Tag Archives: UK

Student Case Study: SwapNation

Name of Student:  Mel Watt

Degree Subject: BA History with Study Abroad

Job Title: Sustainability Manager

Company Name:  SwapNation (formerly known as The Dress Change)

Description of Company: We are the UK’s first Peer to Peer Exchange Platform! We make sustainable fashion affordable for women in the UK, by creating an online space to exchange clothing, shoes and accessories with each other. We provide rewards for our members in the form of events, discounts and goodies from local small sustainable companies. Exchanging fashion means we are both saving money and helping the environment, by reducing the amount that ends up in landfill.

Type of Internship:   Access to Internships (A2I) 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My overall role was to enhance SwapNation’s sustainability policies and messaging by: 1) Producing creative outputs including website copy, blog posts, Instagram posts, TikTok videos, and co-ordinating social media campaigns 2) Reviewing SwapNation’s sustainability policies and making recommendations for improvement 3) Sending out a press release and securing press coverage 4) Helping co-organise and host the SwapNation studio – the UK’s first permanent swap shop – and launch event with influencers and journalists 5) Conducting research on the circular fashion industry and our main competitors

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I delivered many outputs including:

1) Writing a website page on sustainability so SwapNation can enhance its USP

2) Creating multiple blog posts and social media content to enhance awareness and click-throughs to our service

3) Planning #Swaptober, a social media campaign and pledge that will heighten public awareness and willingness to swap

4) Successfully distributing a press release which has garnered press interest and secured coverage in an online newsletter and publication

5) Networking with influencers, journalists and businesses to secure future collaboration and coverage

6) Creating an industry research report to help us better understand how to target our chosen demographic

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was tasked with boosting the visibility of SwapNation which I achieved through a range of social media outputs, press coverage and our launch event. I curated the guest list for our opening event which included high-profile fashion and sustainability influencers and journalists. The event was a huge success, generating both press and influencer coverage and greatly bolstering our traffic. It was a worthwhile networking event and one that has seen a rise of visitors to our studio.

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

Myself and the SwapNation team were interviewed for a BBC News segment which showcased the opening of the UK’s first swap studio. However, I was really unhappy with the way it was edited because it made me appear somewhat inarticulate and unable to calculate numbers in my head. I felt embarrassed that I had been misrepresented on national television, but showed resilience in making light of the situation and appreciating that the feature had greatly boosted SwapNation’s traffic regardless.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Organisation
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Initiative
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Creative thinking
  • Work Ethic

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

“As Sustainability Manager at SwapNation – the UK’s first peer-to-peer exchange platform and swap studio – I enhanced the company’s sustainability policies and messaging. I achieved this by researching and creating a variety of outputs including social media content, website copy and blog posts, as well as co-organising an influencer event and securing press coverage. Combined, my work demonstrated the sustainable benefits of clothes swapping, enhanced consumer awareness around swapping and platformed swapping as your guilt-free alternative to shopping, in store and online.”

 

Student Case Study: University of Exeter – Covid 19 Project

Name of Student:  Kathryn Bullough

Degree Subject: MSci Zoology

Job Title: Research assistant (COVID-19 plastic bottle pollution)

Company Name: University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Carrying out a literature review and data analysis of both public poll data and plastic bottle count data to determine how plastic bottle pollution has changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Created a publishable report detailing all my findings, along with a blog and presentation to access wider audiences. Discovered that plastic bottle pollution has decreased during the pandemic, however this is likely to be short-lived as life returns to normal.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

As part of my time working with the #Oneless team, I was tasked with producing a report detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted plastic bottle pollution. Using a multi-methods approach, I carried out a literature review, analysis of public poll data, and analysis of plastic bottle count data, coming to the conclusion that bottle pollution has decreased, however this is likely to be short-lived as life returns to normal. As a result, I ended up producing a publishable report that will be used by the #Oneless team to determine their strategy coming out of the pandemic, as well as being submitted to a journal later this year.

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?

“My internship experience was a lot more challenging, but also a lot more rewarding than I expected. I was really pushed to reach my full potential, and as a result produced a genuinely useful and original report that will be used to guide future policies related to conservation.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Amelia Southern

Degree Subject: LLB Law

Job Title: Animal Behaviour Intern

Company Name: University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs) 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

To assist with masters’ students’ research.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Helped collect data and analysed videos for the publication of a master’s student’s project.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

There was a situation where the video analysis software was not showing consistent measurements. To overcome this, I tried to find alternative video analysis software. As a result, we found a better software that we used for the duration of the project.

