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.”