It’s always great to showcase the achievements of our students and today we’re delighted to introduce Ada as part of our spotlight on the Employ.ed on Campus internship programme.
My name is Ada, and I am a third year Sociology student currently on a year abroad at the University of Chicago. In this blog post, I will reflect on my 2023 Employ.ed on Campus summer internship experience at the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), working as a Learning and Teaching (L&T) Conference Support Intern.
What motivated you to apply for an Employ.ed on Campus internship and what were you hoping to gain from this experience?
At the end of my second year of university, I decided to apply for the Employ.ed programme for several reasons. First of all, having decided to pursue a career in the higher education sector, a university-based internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop my skills. Secondly, I wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look at event planning at the University of Edinburgh. So, I was really excited to see the L&T Conference Support Intern position. I had never done admin work before this, especially for an event of this scale within an academic institution.
I was equally enthusiastic about the Conference, anticipating the opportunity to connect with scholars from diverse fields. I’ve longed for a chance to engage in an event where I could observe academics sharing knowledge about their expertise. I firmly believe that as students, we should grasp the process of knowledge creation and dissemination within academic circles. I also feel that simply absorbing the information provided in our coursework is not enough to fulfil our academic potential.
Can you tell us about the working pattern of your internship?
I started my internship at the IAD at the beginning of June 2023. The office worked in a hybrid manner, and I was given the option to work from home some days of the week. I really appreciated the flexibility and the effort the IAD puts into ensuring their employees maintain a successful work-life balance. However, I chose to go to the office for most of my time there since I work better in a social environment; being in the office made me build close relationships with my colleagues, all coming from different backgrounds but working together to celebrate learning and teaching at the University.
How did your internship contribute to the Conference?
My main duties were preparing annotated floor plans of the Conference venue, the Nucleus building, editing the Conference website, managing the Conference Twitter account, preparing name badges for the delegates, and any other tasks other colleagues needed help with. I worked alongside various colleagues from the IAD, with each of us taking on different tasks, and this experience underscored the value of collaboration in managing an event of this scale.
How has your internship contributed to your professional growth?
The most important skills that I developed were problem solving and crisis management. On the first day of the Conference, when we realised that we forgot to bring in essential materials an hour before registration, I offered to go back to the office to get the things we needed. When I got back to the venue, my line manager was grateful for my genuine concern for the smooth delivery of the event. I learned that taking initiative in times of crisis is an extremely important step in developing professional character.
I also developed my networking skills thanks to the Employ.ed team at the Careers Service and their very useful workshops and events for the interns. Being able to meet other interns at professional skills workshops and learning more about different careers contributed to the success of my internship experience in general.
Ada, on reflection, what advice would you give to other students considering an Employ.ed on Campus internship?
I cannot recommend the Employ.ed programme enough! If you are considering applying, my suggestion would be to try to look for openings that will challenge you the most. If you want to develop a particular skill, think about what jobs would push you the most towards that goal. Also, try to use the CV and cover letter resources that the Careers Service offers. Even though I did not talk to someone at the Careers Service personally, the online CV resources helped me tremendously in making my application stronger.
Anything else you would like to share?
Finally, I met incredible people from across the University and beyond, thanks to the Employ.ed on Campus programme. At the IAD, I worked in an incredible team; they showed me the importance of collaboration and communication. At the Conference, I met academics from all over the world, united in their passion for learning and teaching. I would like to thank them all for making my summer very memorable.
Thanks Ada for sharing your story and closing our 2023 spotlight on the Employ.ed on Campus internship programme.
Ada has highlighted the importance of networking… did you know that you can connect with University of Edinburgh alumni, students and staff on Platform One where people are keen to answer your questions and share their honest experience.
It’s great to hear Ada found our CV and cover letter resources useful. You can draft your CV or cover letter, by following the advice on our website and looking at our examples. You can then receive instant automatic feedback by uploading your CV to CV360.
(Image credit: Adobe Express)