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School of Mathematics

School of Mathematics

Blog for the School of Mathematics community

My experience as an Employ.ed On Campus intern

Julie and her sister stood in front of the Glenfinnan Viaduct as it curves round the bend

Julie (Year 3 School of Mathematics student) talks about her experience as an Internal Communications Employ.Ed On Campus intern in the School of Mathematics last summer. 

This past summer I was an Employ.ed intern in the School of Maths and got to spend the summer in Edinburgh designing and creating an intranet for the staff of the School of Maths. I was so excited when I was hired for the role because the opportunity to work in the Maths department of the University (as a maths student) was something that really interested me and I was very curious about what it would look like to work in that kind of environment. My role involved a lot of meetings with different staff in Professional Services like IT, Communications, the Mathematics Teaching Organisation, and other staff that make sure that everything runs in the School. Leading these meeting made me very comfortable working with people who know far more than I do on something that I was responsible for, which was sometimes a little tricky. But for the most part everything went very smoothly and I got to see first hand how much work goes into running the School of Maths. 

Something I really loved about my internship was the working environment and the collaborative attitude that everyone in the School has. Between my line manager and the other interns in the School there was always a friendly face to run ideas past and get feedback. I have worked as an intern before and my past experience was vastly different. Everyone had their head down and finished their work independently. I really enjoyed working somewhere that encouraged a more cooperative approach. 

Don’t get me wrong, I also did my work and didn’t chat all day. I had the opportunity to listen to a talk about Project Management, learned how to use SharePoint and lots about website design. This internship gave me the opportunity to develop new skills using different resources without being rushed, so that by the time we started building the intranet I didn’t feel like I was being thrown in the deep end. Something I thought I had a good handle on was using Excel but after the amount of time I spent making spreadsheets to stay organised I feel like I have a brand-new appreciation for the things that it can do. Although I did have to learn a lot of new skills for this role, I always felt that I had enough time and help to really get a handle on what I was working on. 

I found my internship very interesting and I did have to put a lot of work into it, but working 9 to 5 is very different from university. When I went home at the end of the day I could relax! I had never lived in Edinburgh during the summer, so it was very cool to be here for the Fringe and spend my weekends hiking and enjoying the nice weather. The internship also included days off and I got to spend them on a road trip through the Highlands with my sister. Work life balance is an amazing thing! 

If you’re considering applying for an Employ.ed internship I would highly recommend it. The internship is designed to teach you new skills and practice ones you already have and I found working at the University a great insight into whether I might want to work in that environment in the future. The team-work focused environment was one that really suited me and now I know to look for that in the future. Between the computer, organisational and presentation skills that I learned, this internship was extremely worth it career wise while still letting me enjoy my summer. 




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