My name is Lucia and I am a final year International Relations and Sociology student at the University of Aberdeen. This semester, I took part in the university’s InternPlus Programme, working in the Careers and Employability Service team for 3 months. The project I led aimed to develop new internship and volunteering programmes in order to provide further opportunities to students of the University of Aberdeen. In this way, I was in charge of coming up with the programme details, framework, branding, etc. almost from scratch, which was surely a unique experience that an intern would not usually get. This experience allowed me to learn a lot, including managing various responsibilities, communicating effectively with different stakeholders, and executing a project from scratch. The InternPlus Programme allows you to take full ownership over your project, work independently and as a team, and use your creativity to provide valuable inputs that will always be valued and taken into consideration.
As a creative person, I greatly enjoyed the entire process of creating the internship and volunteering programmes, especially seeing the project come together at the end of my internship. One of my highlights was diving into fields I had never had experience in before, with the examples of finance and alumni relations. Because of this, this opportunity pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and take full ownership over my project, therefore helping me become more confident when expressing my ideas and presenting my work. In addition, synergising with different departments and teams was an incredible experience, as I was able to receive feedback from professionals from different fields with years of experience. In this way, I gathered useful insights and was able to improve myself as an individual and professionally. Finally, despite thinking this might be an impediment in the beginning, I greatly enjoyed doing my internship virtually, as I was able to manage my time more efficiently and successfully balance my university work with my other responsibilities.
During my first week as an intern, I was eager to learn more about the project and the department I would be working with, as I felt I lacked certain knowledge and skills to carry out my project. Although this was a concern in the beginning, my supervisor and team were able to ‘onboard’ me very quickly. They were happy to answer my questions, review my work, and help me out whenever needed, which gave me the confidence I was lacking and allowed me to carry out my project successfully from then on.
You can find out more about both the ABDNConnect and ABDNCommunity programmes on the Careers and Employability Service website.
When it comes to the main skills I developed during my internship, I can surely say that working to deadlines, as well as following a weekly schedule with specific tasks and goals, greatly helped me improve my planning and time management skills. While I’m a person who often works independently, working with a team and managing different stakeholders was an amazing experience which allowed me to understand the importance of feedback and gathering inputs from the people around me, as well as to reach out when help was needed. I also learned a lot about how the Careers and Employability Service works behind the scenes and how much work is put into the services that are available to students, which made me be more aware of the support that is accessible to us. Finally, I was able to improve my IT skills, as we were working with Excel and Microsoft Teams, regularly scheduling meetings online with various stakeholders and storing information in our system.
How will this help me
This internship has surely made me not only more employable, but more confident as a person. Through the support received, I was able to learn how to present myself and my ideas confidently, which I believe is an essential skill to possess. Moreover, while working on my project, I was able to focus on my area of interest, an area that will be relevant for my future career; the InternPlus Programme allows you to get creative and take full ownership over your project. It has been immensely beneficial to have this internship on my CV, as the University of Aberdeen is a reputable institution and this internship allows you to gain hands-on experience unlike others. Finally, this internship has given me the opportunity to network with professionals from different fields. I have built a network that will surely be beneficial in my future career.