Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Chelsea and Interns

What with bank holidays and my annual trip to Chelsea Flower Show last week, not been a lot to post about. Unless you like pictures of gardens and flowers of course. Here's a couple of my favourites in case you do :-0

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
It was interesting to see how many of the projects had involved technology - especially around websites.

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.

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