I would 100% recommend to other students to take up an Internship

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I would 100% recommend to other students to take up an Internship. The work experience was an invaluable contribution towards real-world relevant experience listed on my CV which, ultimately, I feel helped in me landing a fantastic placement job and permanent part-time work!  

Brody Wilton BSC (Hons) Computer Science, role: Web Developer, employer: Believe.digital 

Describe how you felt on your first day in your internship

On the first day of my internship, I was pretty excited to start working as a web developer. I joined university after having applied (unsuccessfully) for many web development jobs after being made redundant from my first web dev position. To start a paid internship within a year of starting University was a great feeling and showed that I hadn’t been unsuccessful due to lack of skills.  

What key skills have you learnt through your internship and how do they link to your course/ career goals?   

The main skills I learnt whilst working through my internship were how to successfully work independently and remotely as my role was primarily work from home; 3 days at home, 2 in office. I also refined my web development skills in JavaScript, HTML and CSS. I learned a lot more about developing within a PHP environment as a lot of the projects I worked on were primarily WordPress websites.  

Would you recommend other UWE Bristol students take up an internship and why?   

I would 100% recommend to other students to take up an Internship. The work experience was an invaluable contribution towards real-world relevant experience listed on my CV which, ultimately, I feel helped in me landing a fantastic placement job between my 2nd and 3rd years of University. I was also offered continued, permanent part-time work during my 2nd year as a result of a successful internship over the summer. Shout out to all at Believe.digital (especially Rob), it’s a great company with a brilliant working atmosphere and I’d 110% recommend it as a place for anyone to work at as an intern; everyone is super helpful when starting out and if you don’t know something, it really isn’t an issue, just ask.  

Boosting confidence, knowledge and CV through an internship

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I’ve learnt how to apply my knowledge from university in real-life situations and how the real engineering world functions as a business. Relevant skills I’ll need to be successful in my career

John Nicola BENG (Hons) Automotive Engineering, role: Mechanical Engineer Intern, employer: Emvio Engineering 

Describe how you felt on your first day in your internship   

I felt excited but also on the edge as it was before I knew what I would be doing. 

What key skills have you learnt through your internship and how do they link to your course/ career goals?   

I have learnt how to apply my knowledge from university in real-life situations and how the real engineering world functions in terms of business. These are both relevant as in my career I will need both these skills to be successful. 

Would you recommend other UWE Bristol students take up an internship and why?   

I would highly recommend other UWE Bristol students to take up an internship as it will boost confidence, knowledge and cv in the subject. 

Key skills learnt through an internship

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I would absolutely recommend taking up an internship, particularly with the support that the UWE scheme provides…While academic courses provide you with a basis in the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in industry, they cannot simulate the reality of the world of work, or prepare you for the expectations, standards, conventions, collaborations and consequences of working on real-world projects 

Brendan Ashby BENG (Hons) Architecture and Environmental Engineering, role: Architecture Intern, employer: Box Twenty 

Describe how you felt on your first day in your Internship 

I experienced a balanced combination of nerves and excitement on the first day of the internship. Obviously, there is a lot to set up and a lot to take in on the first day, and I felt as if I somewhat rushed through some of the administrative induction processes in my eagerness to get working on projects and prove my worth. The company itself was very welcoming and small scale with around 20 employees, which suited me as I was able to develop relationships with all staff and to benefit from advice and expertise from a range of areas and perspectives. Box Twenty make a point of encouraging an active social programme to facilitate team building and office energy. In my first week, I joined a team bike ride, which helped enormously to make me feel more comfortable. One thing I found very challenging during the initial weeks of the internship was having a substantial amount of coursework to do for a module resit. I would encourage any prospective interns to avoid this, if possible, as it is extremely helpful to allow yourself time in the evenings and weekends at the early stages to assimilate all the new information.   

What key skills have you learnt through your internship and how do they link to your course/ career goals?   

