Checkpoint #1: START

August 19th 2016

Skyline of the city, original image from Wiki.

So August has started off very exciting and very busy – just how I like it! There have been a number of big changes in my life since I last blogged ranging from personal changes to more exciting and positive opportunities – today I’ll be sharing an adventure I have just begun: starting my placement and becoming an official intern (with a badge and everything!)

As I have previously mentioned in other posts, I have been actively searching for months throughout my second year at university for a “Year in Industry” placement. After countless interviews including video, telephone and in person around the UK, I managed to secure one closer than I thought – at my university!

I wanted to document my time as the first placement intern at the university and what better way to do it through my blog! I also intend to inspire other students who may be wondering throughout their studies if a placement year is worth the extra year in a chosen degree course. In short: of course, it is. I’m sure the benefits (in terms of experience and skills) will become more evident throughout these “checkpoint” posts which I intend to post every couple of months.

A week of interning

As with every first week in any job or placement, it’s all about transitioning into the new working environment and meeting colleagues (who have been very welcoming since day one!)

Despite it being quiet at this time of year at university with it being summer, everyone is always on their feet with something to do or actively looking for somewhere they can offer their assistance to which as you know, is the working culture that I admire and feel fit to work in.

It has already been very hands-on with great opportunities from the minute I sat down and officially started, I was given a breadth of tasks to do and meetings to attend.

I think one of the most interesting things I’ve experienced so far as an intern, is seeing what the university is like in the eyes of staff rather than as a student. This has excited me in my possible input in student experience that could potentially help current and future students on aspects of university life.

Photo taken by me

Being the first ever student to also have a staff identity and first student intern across the university, I feel really fortunate to be taking part in this year out placement and plan on getting a lot out of my time here in terms of career and personal development.

So far I am enjoying myself, colleagues are great and extremely supportive, I’ve done a range of activities across the university including – almost to my surprise – some coding which I didn’t think I’d get to do here! The rich experience I’ve been exposed to (marketing, communications, business development) in just seven days has really surprised me, I’m really looking forward for the year ahead!

It’s going to feel quite strange working full time for the next year for me and having weekends off because my routine has been for the past year: studying week days then working weekends. But I’m eager to adapt to this fresh new working environment and routine as a staff of the university, rather than as a student. ?

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

There is no substitute for hard work.
Thomas A. Edison


Posted under: Checkpoint, University, Work


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37 comments

  1. Hebe says:

    Glad to see you enjoy your work! can’t wait for you to share loads of things. Keep moving on and I am always here sweetie<3
    Love ya <3 <3 <3

    • Pauline says:

      Aww, I love seeing these surprise comments on my blog Hebe! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it – I am having a lot of fun and can see the benefits of taking a break from studies to experience a professional working environment. I’m excited to share more! Although I do miss Biomed already!!

  2. Cassidy says:

    I’m so happy for you! I hope you enjoy your internship and that you continue to learn!

  3. Clare says:

    Congratulations! Looks like you are already having fun, keep it up i’m sure that will be a wonderful experience for you and will definitely prepare for another job in the future 🙂

  4. Tara says:

    Congrats on finding a placement in a super convenient location! I think it’s neat that this internship shows you what it’s like to work in a university rather than just attending it. I went through the same thing multiple times, haha! First when I subbed at my high school, next when I began working at my old youth center XD It was weird yet interesting to see those places through the eyes of an adult working there!

    I’m glad you’re being given tasks that will give you skills you can use in the future. That’s way better than workplace that only gives you busywork! I did those a lot, and let’s just say I am not fond of being kept at a shredding machine or a copying machine now . . . XD

  5. Cristina says:

    Wow that is amazing, congratulations. I am sure the experience will be amazing. I want to work in my university after I finish school, cause I think I could help the kids with their medical school experience and also I could teach them not only a subject but how to face the long journey ahead of them.

    It’s amazing that you managed to get the job. Good luck and I hope it’s going to be an amazing year for you <3

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Cristina! Working in higher education has always been an option for me, although I have other routes planned, I think this is a great way to experience this industry in particular and gain skills useful in any job. 😀

  6. Nancy says:

    Congratulations on getting that internship at your university! It’s really convenient since you don’t need to travel outside your school to get there! (Saves time and money ;)).

