Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Bryony Dennison

Degree Subject: MSCI Natural Sciences WIS

Job Title: SCP 5540 Environment & Climate Emergency Education Resources Intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Helping to create a compulsory climate literacy training course for staff and students at the university. This involved interviewing academics, researching content and discussing how to present this content.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

We produced the content for a 10 hour compulsory training course for the staff and students of the University of Exeter; this content is now being turned used to create a visually appealing module by an external company. It is hoped this module will lead to a greater understanding of the climate crisis, and therefore greater action among the university.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was especially pleased with the content I produced for the ‘science of climate change’ section of the course. This was a one hour module covering topics such as the greenhouse effect and the carbon budget. As we will have a wide range of participants, I had to make this content accessible and engaging for those with differing levels of pre-existing knowledge. This was challenging, as many find this topic dull. I included interactive diagrams with definitions of scientific terms to avoid repetition of information those with scientific backgrounds would already be familiar with. I also embedded optional videos and interviews for the same purpose. A variety of small quizzes were also added to make content more varied. Although we have not yet received formal feedback from our outputs, I feel I have achieved the project briefs here.

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

We needed to communicate with multiple academics who had expressed interest in being interviewed for or reviewing the project, many of whom did not respond to our emails at all or in a timely manner. This meant we had to be proactive in following up these academics and contacting alternative interviewees – this turned out to be positive, as we ended up receiving a more diverse range of participants. Similarly, at the end of the internship, we had not received feedback for all sections of the course. We had managed our time carefully to account for this delay and implemented several days to review the content of the other interns.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • 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?

“I was involved in producing the content for a climate literacy training course for the staff and students of the University of Exeter. This involved interviewing academics and writing content for a variety of topics including the science and effects of climate change. As a result of this opportunity, I have developed my video editing, project management and science communication skills, as well as becoming more confident. If I were to repeat the project, I would be more proactive in communicating with academics.”