My internship was for a building services engineering firm, but construction projects are in collaboration with a wide range of related disciplines, so much of my work involved design team meetings and coordinating with architects, clients, planners, other engineering disciplines, utility providers, etc. One thing I have taken from this is the value of relationship building in this context, and the value of asking questions and raising concerns in order to share and accumulate detail and knowledge, and to clarify and coordinate all parties on the same wavelength. On a specific note, related to this as a building services engineer, the role as a consultant is frequently to check, warn and inform designers of spatial requirements and conflict issues, to avoid serious problems further into the process. This requires confidence in your own knowledge to raise concerns, but it is always better to speak up. The spatial coordination processes involved are often complex and have knock-on effects on other professionals’ work, so consistency and clarity of communication is key to this. The nature of construction design is iterative, so one valuable thing I learned is the necessity to design at an appropriate level of detail for the stage in order to avoid wasting time.  

I worked a lot on one project which I helped to develop through formal design stages during my time with the company. Much of my work was conducted on software such as AutoCad, BluBeam Revu and Revit, and I gained some very valuable knowledge in terms of drawing standards and modelling processes. Above all, experience of the collaborative workflow processes and practical familiarity with RIBA stages of work I feel will stand me in very good stead in industry. I am more encouraged than before towards the engineering side of the industry. However, the internship was invaluable in giving me an understanding of the perspective of all related disciplines.    

Would you recommend other UWE Bristol students take up an internship and why?   

I would absolutely recommend that other UWE Bristol students take up an internship, particularly with the support that the UWE scheme provides. While academic courses provide you with a basis in the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in industry, they cannot simulate the reality of the world of work, or prepare you for the expectations, standards, conventions, collaborations and consequences of working on real-world projects. An internship experience provides a great deal of clarity on future career plans by showing you not only which aspects of an industry correspond to your ambitions and skillsets, but also those which are less appealing. I feel this view of working roles is invaluable in preparing you for both the choice and the reality of future career paths.  

UWE Internships – a great way to spend the summer, gaining experience and money

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I would absolutely recommend the UWE internships, as a great way to gain experience which can really help you to find a job when you graduate

Lunda Dimbelolo BA (Hons) Drama and Acting, Internship role: Assistant Director Intern, employer: Bristol School of Acting 

Describe how you felt on your first day in your internship

I felt quite nervous but quickly found my feet at the drama school. I was welcomed by the project leader Sam Bridges, who explained what we would be doing which helped to clarify the role. It did feel as though the advertised was different to the reality, in good and bad ways. I found myself met with challenges as the actors were aged 16-18 and some had behavioural problems, but once a rapport had been built this proved to be a positive challenge and taught me a lot about observing behaviour, which is great when directing.   

What key skills have you learnt through your internship and how do they link to your course/ career goals?   

 Directing tools, exercises, people management. As well as a glossary of contacts that I can use, work has been offered.  

Would you recommend other UWE Bristol students take up an internship and why?   

I would absolutely recommend the UWE internships, as it’s a great way to spend the summer, gaining experience and money. It also really helps for final year having worked in the role you aim to graduate in.  

Without question you must do an internship!

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Callum Jones: BSC (Hons) Geography, Title: Assistant to Creative Director, Employer: On The Fly

Describe how you felt on your first day in your internship

I felt nervous on my first day, but a good nervous, where I was excited to dive into this new intersectional world of art, culture and sustainability. Starting something new, where there is a big change in the people, places and work you will be doing, is always nerve racking for me. But I instantly met some great people and was mentored amazingly, feeling so welcome and at home on the first day.

What key skills have you learnt through your internship and how do they link to your course/ career goals?

My internship exposed me to project management on a large scale. I was thrown in the deep end to shadow and help manage a huge project with many different artists, directors and stakeholders. I was essentially training to become a creative director, like my mentor, which to me is invaluable and put my communication, time management, ‘disaster’ response, networking, creative and other soft skills to the test. My career goals aren’t set but being my own boss and working as a leader is a huge part of my future. This internship has set me up with a newly confounded and prolific sense of confidence and resilience, so I am ready to take on the world!



Would you recommend other UWE Bristol students take up an internship and why?

