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About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I was excited at the prospect of a change of scene from PhD research, especially one that was in my area of interest - Flood Risk Management in the UK.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Through existing contacts

What made you choose this organisation for your placement/internship?

I attended the NFF conference in March 2019, where I met some of the staff. They were so valuable partaking in my research as interview participants, and I wanted to learn more about their work. The PREP scheme was the perfect opportunity.

Main responsibilities

My role was split broadly into two roles: research and site visits. My main tasks revolved around compiling policy information to inform documents and funding applications.

Typical day

The tasks I undertook at the National Flood Forum (NFF) can be split into two different areas: research and site visits. The majority of my time (8 days) was committed to the 5 research tasks summarised below, which was self-led from home. On two days, I went to Rochdale to speak with flood groups and visit sites where NFM measures were being developed.

Research tasks:
1 - scoping study for ‘what makes resilient communities’
2 - spreadsheet development for list of relevant contacts in Rochdale Borough
3 - flood finance report - ‘flood insurance in the rental sector’
4 - NFF blog - ‘Why is climate justice useful for thinking about flooding in England?’
5 - research overview - powerpoint presentation summarising my thesis

Site visits
1- Meeting flood action groups
2 - Site visits of Natural Flood Management (NFM)

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I gained a better understanding of pressures in workplaces, such as budgets, time pressures, interpersonal dynamics. This understanding was also contextualised in a wider understanding of how the FRM sector works, mainly how the sector partnerships and public engagement are undertaken.

I’m pleased with the work I achieved during my internship. I provided 5 documents in different formats (eg report, spreadsheet, powerpoint) which I hope summarised succinctly the tasks required of me.

Challenging aspects

Probably the biggest challenge was time-related. Two weeks went by so quickly, and it felt that by the time I had got into the work it was time to wrap up. In addition, I had hoped that the internship would be more based in-person but the majority was working from home. This is understandable, because many staff members at the Rochdale Council (where the NFF is partially based) are still hot-desking and working from home, but it definitely impacted the experience of the internship. In addition, working from home resulted in fewer ‘check-ins’ with NFF colleagues, which resulted in sometimes feeling unsure about whether I was on goal for the tasks.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

The overall experience helped to highlight to me that I enjoy working at a regional scale of FRM, engaging with different FRM organisations and citizens. I felt competent to deliver the tasks asked of me on the basis of relevant knowledge. This was a really valuable experience for me, as sometimes I don’t feel that confident in my own research.

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Form completed: 20 May 2022

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