Julia Riemensperger, Erasmus Intern in the Equality & Diversity Team, talks about her role at Surrey

Julia (2)After finishing my Master’s degree in Sociology and Gender Studies at the University in Munich, I decided it was time to leave my home city after 25 years of living there and take the opportunity to explore another cultural environment. Having a background in humanresources, a broad theoretical knowledge of society and circumstances creating inequality, and a personal drive to promote equal opportunities, I was thrilled to find the University of Surrey was offering a ‘Student Equality Coordinator’ placement within its Equality and Diversity Team – plus I can’t resist English tea!

Over the last seven weeks I have assisted the Team in managing the University Athena SWAN Bronze renewal submission – an award that recognises and celebrates best practice for women in higher education and research. In a
Faith Forum, LGBT, Disability, Gender and Race Equality Working Groups. I’ve even been given the chance to organise an event and am happy to announce that we will be hosting an exciting and vibrant Wellbeing and Disability Day on campus in May. My next big task is to overhaul the existing Equality and Diversity webpages.

From the very beginning of my placement I have always felt like a key member of the Equality and Diversity Team. My colleagues share not only their knowledge, advice and experience but include me in every relevant process, really value my point of view and reward me for my hard work – what could be more rewarding than receiving a bouquet of flowers from your colleagues as a thank you? We also laugh together a lot, which makes it a great working environment!

I would recommend an Erasmus internship to anyone thinking about doing one!