I did both a sandwich year placement/internship with Bristol water and then a summer internship with a creative director for arts and culture in the same year. Without my time at Bristol water, I wouldn’t have networked my way into my arts internship (which is right up my street, but I didn’t even know it existed!). I quickly realised that although experience is great, it is more about the expansion of your network and how well this can set you up for the future. Being proactive and pushing for ANY internship, even if you think it may not be for you, will set you up with new skills, contacts, and confidence. It is so worth the work. It is as much about finding what you don’t want to do and the type of people you don’t want to work with, as it is about discovering those aspects of work you desire to pursue

Without question you must do an internship! Any internship, even if you think it may not be for you, will set you up with new skills, a wider network of contacts, and great confidence

Callum Jones: BSC (Hons) Geography

How I got a great graduate role as an international student

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Abdulbasit Yekeen, B.Eng Hons Robotics graduate, talks through his UWE journey and graduate experience

‘If you are very good at what you do, building a career should be the least of your worries’

Since childhood, I have been curious about  technology and engineering. Designing electronic circuits and writing intelligent software were all I could think about as I grew older. I was very fascinated by robots and machines so studying robotics was a no-brainer. Many thought I had chosen a degree that was too specialized and that building a career in it will be very difficult. I was more than ready to prove them wrong because I believed that if you are very good at what you do, building a career should be the least of your worries.

‘At the end of the year, I had one of the best results’

Due to visa delays, I came a month late to the university. Various deadlines and lectures were already missed and others were very close. I had to spend long hours in the lab and also understanding various complex concepts fast to submit the assignments. My course mates were very kind and they assisted me in catching up with the rest of the class. At the end of my first year, I managed to get a good grade. During the summer holiday, I spent most of my time programming because this was my weakest skill. The second year commenced and I put in more effort into understanding every subject. The pandemic prevented us from doing various exciting practicals which could be used to demonstrate deep understanding with potential employers. At the end of the year, I had one of the best results, and getting a placement to apply my knowledge was the plan.

‘I reviewed my rejection letters and researched the skills employers were looking for. I think I may have actually applied to almost three hundred jobs’

I applied for several placement opportunities, and none were successful. The pandemic drastically reduced the number of placement opportunities and the few available were highly competitive. Over the holiday, I reviewed my rejection letters and researched the skills employers were looking for in potential candidates. My review showed that I needed to perform more practical projects and also learn C++(programming language). I found a good C++ on Udacity and spent several weeks mastering the concepts of the language. I also did various practical projects which could be showcased to potential employers.

Within that period, I got a two-week International Talent Internship with Milbotix and also following this a junior firmware engineer role with a company called DOMIN. I was very excited since this was my first experience working as an engineer. The Internship with Milbotix made me apply various skills I had learned personally and at the university. This internship opened the door to a lot of offers I did not even apply for. Every now and then, someone called me on LinkedIn about a potential opportunity somewhere. The results came out and guess what? I got a first-class and most of us graduated with a minimum of 2:1. Remember I said at the start that many thought getting a job was going to be extremely difficult. Well, I proved them wrong. I graduated with a good grade and got a great job in my career of choice.  I have started the role and so far I am enjoying it. I hope to get involved with more amazing technologies and one day start a Tech company. Take this with you, If I can achieve it then you definitely can.

‘Take this with you, If I can achieve it then you definitely can.

From Community Garden Volunteer to Leading Science Communication

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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science student, Maisie Deaton helped to create a community greenspace previously scheduled for a housing development

Transition Town Wellington is part of the transition network, an international environmental movement of local people volunteering to improve sustainability, wildlife, climate change and waste in their town.

I volunteered with them with the aim to help with community gardening and attend meetings but I soon became directly involved in a new project – creation of a forest garden and community greenspace, previously meant for housing development.

I became one of the leaders for science communication by analysing public data and survey responses. This meta analysis from over 250 public inputs aided the project leads to understand the thoughts and opinions of the town. I then produced graphics to present to the public during consultations. Furthermore, I kickstarted their Instagram account, developing their social media platforms to engage more of the community – especially the younger generation.

I believe my presence was useful to their team due to my age difference, (majority were of the older generation). My input provided encouragement that their service was impacting more of the community from all backgrounds, as well as inspiring other young people to take part. Development of an Instagram account also meant their aims could be presented through a more digital, photographic way.

Image of a small shop front with the words Indepependent, local, sustainable and a map of the area

My placement was cancelled due to COVID-19 and I had to live at home for a year before returning to my final year of study. Additionally, I had recently moved to Wellington and started working with this organisation only two months after moving to a completely new place (originally lived in Shropshire). I wanted to gain experience and get to know people in this new area.

