Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Miranda Sandy

Degree Subject: German and Spanish/now MSC Marketing (9 months)

Job Title: GBP 5436 Education and Student Support Assistant

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

– Working in the Quality and Standards Team for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and the Business School.

– Liaising with academic staff members to process changes to modules and the addition/withdrawal of modules.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Ensuring that module information was correctly input into iPaMS and therefore correct on the university website – My line manager often asked me to undertake investigative work. This involved searching through emails, our tracking spreadsheet and various SharePoint sites to ascertain the progress of a module’s approval. – My line manager asked me to create spreadsheets for him, often related to the above and to undertake audits (i.e. Arabic modules). One day when he was not at work he left me with instructions to create a spreadsheet using documents with Accelerate survey responses. This involved inputting figures from a large number of survey results to calculate percentage satisfaction. I worked hard to finish the spreadsheet that day, and my boss was pleased to be able to use it in a presentation the next day.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

We quite often received requests from departments with missing or incomplete paperwork, which I would often return to them asking for the correct information. On one occasion, an Accreditation Officer had submitted several requests on old template versions of the coversheet, thus some of the information we required was missing. Rather than returning everything to him and asking him to redo it, I decided to copy all the details we did have onto the correct coversheets and highlight the information we still required. This approach meant that I was able to provide a good service to the staff member while obtaining the information we required to process his request.

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

The main challenge I faced concerned my poor WiFi at home. On a couple of occasions this meant that spreadsheets I was working on jointly with another member of staff became corrupt and an earlier version had to be restored. I overcame this by contacting my internet service provider and purchasing new WiFi extenders which helped the problem, I improved my use of Windows; closing Excel when I wasn’t using it and shutting down my laptop every night. This meant that such issues occurred far less frequently.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • IT

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative

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

“I am very grateful to the Quality and Standards Team for giving me my first graduate-level role. Although I never met my colleagues in person and my role was for only 3 months, I was very much made to feel part of the team. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but the experience has given me confidence going forward and applying to other graduate-level roles due to the recent and relevant examples I will be able to talk about in applications and interviews.”