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JMCS Intern
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wanted to expand my employability and explore working in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as I have held committee positions within the University and wanted to explore this in an employment setting. I wanted to build on these skills in a more formal setting and work as part of a team after so much solo work as a PhD researcher.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Speculative application

Application process

The PREP application takes a few hours to properly complete and can feel momentarily daunting, however, it has straightforward instructions and prompts to guide you through it. It is definitely worth doing as the experience and training opportunities that it provides are extremely worth pursuing at any stage of your academic journey.

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

I wanted to work within a small business so that I would be more likely to work on ongoing projects rather than be assigned administrative work, which I felt would be more likely in a large organisation, i.e. a national charity. JMCS caught my eye as it was local to Sheffield and specifically working to improve race relations which was the core area in which I wanted to explore working.

Main responsibilities

My main responsibilities were sourcing spaces and materials within which to work on the training materials being developed. I took minutes at all meetings that I attended and sent them to the attendees and completed administrative tasks to aid project management such as arriving prior to meetings or workshops to set up. I also was allowed to collaborate on the training materials being developed and was allowed to participate in appropriate sections of the training given to clients.

Typical day

I would usually ensure that meetings were set up with the correct supplies and materials before others arrives and take minutes during, I would also either help collaborate on the training materials being created, which included scripts and short film productions, or I would participate in the training sections scheduled, with a specific task to complete as part of the training team that day. In both scenarios I would be briefed about my role in advance.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed working in a group environment in a role that was also customer-facing in terms of the clients receiving training. I felt that my skills were utilised wherever possible in order to aid my personal development and a sense of knowledge exchange rather than a one-way working dynamic. I made excellent networking links that I can call upon in the future and developed confidence in my employability.

Challenging aspects

It was a challenging shift to be working with a group of people, to their schedule after so much solo work and planning as a PhD researcher. Other than the change of pace, it as a very different type of work and although I had experience running workshops the JMCS training days are on a much larger scale. It was therefore an adjustment to be working in a sensitive subject area for extended lengths of time in a professional capacity, but I am very greatful for the experience.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

The ability to manage my time and workload were transferable skills. I completed proofreading tasks and created written materials therefore creative writing and researching skills were called upon.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

I have broadened my perspective greatly with regard to my future career. I am not only looking at working outside of academia, but I am looking at ways that I can bridge an academic career with one that is involved in equality, diversity and inclusion work. I feel that the skills from both career paths can be transferred usefully to the other, especially in terms of future academic teaching.

As a result of your placement/internship, what are your next steps in planning what you want to do after graduation?

After completing my internship I was motivated to look at what other University schemes were available that might be useful to my career development. I then looked at the RISE graduate development scheme and was confident enough to apply for a graduate position through their scheme. I have since been successful in gaining work as I was able to get a reference from my internship manager which was relavent to the role I was applying for.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Make the most of the university schemes available, regardless of whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student. Be confident in applying for what you want. This also applies when approaching prospective employers or internship providers, as you won't know unless you politely and clearly enquire. Lastly, plan out what your ideal role would be before contacting employers and make it clear that you are willing to be flexible.

Form completed: 28 Aug 2022

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