Since volunteering with this organisation, I have become a lot more interested in the importance of science communication and working with local people. Aside from their main project, many small community gardening sessions took place where I gained many skills in gardening and land management – learning about plant species and soil which directly relates to my course at UWE: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science.

I made mini wildlife films to grow their YouTube channel. One of the Transition Town elements is to allow local people to develop skills and engage with the community. I edited my first wildlife film and gained experience in photography while sharing my work online for people to enjoy and learn from.
I would definitely continue volunteering if/when I return to Wellington (Somerset). Alternatively, there are many other similar organisations and opportunities within the local community that I’m now more open to take part in.

Irrespective of my fears living in a new place I volunteered to not only enhance my passions surrounding sustainability and conservation, but to help the community and break generational boundaries by connecting with people of all backgrounds, no matter our age or skill level.

This volunteering has actually helped me gain another volunteering project I recently got confirmed in South Africa. I will be volunteering as an ecological research assistant to gain work experience and help this small conservation organisation there.

My life changing volunteering at St Werburgh’s City Farm

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Jasmine Tidswell talks about her journey to studying Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science at UWE Bristol

This volunteering experience was life changing for me for a number of reasons.

I moved to Bristol from London in June 2020 just after the first national lockdown to enrol in the Environmental Science Access course at City of Bristol College. My plan was to go on to study Conservation and Ecology at UWE which I am now doing.

Moving to a new city amidst a global pandemic with social gathering very restricted left me feeling isolated and unsure how to find a sense of community in an unfamiliar place. Volunteering at the farm and being welcomed into their vast and diverse community helped me find a sense of belonging.

During my volunteering period, I had a mentor, a member of staff who directed and assisted me in my tasks, he was also very focused on my personal wellbeing and helped to support me through a very difficult time as I lost two friends to suicide in January 2021, without this space to talk freely, work with my hands and benefit from the peaceful nature at the site I would not have coped as well as I did. 

I spent four hours every week helping with various jobs around the farm from labour intensive tasks, such as mucking out the animals, to organisational tasks, like ensuring that wheelchair users had good access around the site.

It was important to ensure the farm remained a clean and safe environment for visitors and neighbours.  I organised the composting piles, ensuring the usable compost is accessible for use throughout the farm to fertilise the food growing beds. These are used by various volunteer groups including adults with learning and physical disabilities and children so the compost pile needs to be safe and accessible.  

I also helped medicate a sick ram. It takes plenty of hands to keep a ram calm and still whilst medicating it, unfortunately, the ram passed away as the condition was too severe.  In the Spring, four lambs were born who had been fathered by the ram, having the opportunity to connect naturally to the circle of life and death puts everything into perspective.

I would sew seeds, weed vegetable beds and clean seed trays for the plant nursery ‘Propagation Place’. This allowed the plant nursery managers to spend more time leading more enriching activities with other volunteer groups who are often referred to Propagation Place to improve their mental wellbeing.  In the summer I helped to run a BBQ in the summer, using some of the harvested crops from Propagation Place to make a range of dishes to offer to the volunteers referred through the mental health charity MIND.

I found working with other volunteers and hearing about the challenges in their lives to be thought provoking and heart warming as the sense of support and community that was built by working together and listening to each other was uplifting. I learnt a multitude of new skills and knowledge about animal care, seed sewing, crop harvesting.

Towards the end of my volunteer programme, I heard that Propagation Place were hiring plant nursery assistants though the Kickstarter Scheme, as I was eligible I applied, keen to remain at the farm and further my skills and connections there, I was successful and completed a 6 month contract for them from April to October 2021 where I learned a lot about propagating plants as well as sustainable horticultural practices & completed first aid training. I still work odd days at the farm, helping with the animals, site maintenance, and in the office providing support to the new kickstart workers. 

I began as a volunteer, I progressed as a staff member, and I intend to use the skills and connection that I am gaining at university to become a lifelong advocate for the farm. 

I feel very proud of my small part, volunteering with One25

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Chloe Horton, UWE Bristol Mental Health Nursing Student

I feel very passionately about helping to protect the women One25 support. 

One25 is a charity providing support for the most marginalised women in the Bristol community. Their service users are street sex working women. I have volunteered at the drop in where the women can access emotional support, a hot meal, condoms, underwear, a nurse, a GP and also caseworkers which have a range of specialisms including domestic abuse and drugs.  

