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.”