I am one of a group of seven Surrey students who are currently doing their PTY year working as an Intern in the Intern in the Education Office. We collectively go by the name EduInterns – I’m not sure who came up with the name but it stuck. It’s very hard to define what we could be doing on any one day because of the amount of projects we are involved in and their variety, from working with the Employability and Careers team on the university’s graduate attributes to working as a team on our staff student partnership program, IDEAS.
I’m going to describe one of the easiest days to remember, which was also one of the most jam packed. It included three of us presenting to Keith Herrmann, the Director of Employability and Careers about the projects we were working on and how far we had progressed with them.
The day started as usual, by getting in to the office and having a quick briefing with the other EduInterns and Sofiya, the Student Engagement Co-ordinator. This includes reviewing who is going to be doing what that day based on what projects they are currently working on and when the deadlines for them are and whether new priorities have come up. On this day it was clear that three of us (myself, Sophie and Malina) were going to spend the morning putting the finishing touches on the presentation and practicing it so it was ready for 1pm, and the rest of the team were going to work on a research project about Nudges & Learning Analytics and on also on IDEAS, a project that we have developed ourselves and have worked on all through placement.
After the short briefing we split into our different groups, and my group ran through our presentation with Sofiya and Irina (the Digital Learning Project Coordinator). It was relay helpful to go through the presentation with a critical audience and we were given ideas about how to improve and some areas we hadn’t included; luckily the room we were in was free until we had to leave so we could stay in there and fine tune the presentation until it was time to deliver it.
Our presentation went really well. We explained to Keith about all the projects are working on and about the progress of the IDEAS project, and got some great feedback and tips about areas of university that we were less knowledgeable about and would be helpful for IDEAS and our other projects. After the presentation we went back to the office to work with the others on IDEAS, using the suggestions that Keith had given in the presentation.
Through our placement our presentation skills have greatly improved, as we have been presenting about all of our projects to various people as either part of the project or to let people know how projects and our time as EduInterns are progressing. This, as well as the versatility of the work we do and the continual focus on adding our student perspectives to projects are some of the best things about this year. I don’t think I would have learned these if I had opted for a more traditional placement in a film production company like I had originally planned to do.