlikely event that any legal challenges arise from clients.

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

I did not encounter any major problems, however, if I was completely puzzled by a task, I would ask for the help from my colleagues.

‘William was very impressive – he was an extremely able young man that assisted senior members of staff and contributed well to the success of projects. Would employ again.’ – Partner, Smiths Gore