New interns take up University roles

Fifteen students from the University of Aberdeen will gain valuable ‘hands-on’ experience of a professional environment as part of a successful internship programme.

As part of the Curriculum Reform project, which came into place in 2010, the University has made sweeping changes which have broadened study options for undergraduates, increased opportunities for work placements, study overseas and voluntary work, and enhanced engagement with employers.

To address this, the Careers Service devised a scheme to develop a range of paid and pastorally supported summer vacation placements within the University’s administrative functions to increase the employability skills of students, which ran for the first time last year.

For 2011 the number of interns increased from seven to fifteen based on the success of the scheme which was nominated for the ‘National Council of Work Experience - Best Placement Provider (Public Sector) 2010’ award.

Rhona Gibson, Work Placement Manager in the University’s Career’s Service, said: “Students from last year’s internship performed extremely well and gained valuable experience from the programme.

 “We know that our 2010 interns benefitted by the scheme, as it gave them valuable experiences to refer to in interviews.”

Previous interns included Tessa Birley, newly elected AUSA President.

The successful candidates took up their new roles on Monday (June 13). They are:

·  Katherine Duncan (History) who will work in the Communications department

·  Anita Wong (Law) who will work in Governance and Policy

·  Zoe Thronton (French Linguistics) who will work in the Special Libraries and Archives

·  Naomi O’Reilly (Politics and International Relations) who will work with AUSA

·  Lukasz Szalasnik (Economics and Finance) will work for Finance and Procurement

·  Cosmin Fodor (Economics) will work in Erasmus

·  Ross Mclay (History) will work in Research and Innovation

·  Louise Maclean (English Literature) will work in DIT, training and documentation

·  Rick Offland (Zoology) will work in the Careers service and in Governance, Policy and Planning

·  Alan MacPherson (English, Film and Visual Culture) for the Centre for Learning and Teaching

·  Emma Graham (French) will work with the Library and Historic Collections team

·  Kaisa Mitt (International Relations and Management) for the Centre for Sustainable International Development

·  Simon Jackson (Biomedical sciences) will work in the Centre for Sustainable Development

·  Katherine Wright (English and Linguistics) will work in the Estates Office

·  Amanda Woods (English Literature and Linguistics) will work in Human Resources

Katherine Duncan, working in Communications, said: “I am really looking forward to working in a professional context and getting the practical skills necessary to be an attractive candidate for graduate jobs.”

A high number of applications were received and the Careers Service was kept busy helping those eligible for the scheme — undergraduates in their penultimate year of study — to polish their CVs and brush up on interview skills.

The interns will be in post until September and in addition to their day-to-day roles will complete a Learning Log via the University’s virtual learning environment.

This has been developed by the Careers Service and allows them to record their weekly activities and goals, and any new skills they have learned along the way, culminating in a skills grid which can help them with their CV at the end of the scheme.

Peter Fantom, Head of Careers Service, University of Aberdeen, said: “The Aberdeen Internship demonstrates the University of Aberdeen’s strong commitment to developing work placement opportunities for its students, particularly in a difficult financial climate, and provides students with opportunities to enhance their employability, personal development and networking opportunities.

“We hope the interns enjoy their placements and are confident they will equip them with the graduate attributes sought by the University and by business.”