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

To begin some of the equipment we were using did not stay in place so we found alternative ways to fix the equipment so that it would not move.

Skills Learnt: 

  • IT
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Problem Solving

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence

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

“I thoroughly enjoyed my internship and felt that I learnt a lot from the experience. From day one I was assisting with data collection and helping with data analysis. I enjoyed participating in the project throughout and found it exciting so see all the developments taking place. I really enjoyed being part of the research team and learning new skills such as video analysis.”

Student Case Study: The University of Exeter, CLES

Name of Student:  Amy Barron

Degree Subject:   BSC Conservation Biology and Ecology PP

Job Title: Research Intern

Company Name: The University of Exeter, CLES

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs) 

Description of Organisation: With over 4,100 students including over 280 international students from around the world, the College of Life and Environmental Sciences prides itself in being a vibrant community supported by excellent research and teaching across a number of related disciplines. Our areas of expertise span Biosciences, Geography, Psychology, and Sport and Health Sciences.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Organising RAW photos and morphological data; creating MSPEC and JPEG files using ImageJ and RAWTHERAPEE; quantifying colour pattern variation in male guppies across generations (F0, F1, F2); and summarising data in spreadsheet for statistical analyses in order to find evolutionary and genetic links.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Outputs: I created MSPEC and JPEGS from the visible and UV images that were provided, and renamed the images referring to a spreadsheet for easier identification Outcomes: these high quality images will be used for research purposes to track colour markings on the guppy’s bodies in order to determine genetic links. By renaming the fish I also was able to highlight any problems or mistakes with the data to my supervisor

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Using a multitude of new software. For the internship I was required to use RAWTHERAPEE and ImageJ, which I had never used before. I was given a quick induction on the software, but I also took the initiative to find online tutorials, for example on YouTube. By utilising my supervisors, the internet and online forums I was able to sort out any problems that occurred during my work, and successfully create high quality JPEG images ready for evaluation. Using new software has also given me confidence in my IT skills, as it has shown that I am adaptable and could easily pick up these new skills.

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

Working from home – After a full year of online lectures and study I began to find it difficult to stay motivated during work hours. Typically this internship would have taken place in the labs and I would have had much more interaction with other people. To overcome this, I took regular screen breaks to talk to family also working from home, and ensured I stuck to a working day schedule (9-5/10-6). By having structure I was able to plan leisure activities and step away from the computer more often.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Strategic Planning
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Logical thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

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

I really enjoyed my placement with the CLES team. Both of my supervisors were exceptionally knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. Overall, it was a valuable experience which gave me a better insight to ‘working from home’, which has allowed me to make important decisions regarding graduate jobs, and what I would and wouldn’t look for in a company.

Student Case Study: South Devon Care

Name of Student:  Kari Webb

Degree Subject: BSC Biological Sciences with Prof Placement

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: South Devon Care

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: We are a local company offering a range of care services through our high-quality care homes in beautiful South Devon. Our aim is to improve the lives of the people we care about.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My main responsibility was looking at the company’s energy efficiency and suggesting potential improvements they could make to save energy using the Carbon Footprint’s Energy Efficiency Test. I highlighted the need for better staff engagement and proposed a few strategies including an online quiz that calculates an individual’s carbon footprint. Additionally I looked into the feasibility of installing solar panels at each of their sites using a solar energy calculator.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced a 3-page report with sections on energy efficiency, staff engagement and solar panel feasibility including graphs and tables I generated on excel to visualise the results from the multiple online tools I utilised.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Learning to work independently and taking sole responsibility for fulfilling a project to a client’s specification.

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

The manager was very busy, and difficult to communicate with because of the requirement to work online due to COVID-19. His instructions weren’t clear, and it took a long time to get information from him.

To overcome these challenges, I would collate all the question I had throughout the day into a single email so that I wasn’t sending lots of little emails throughout the day limiting the amount of time the client had to take out of their day to respond to me. In addition, whilst waiting for their response I would conduct work that didn’t require the information e.g. researching staff engagement techniques.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Workload Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

If you have a flexible and creative mind, a passion for sustainability and the environment, and want to be involved in developing strategies which have real impact on the way a business conducts itself you’re gunna love it.

