Hey, I’m Marton Kottmayer, intern at the admissions department. What do I do? Well. A lot. The official idea behind my project is designing and implementing a widening access mentorship scheme. This however, is not an isolated task. I do a variety of jobs, all of which is one way or another, connected to my main topic. The first step in my internship was to get a good grasp on what is this elusive term, widening access, is. That required a good lot of…I. Research
From uni websites, through social media sites, till government reports, everyone seems to have an idea how to widen access, and help underrepresented students get to uni, and more importantly, stay there, until they finish their degree. My job was to look at all these, and collect the best ideas. As a finishing touch, when I got tired of my office chair, and was on the brink of caffeine poisoning from my frequent trips to MacRobert cafe, my manager asked me to tag along to a conference in Perth. Meeting with, and listening to experts in person was definitely exciting, not to mention that I got to travel to a place I haven’t been before. After all this, I got an idea what I will work on, and my internship moved into phase two
I even got a pretty name badgeII. Data
Looking at and processing student data. Who does what degree, which year they enter into, where do they come from? Knowing hese things are crucial if we want to keep the university up to date and student focused. Processing the data was not only typing things into excel tables (although I’ve done a fair share of that too), but also figuring out key correlations, pointing them out, and last but not least, visualise them in a legible and aesthetic way, so not only the area experts will be able to understand it. This is what I’m currently working on, but in the meantime, we fired up the final, third phase of my project
Data visualisation in a nutshellIII. Implementation
We plan to pilot our mentorship programmes from this September in two schools, engineering and psychology. This however, requires cross-departmental, and student-staff cooperation (or in simpler words, a lot of meetings & coffee). We already laid down the groundwork, what comes next is planning a schedule, design application forms, promote the programme among students. A lot of work, but if all goes well, me and my team will make an impact.
All in all, I am thoroughly enjoying my internship, not only because it provides an insight into how university admissions work, and gives me valuable experiences, but because I feel like what I will do will have a palpable effect on some students’ lives – I think making a change is important. And having a great, extremely helpful team to do it with is a great plus.