Name: Lindsay Christison
Course: Politics (Ba)
What do you want to do after University?
Not 100% sure but probably something in events organisation/ management within a company- like the CPD Unit/training gateway at York
Where and what is your internship?
CPD and Policy intern- Working on a project for the University of York relating to academic research and its impact on policy in the UK and abroad.
What did you get up to?
In general, I was asked to find out how the University helps academics turn their research into real world policy and where this help could be improved. In many ways, I was granted a lot of freedom in the tasks I had to complete. My goal was broadly to help the team kick-start a long term project on policy influence and therefore anything I completed would probably be helpful. I was initially tasked with internet research and received some suggestions on where to look, but also given the chance to use my own initiative and explore further. Later in my internship I was asked to present my findings and suggestions for the university to various members of staff.
Initially, I struggled working with such flexible expectations and the requirement to work out for myself what tasks needed to be completed in order to fulfil a broader and longer term goal. As a result of this style of working I have learned how, in the workplace, large projects evolve greatly in their early stages as ideas and leads are tested and evaluated. This experience will be useful in the future as I now have a greater understanding of the processes behind project work. Moreover, I have learned that I can have confidence in trusting and following my instinct. After meeting with my managers and seeing the benefits of my work for the team, I now have greater confidence in my abilities.
What did you enjoy?
The most enjoyable aspect of my internship has been finding out more about the work the university does outside of teaching students. For example I was able to spend some time discovering what groundbreaking research our lecturers do and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the academic prestige of our lecturers. (I also appreciated the confidence boost a power suit can bring to you on a Monday morning!)
“I have learned that I can have confidence in trusting and following my instinct.”
What was the application process like?
In all honesty, I applied for an internship, like most people, for the cash and to improve my CV. However, on top of this I really feel like I’ve gained a greater understanding of what the workplace expects of me and what I expect of the workplace. It has given me the opportunity to understand my professional strengths which will be helpful when applying to jobs in the future.
Applying for this internship I was particularly nervous as I knew I would be on holiday during the week of interviews and had to consider how to communicate in my application that I was really excited by the opportunity and if they could please still consider my application (in the office I have since found out I was dubbed ‘the excitable one’ when they were considering applications). However, after an hour of failed Skype call attempts from Majorca I had a quick interview and received my acceptance email the following day. The Student Internship Bureau really helped out here as they evaluated my application before it was sent to my employer which meant the interview didn’t need to be very long; this was greatly appreciated after an hour of nervous waiting in a 35 degree hotel room.
“After an hour of failed Skype call attempts from Majorca I had a quick interview and received my acceptance email the following day.”
Any reflections on your internship?
Working with the CPD unit and Research and Innovation team at the University has been absolutely brilliant and I cannot recommend enough, taking on a summer internship. The whole team have been so friendly and not once judged me for the amount of biscuits I bring into the office.
I feel like I couldn’t have had a more informative and yet friendly toe-dip into the world of work.
Find out more about the Student Internship Bureau by clicking here.