Also my top tip is to get involved in as many activities and experiences as you can it is only by trialing new things that we find out what we are truly passionate about : )

Student Case Study: Optix solutions

Name of Student:  Olivia Arden

Degree Subject: BSC Biological Sciences

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Optix solutions

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: We’re a strategic Digital Marketing and Web Development Agency based in Exeter, Devon. We specialise in website design and development, digital strategy and digital marketing. We run a digital marketing training sessions through our Optix Academy.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I began the internship getting to understand the ethos of the company and the sustainability strategies they currently employ through meetings with a range of employees.  Following this, my main duty was to write a sustainability report analysing the effectiveness of current strategies and recommending further steps that Optix could take to improve their environmental impact.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

Sustainability report including recommendations on employee engagement, energy providers, bank providers and social sustainability.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Knowing that the recommendations I gave in the report will be used to improve the environmental credentials of one of the top marketing companies in England.

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

Timing to write report – took a lot longer than anticipated however, the company were very understanding and adapted to the change in timings.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Communication

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“I would highly recommend Green Consultants as a means to understand what is involved in sustainability consulting. In particular, working with Optix Solutions has shown to me the responsibility that digital companies have in making a positive sustainable impact, since their role in the environmental sector is often overlooked.”

Student Case Study: Court House Care Home

Name of Student:  Lauren Freer

Degree Subject: BA Geography

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Court House Care Home

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: HC-One is a care home group. HC-One’s mission is to be the first choice care home for Residents and Colleagues in each of the communities we serve. We hope to achieve this mission through providing the kindest possible care to Residents. Founded in 2011, our objective is to make a real difference to the lives of older men and women in communities throughout the UK. With over 300 care homes, we’re proud to provide positive, personalised care and support to more than fourteen thousand Residents who live in our homes, encompassing memory care, nursing, residential and specialist care. At HC-One, we’re pleased to work with, train and develop more than twenty thousand caring Colleagues who deliver round-the-clock care and support.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

My key duty and responsibility were looking at their clinical waste and other waste such as their recycling.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I produced and wrote a brief on my findings and spoke about the loose ends I had found. I also provided a list of adaptations the business could take on board to improve their sustainability.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I learnt a lot about waste and how important it is to distinguish different types as this can impact the sustainability level of a business. I also thought putting together the brief was an achievement as it consolidated all of the work from the week.

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

I found calculating the carbon footprint too difficult and needed to speak to professionals who helped me.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Workload Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“I would definitely recommend applying for a job role similar to the one I undertook as I was able to gain a glimpse into a professional atmosphere. It was interesting to see how the professionals dealt with tasks and how they made decisions based on their business’s goals and aspirations. The job provided valuable experience that I will definitely take forward into future jobs.”

Student Case Study: ClearLead Consulting

Name of Student:  Josh Marshall

Degree Subject: MSC Global Sustainability Solutions

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: ClearLead Consulting

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: ClearLead Consulting is an international energy and sustainability consulting company founded in 2012, with offices in Canada, the UK, and Ireland.  ClearLead takes pride in giving our clients straight, practical advice and support, with a commitment to conduct work that is useful and makes a difference to clients.

ClearLead specialises in helping commercial, industrial and public sector clients reduce their energy costs, operate more sustainably and comply with complex environmental regulation, both in the UK and internationally.  They aims to lead by example and are therefore working to become carbon neutral as a company.

ClearLead’s services in the sustainability and energy field include corporate sustainability and carbon neutrality/net zero strategies and assessments; Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) audits; energy audits and surveys; energy metering and monitoring systems; renewable feasibility studies and appraisals; resource efficiency (water and waste) programmes; carbon footprinting; training and behavioural change management programmes.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Izzy was my mentor and she gave me a long list of actions an example of this was – data entry. She also wanted me to work out how much carbon they are saving clients – extracted data.

From day to day I would help with scoping of clients emissions under the GHGP and ISO 14001, which mainly looked at key sources of emissions and whether they could be reduced in anyway. I did a number of small independent research projects over the course of the 3 weeks, the particularly exciting ones involved assessing the safety of mixing natural gas and hydrogen to emit less CO2 on combustion, looking at sound pollution for a new housing development and researching ways Clearlead themselves can reduce their carbon footprint.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I had a massive variation of the outputs I delivered. One thing I did was create a GIS visualisation to make public more engaged with activity for a client who wanted to blend natural gas with hydrogen.

The were a number of emissions scoping projects that were delivered directly to clients, mainly in the form of a PP presentation. This included small word documents on a given research topic that the client had asked for.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Presenting to directors on project work and the directors took my work to the clients and won the bid. Clearlead offered me a job which was amazing. This was for a new client who was looking to reduce emissions but the business model was complex. This created problems is establishing scope boundaries and determining which emissions were directly a result of the clints industrial operations and which were as a result of 3rd party operations.

