I’m Mhairi, I’m a fourth-year student studying Sociology and currently interning for the Centre for Academic Development at the University of Aberdeen through the University’s Aberdeen Internship programme.
Before the internship started, I did have a few fears:
I remember when I first got offered the internship and accepted it, I was so nervous! I could not sleep the day before my internship started. I was completely in my head and scared that I would do a bad job and that my manager and the team would be disappointed in me. But, that fear completely left upon arrival at CAD (Centre for Academic Development), as the team were absolute heroes. They really helped calm me down and truly made me feel like a member of the team.
My experience of the first week:
The first week kicked off with me meeting all the other Aberdeen Internship interns, in an informal video call, where we did quiz and learnt important information. This was great and I really appreciated the University arranging this, as it provided me with the chance to meet the other interns, who I wouldn’t have been able to meet otherwise (as everything is online due to Covid19)
After meeting the other interns, I was introduced to various members of staff in my own team (over Microsoft Teams) throughout the first week. They were all so kind and caring, they all listened to me and answered all my questions and helped explain everything I needed to know. They were also careful not to bombard me with too many meetings and information all at once, which I was very appreciative of.
Overall, I was surprised at how fast the first week went by. I not only was busy meeting people, doing research, familiarising myself with what CAD does and what this role will entail, but also enjoying myself so much that the first week went by in a snap of my fingers.
Some struggles I faced in the first week or two:
While I was enjoying myself, and despite the work being quick and fast paced throughout, I did face some struggles. Firstly, I did struggle working at home and avoiding any distractions (which was hard in a place so familiar). The solution I found to this and my recommendation to other students, is properly structuring and planning out your time and your tasks during the week, at the beginning of each week. This, then, allows you to follow a strict schedule. Furthermore, mixing and switching up the tasks you are doing throughout the day can also really help remove any distractions and make your day more productive.
Secondly, I struggled with remaining productive at points. But I found getting up each morning and dressing in office attire, helped me not only be very dynamic and productive but also be more professional, I would encourage this to others to! A further feature which I found that helped is keeping your video camera on when in meetings. You do not know who is watching you and it helps keep you engaged, which is essential in a job and also helps develop your professionalism.
Would I recommend other students applying for the Aberdeen Internship programme?:
YES! I cannot recommend it enough! I have truly loved my time so far and I how I have been treated in this internship. From the beginning I was treated like a member of the team, being involved in substantial tasks that have directly impacted the department. My opinion and point of view are always listened to and incorporated into all decisions.
So, if you are reading this, APPLY!!!