Teodora-Elena Bulichi completed an Employ.ed on Campus summer internship at the School of Physics and Astronomy after finishing year 2 of her MPhys Physics degree. Teodora tells us what her role entailed, shares the skills she developed, and provides advice for others who are considering undertaking a University of Edinburgh Careers Service internship.
Tell us about the Employ.ed on Campus student internship role you completed this summer?
The purpose of my internship was to create a web resource for School of Physics and Astronomy postgraduate research staff. The School has over 100 postdocs, but no such resource previously existed. My job was to identify their needs and preferences and create a suitable web resource where they can find information to support their role and career development.
What attracted you to this role?
I thought it was a great opportunity for me to make a positive impact. This web resource will help improve postdocs’ overall satisfaction and help new staff members settle in. Also, I am planning to pursue an academic career, so I found this role very useful for me to get a perspective about what work in academia entails.
What skills did you learn/develop during the post?
The skills I have developed the most are communication, time management and problem solving. Communication was a key part of my role, as I had regular calls with my line manager and it was essential to make sure we communicated effectively. In order to develop time management skills, I used to have the same working schedule every day and planned everything in advance. This way I made sure I worked as effectively as possible and finished all tasks on time. Working remotely made me develop problem solving skills. I have been working from home, and faced many technical issues during this internship, but I managed to solve all of them in a timely manner – either by asking for support or by using a plan B every time when something went wrong (e.g. when my internet connection was slow, I used pen and paper to create a plan of what I wanted to achieve and then when the connection was back I implemented the plan).
You mention you faced some technical challenges. Where there any other challenges you faced during the internship?
Probably the worst challenge I encountered was the fact that I had to work from home, because many (sometimes unavoidable) technical issues occurred, and also it was initially quite hard for me to work efficiently from my room. However, I overcame these challenges and managed to maintain a healthy working schedule. Afterall, probably all of us needed to adapt to similar changes, due to the current situation [coronavirus pandemic and lockdown].
What advice can you give other students who might be considering applying for an Employ.ed internship?
The Employ.ed internships provide great opportunities for us to meet fellow students and staff members, to help contribute to particular projects and to gain lots of insights! As such, I would encourage anyone who is considering applying for such a programme to try to be up to date about what it is happening in the University, to think how they can make their impact and to try to find the most suitable role for them – there is definitely something for everyone! Another insight is that my interview was more relaxed than I expected. When I look back I regret that I was so nervous before it. I would encourage other students to do their research before an interview of course, but during the interview to be relaxed and to show their enthusiasm!
Find out more about the Careers Service Employ.ed on Campus internships .
Check out the School of Physics and Astronomy Postdocs Wiki.