    I’m glad to hear that you’re having a great experience so far! Pretty neat how you’re the first student to also be a staff. (Look at you, making history!). What kind of perks do you get as a staff? XD.

    Keep working hard! You have a bright future ahead of you :)!

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve had a browse around perks and most of them are discounts at food places, the university gym and some exclusive membership to extra curricular activities (they have a meditation group, how cool is that? ?)

      Thank you Nancy ??

  7. Kya says:

    I am really glad to hear that it is going well and hope it continues to be a really great experience. 😀

  8. Holly says:

    My boyfriend has just finished his year placement and he says it was completely worthwhile and I’m sure it will be beneficial when it comes to finding a graduate job.

    I’m sure you are going to have an amazing year! It must be so interesting to see a university through the eyes of the staff. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, and coding is always a plus, haha!

    • Pauline says:

      It definitely is worthwhile, especially with graduate jobs being more and more competitive! I bet he got the most out of it ?

      Haha, whenever there’s an opportunity to code – I always go for it!

  9. Delphine says:

    Congratulations on your placement Pauline!! Looks like this year is going to be really exciting for you 😀

  10. Amy says:

    Good luck with your placement! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it too. It must be amazing to be the first to have that opportunity.

    I can’t imagine going back to uni as a staff member. That would definitely strange. At least they’ve all been really welcoming. I’m sure there’d be nothing worse than getting there and finding out all the staff are actually horrible. I once went on a school trip in 6th form and overheard my teachers saying awful things about this little chubby kid. Was definitely shocking to witness.

    Hope you really enjoy the opportunity and learn a lot. It’s definitely beneficial to have work experience on your CV. I know at interviews they tend to ask for experience other than retail, so it’ll definitely look amazing at an interview. Good luck!

  11. Sue says:

    Wow that’s so great you get to be the first student in your school to have staff identity and student intern across your university. That sounds amazing. I’m not exactly sure what that entails but look forward to your future updates 😀

    My weekend was pretty busy, making lots and lots of burritos for people, in a group. It was fun though. Got to couch potato for a bit after that.

  12. Cristina says:

    Thank you so much. I do hope it will go well. Already managed to update my portfolio with two projects, so it’s going well so far.

  13. Michelle says:

    Glad you’re enjoying your internship <3 Nothing is better than experience and to learn through it. <3

  14. Cat says:

    I’m glad that your colleagues are so supportive and that you’re already doing a lot 😀 Sounds like it’ll be a great experience, and it’s nice that you don’t have to go far for it! When I graduated, I kind of missed school at first, but then I realized with a full time job, I have my evenings and weekends free. Then I didn’t miss school as much anymore, haha. Congrats on getting this internship, and I hope it continues to go well!

  15. Claudine says:

    Wow, this is great news! 🙂 It’s great that you got an internship in your university, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work in one! I also like how you’re using and learning a variety of skills that would be really useful in your future career. Congratulations and it’s obvious that you’re enjoying yourself – and this is the most important thing! 😀

  16. Ella says:

    Congratulations on the internship! This sounds like it’s going to be an amazing and fresh new opportunity for you. I wish you the very best, and look forward to reading more about how everything goes. It’s wonderful that this opportunity came to you this close to home. Have fun, learn and keep us updated! 🙂 Wishing you the best. 🙂

  17. Christa says:

    Sounds like a fun placement. It’s interesting working as a staff member at your uni, rather than being a student. I was a lead research assistant for awhile at a lab at my old university and it was so strange to both be a student… and then have to organize, lead and try to conduct research as a “staff member” of the team. I remember having students complain about not receiving more autonomy and duties which was a bummer, but is something that happens. I’m glad that your university has been so receptive to you workng there however, and the adjustment is definitely odd!

  18. Georgie says:

    I’m glad you are having a great time! I can’t wait to hear more about your work adventures. It’s really lucky that you got a placement at your university, and I’m sure you are getting insights into things that you didn’t know much about and that are super interesting from a ‘staff’ point of view, now!

    It’s cool that you get to do some coding as well, I’m sure you will learn a heck of a lot of things. Keep kicking ass!