A photo of Kathleen

A year with ISG -Kathleen’s Experience with Learn

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Kathleen started working as a Learn Summer Intern in ISG in 2021. She was then offered a promotion, to stay on and work part time throughout the academic year with more responsibilities. At the same time, Kathleen was also successful in working with us part time as an Assistant, on the front desk in the Law Library. We have really enjoyed having Kathleen working with us, especially getting to know her at some of our online ISG Student Worker socials!

Over the past year, I’ve worked continuously with ISG. Since May 2021, I’ve held multiple roles and gained invaluable skills.

I landed a role with ISG over summer last year, when like many students, as the semester was drawing to a close I was frantically applying for summer jobs. I saw ISG summer internships advertised on my course Learn page, and applied to a handful. However, with little hope -as I didn’t have any particular IT skills, or awareness of what the students in ISG roles do!

Nevertheless, I got an interview for one of the roles: Learn Foundations Student Intern. I felt like the interview went terribly for me, and had already written the opportunity off, chalked it up to experience and continued my search for employment. Hence, I was extremely surprised- and delighted- to get an email saying I had a job offer!

Due to COVID, the internship was completely remote. This worked out really well for me, as it meant I could live at home, spend time with my family and friends yet still work full-time. I felt like I made the most of my spare time due to the fact I was busy 9 ‘till 5. After a year of online university, feeling pretty isolated and bored, the summer kept me busy, gave me plenty of new skills, the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people, and I was paid!

As for what the role entailed, myself and nine other interns were part of the Learn Foundations Project, which prepares Learn courses for the upcoming academic year. We applied templates to Learn courses from across the University. Aiming to give them a consistent structure, that course organisers then populate with their content. The outcome is clearly-organised courses that students can easily navigate. It felt great to be a part of improving student experience and tackling a real problem– as my courses (that are not part of the Learn Foundations project) have often been confusing and added to my stress levels while studying.

From the beginning of the summer, I was struck by the level of attention we got as interns. We were treated as valued team members, and our personal development was a priority. It was an environment where I was comfortable to ask questions, and there was a great team spirit among the interns and the wider project team. It was a fantastic learning environment and I got an interesting look behind the scenes of the University.

As September grew closer, our line manager said she was looking for two interns to stay on throughout the academic year part-time. I leaped at the chance. The role was a continuation of the summer, tying up loose ends as well as carrying out data analysis. When January came around myself, and one of my fellow interns, were offered a promotion! We stayed with the Learn Foundations Team but this time were employed as administrative assistants. This involved managing an inbox and project tracker for the whole team, and asking team members to provide us with updates regularly. This gave me confidence in interacting with people in more senior positions in a work environment.

A great benefit of working within ISG is that many other job opportunities come your way. I applied for multiple other roles for during the semester and I was offered some- I even had to turn one down (see: struggling to get a summer job months earlier…!) I ended up with a second role during term-time, working on the front desk of the Law Library two evenings a week. I really enjoyed this role. It was in-person and required a different set of skills, including customer service. Again, I got a behind-the-scenes view of how the University operates. There are a lot of hardworking people contributing the services we use as students.

Overall, working within ISG has been invaluable, fun, and supported, and I am so glad I applied a year ago. Both working through the summer and balancing work with term-time commitments has given me a toolkit of useful skills I’ll carry forward in life. I’ve met amazing people and would encourage anyone to apply who is considering a role with ISG!

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