OK, back to work related stuff....
Today I went to a presentation about our Graduate Intern scheme. Running for the past 4 years, we've had 16 interns who work in departments across the University on a specific 6 month project from December onwards. Our current cohort have just finished, and its the first time for a while we've not had one in CiCS. This event was to look at how successful the scheme had been, and the interns gave a short presentation on what they had been doing and what skills they had gained.
Some of the projects they had worked on include:
- Evaluating arts and humanities public engagement activities
- Market research with current EU students to improve our EU website
- Helping the outreach team in school of languages
- Redesigning the Faculty of Arts Postgraduate website and looking at using social media to promote international students
- Exploring use of mobile technology in teaching environments
- Researching the public perception of carbon utilisation
- Working with the Medical Schools Athena swan committee to promote gender equality in education and academia
- Building an intranet for the Faculty of Science
- Redeveloping the staff exams resources website within SSID
- Administration of IT systems replacement projects and auditing and telephone equipment within ACS
- Redeveloping the Ask Sheffield FAQ pages
During the internship they had a number of training sessions including project management, time management, coaching, how to manage a university, networking and action learning sets
The interns were all very positive about the scheme, and felt that had gained a lot of transferable skills which would improve their emolyability - communicationskills, software skills, report writing, administration, web page design, and budgeting and financial management.
Of course, there are benefits to the Universty as well - the interns often bring a fresh perspective into a department and in many cases have helped to deliver back burner projects - things that have been planned for a while but no-one has had time to do. Because they've worked as a team, there's also been improved collaboration across different departments.
All of them had been really surprised at how many people worked in a University, and how many different roles there were - commenting that during their undergraduate course they tend to see only their lecturers and the people they had their assignments in to! I remember I felt the same when I came out of an academic department - I had no idea really what "the Administration" did. Got a better idea now.