At the drop in I spend time in the kitchen serving the women and also talking with the women, seeing how they’re getting on and supporting them with practical tasks such as accessing their GP.  

I more often volunteer on the outreach van which goes out in evenings to serve a particular area where sex workers work. Women can call the van, or we spot the women, providing them with a hot drink, food, warm clothing, condoms, harm reduction packs for drug users and emotional support. The women REALLY appreciate the van and the support they gain from it. Some women will just pop to the window and get their needs met and some women will come on to the van and sit, have a hot chocolate and a good old chat. The women are sometimes intoxicated and One25 work closely with local organisations to ensure the safety of the women.  

As a student Mental Health Nurse volunteering has helped me develop my skills hugely. Just spending time with the women, that at times can be distressed, has benefited my practice. It has enabled me to gain more confidence and also to use the skills I am learning on my course with the women I am speaking to. 

I have always been interested in working with vulnerable people and having now volunteered for One25 my desire to do this has increased. 

I absolutely love volunteering and feel very proud for my albeit small part of One25.  

Global Goal 5 Gender Equality and 3 Good Health and Wellbeing

To be a leader is to serve with purpose

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Paul Anomah, MSc Financial Technology student, talks through his Common Purpose, Global Leaders Experience

To have been selected  to participate in the UWE Common Purpose Global Citizenship and Inclusive Leadership Programmes was a great privilege and unique opportunity. Interacting with student leaders from various parts of the world broadened my perspectives and understanding of how others uniquely perceive situations, handle challenges, and view leadership.

My UWE Bristol Common Purpose Experience

Understanding the individual motivation of my peers for contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) during group discussions was really encouraging. I was able to see the devotion and service true leadership requires as well as the hunger of young people not unlike myself to create innovative, achievable, and efficient solutions to the SDGs in various fields

Global Goals, Local Roles

I have always been passionate about helping to eradicate water-borne diseases and maintain clean environments in my local community Wusuta, in the Volta region of Ghana, where I originate from. I believe we all have a responsibility in facilitating the success of the UN SDGs, one local community at a time. Playing my part in achieving SDG-6 (Clean Water and Sanitation for all) has been part of my daily life since I turned 18. It was simple, the reality for many around me was dirty and contaminated water and lack of knowledge regarding maintaining clean water sources and habits. I was determined to make a change and empower those I could, using the knowledge and passion I had.  

To achieve my goals, I have learned through the Common Purpose Leader experience, the importance of celebrating and engaging with diverse suggestions, understandings and perspectives regardless of identity or background. This skill encourages collective engagement in providing lasting solutions to problems. Changing preconceptions and raising awareness of unconscious biases eliminates discrimination and enables collaboration and better leadership.

I developed a 3-part strategy,  educating my community on ways to eradicate water-borne diseases, engaging the district assembly to uphold their campaign promises  and advocating for better infrastructure to enable safer, equal water access and usage. Having participated in the Global Leadership Programme, I am further enthused to attain a personal goal of ensuring at least 50% access to a piped water system in my local community by 2027 as well as a functioning recycling plant for plastic and other waste materials.  

Change is near

As an agent of generational and global change, there is a responsibility I owe to those that will come after me.. I learned throughout the Common Purpose experience the importance of creating an environment of peace, value, understanding and inclusivity. I have learnt further the value of building trust, confidence, and togetherness  to enable people to have their voices heard.

Inclusivity and the common goal to achieve equality

I have developed as a person, within the four days of engagement. I will carry forward  community inclusiveness and be courageous enough to engage with more people and with ‘uncomfortable’ discussions that can result in new, tailored, and unique resolutions for issues that affect many in their daily lives. 

The sense of achievement and skills developed

Having to work as a group to develop an approach to foster communal participation towards finding solutions to problems that exist in our everyday communities was very engaging and mind opening. I further expanded on my skills of active and critical listening, and mutual dialogue: great skills for a future leader. I also experienced the power of collaboration and the distinctive role it plays in confidently bringing out the ideas of others once they feel part of the process . As a future leader, I have also become further enlightened on how systematic bias can affect the contributions of people from minority backgrounds and the significance of preventing this in every space

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