Monday, 14 March 2016

The University from the other side – Emily’s story

Emily working hard at her enterprising internship
Getting internships is pretty important. WHY? To get a job. Duh! To get skills – Obviously! But to B-Enterprising. HUH?!
Here is where Emily’s internship experience brings enterprise to light.

Emily Hackett is a fourth year Political Science student. But guess where she did an internship In the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, a completely different college to her degree. She worked as a Welcome week reviewer.  

Her job was to find out how to implement a new welcome week programs in the College of LES, after looking at the different existing welcome week schedules in the different Colleges. Her internship spanned 10 weeks over last summer. It was a part of the BUIP – Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Program.

Her work involved scheduling interviews and talking to almost 35 members of staff and collating her findings.

“It was interesting to meet all these people from around University”

She just had a brief outline from her managers and she had to meet up with them once a week to discuss her progress but she was left to her own devices for most of the time. She had to prepare questions for her interviews and had to adapt them according to the person she was talking to. Her meeting arrangements, style of interviews, the final report on her findings were all up to her to figure out. Her independence, first daunting, was later a valuable asset. She says that it taught her to be more confident. It involved a lot of preparation initially, but it got easier with time.

Her analysis skills improved and this is useful for her degree as well, even though her work wasn’t strictly related to her degree. She had a lot of responsibility, which motivated her to produce an amazing report, which ended up being 25000 words!

“Thinking about things from all perspectives 
rather than just seeking the one that best fits my argument.”

This job suited Emily and not just helped her gain and polish her skills but also become more focused and made a positive impact on her attitude to early morning starts! 9 ams are no longer a nightmare! She applied because the work was outside her comfort zone and has now emerged a more confident, enthusiastic and enterprising student!

Work isn’t limited to course subjects. And skills aren’t just learnt, but developed. Being thrown off the deep end has its advantages. You learn with experience and through experience. And that’s all a part of an enterprising attitude. A part of the B – Enterprising attitude! 

Lakshmipriya Venkatesan
Student PR Team member 

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