Entering my final year of study, I knew that I needed to enhance my CV to stand out in a highly competitive job market. Initially, I thought that I would most likely have to wait until summer before coming across a suitable opportunity. However, when I saw the InternPlus role advertised, it seemed perfect.
In my role as an intern within the Careers and Employability Service, I have undertaken extensive research so that that the university can better support care-experienced students in the development of their employability. As part of my research, I looked into how other universities are helping care-experienced students, spoke with interested charities, and developed a survey that was sent out to care-experienced students. Through this work, I have gained several skills that employers will value. These include, working within a professional environment, working collaboratively and independently within a large team and effectively managing my commitments as an intern and as a student. Moreover, I have also completed an Open University course in corporate parenting and participated in focus group and NVivo training. All of this has better prepared me to enter the job market much more confidently than before and provided me with a robust set of skills.
When I applied for the role, I was initially worried about managing the workload along with my coursework, and while at times doing so has been a precarious process, I have managed well. As I was also working from home, I was concerned that I might have to ‘go it alone'. However, at no point was this the case. As well as weekly meetings with my supervisor, all of the staff within the Careers and Employability Service (and beyond) were willing to help and ensured that I could carry out my work.
Overall, the process has been enjoyable from start to finish. Anyone thinking of taking part should apply. While everyone should consider their own schedules, there is plenty of supportive people to help you through the project. Moreover, the experience will make you stand out in a crowded job market while also helping you develop a diverse skill set that will be useful no matter what type of role you plan to enter. As well as the skills you will learn and the knowledge you will gain, you will also obtain a huge amount of confidence from taking part. Most importantly, within your role as an intern, you can help to make a real difference! For example, the work I have done will be used to directly support care-experienced students here at the university.