Student Case Study: Wellbeing Services at University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Nina Warren

Degree Subject: Sociology

Job Title:  Wellbeing Intern

Company Name:  Wellbeing Services at University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Access to Internships (A2I)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Offering the student perspective and feedback on the many elements of the service (providing stakeholder feedback), undertaking research for projects and campaigns within Wellbeing, working with other staff members on projects, and researching and speaking with other university Wellbeing departments to compare and share ideas for service improvement

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was probably the research report I produced on supporting Chinese international students at UK universities. I did a lot of reading around this and spoke to a few other universities, and the report I produced was thorough and I received feedback from several colleagues that it was interesting and enlightening and had a few requests for them to send on the report to other colleagues. This was my favourite piece of work as I found it fascinating and enjoyable and the end product was clearly valued by my colleagues, which really increased my confidence, too. Overall, my main personal achievements were an increase in initiative and independence, and increased confidence.

Were there any challenges and how did you overcome these?

Mainly I would say working remotely was difficult for me and on days when I was tired I could become more easily distracted at home than if I had been working in person. I overcame this by scheduling catch-up meetings whenever possible, as these meetings kept me motivated, on-track and accountable, and broke up the day.
I also set myself to-do lists that included very small and manageable steps, so that rather than feeling overwhelmed by seemingly large tasks and therefore feeling demotivated, my work felt much more achievable.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Organisation
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Communication

Attributes Developed:

  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Initiative
  • Confidence
  • Professionalism

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

My internship experience has been (and still is, as we have agreed to an extension of my internship!) really enlightening and helpful for me. It has increased my understanding of university Wellbeing services, an area I was interested in exploring as a career, and has confirmed to me it that student support is a career path that I am interested in taking. I was made to feel so welcome and relaxed by the staff at Wellbeing and from the get-go I felt valued and encouraged by everybody I work with. This helped me to relax into my work and reduced the pressure. I was given the space to grow and work at my own pace, which was motivating and enjoyable, and has helped me to produce work that both I and my colleagues are proud of. It has been an excellent experience. I am excited to have secured a part time extension with the team.