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

More contact time with business – go to office more.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Motivation

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

“My advice would be to engage as much as possible with recruiters and organisations in the industry. Experience is key to your development, but more importantly it’s a way for you to learn what you enjoy about the sector and what you’re good at. The same can be said for what you don’t like about working life. Start to build up a picture of your ideal job and think about the small things that make a difference like work-life balance, purpose and working environment. All of them have a huge impact on the enjoyment you’ll get from your career.”

Student Case Study: SITU

Name of Student:  Olivia McDonald

Degree Subject: BSc Geography

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: SITU

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Our range of serviced apartments in Exeter have been handpicked for corporate and leisure travellers. Across our range of Exeter accommodation, guests can enjoy the luxury of fully functioning kitchens, comfortable beds and spacious rooms in their own home-away-from-home. Our Exeter apartments options are located close to the city centre too, convenient for whatever your trip entails, whether it be for business or leisure.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

The main focus of my work was exploring and proposing ways to improve the sustainability side of the company. With SITU already having taken several steps to improve its environmental impact, this required me to think beyond basic suggestions. Some of my tasks therefore involved researching what other serviced accommodation providers were doing, completing an aspects and impacts register, exploring carbon offsetting options for the company and clients, and creating a sustainability questionnaire for suppliers.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I was asked to complete and present several outputs, each being specific to a different task. These included a breakdown of twelve carbon offsetting projects, with included the project details, benefits and costs. Additionally, I had to complete an aspects and impacts register and write a presentation about sustainability for other workers. I also kept a document with suggestions for ways to improve the office’s environmental footprint, office item alternatives and sustainable gift options for clients.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

When I began my internship, I was somewhat thrown in at the deep end and given a long list of tasks (all of which I was asked if I was happy to tackle, and I was). However, many of the tasks I had no previous experience doing which meant that I learnt a huge amount as I went along. As I completed each task, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. My proudest moment was the company saying that they would love to have me back again in the future!

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

I honestly cannot think of anything that did not go well; the whole experience was wonderful! I was particularly grateful to be able to work every other day over two weeks, this turned out to be a really good working pattern.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Decision Making
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Motivation

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

“I could not recommend this enough! It is thanks to the Green Consultant Scheme that I was able to gain insight into the world of sustainability consulting, and as a result I am now certain that this is something I would love to pursue in the future.”

Student Case Study: Axminster Heritage Centre

Name of Student:  Alice Walters

Degree Subject: BA English with Study Abroad

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Axminster Heritage Centre

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Axminster Heritage Centre has a vision to delight and entertain visitors through interactive and innovative displays. We hope to exceed expectations by creating both an online and a ‘hands on’ experience that young and old can touch and interact with. In addition, we have a unique collection of original Axminster carpets artefacts and aim to tell the story, from fleece to floor, of this world famous ‘brand’ name in an enjoyable and educational way.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I worked for Axminster Heritage Centre every Thursday for five weeks – two of those days at the centre itself. Over the course of my internship, I assessed how well Axminster Heritage Centre was performing from a sustainability perspective. I then wrote a detailed report that gave recommendations about how they could improve their environmental credentials in the future. I found this to be both highly rewarding and an enjoyable experience.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

Within my formal report, I included background information about sustainability within the museum sector, information on waste management and energy usage, assessments of partner organisations, and case studies of best practice. When researching other museums in Devon, I noticed that none of them had an environmental policy published on their website. I brought this to the attention of my employer, and suggested that this represented an exciting opportunity for Axminster Heritage Centre to be the first Devon-based museum to prioritise environmental sustainability in this way. I also wrote an Executive Summary that summarised my full report for the benefit of the museum’s trustees.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Writing my report: it was 6000 words long, well-researched, and highly detailed.

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

My employer asked me to recommend some ways in which the museum could invest its money sustainably, but this was something that I had no prior knowledge about. I overcame this by completing some research, and ensuring that it was at least mentioned in my report so that it would be flagged up to the trustees.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Personal Awareness
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Motivation

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

“This role combined arts and culture with environmental sustainability, and this truly reinforced the importance of taking a holistic approach to protecting the environment – it’s not just one sector’s responsibility to operate sustainably, but everyone’s! I’d recommend a similar role to anyone who is interested in both sectors, and wants to know how they might intersect.”