Working in equality, diversity, and inclusion: A world of opportunities. Helena Stone
14th September 2021
It’s a long time since I wrote a post for this blog! Actually I’m not really writing now, rather introducing.
Some of you probably know that every year the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team is fortunate to be able to offer students a paid opportunity to work in the Team. Typically it is work experience between October – December, but in the last academic year, recognising the value of these opportunities, and the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, funding was made available for a paid internship. It was two days a week for the entire academic year! Two amazing students were recruited.
The posts today and tomorrow are about their experiences. Now let me hand you over to Helena Stone.
Upon entering my final year of my BA Education degree, questions surrounding ‘what next?’ seemed to be getting louder and louder. I was keen to take on some form of work during my final year and was searching the Your Future Plan portal for any opportunities. I came across an internship with the Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team here at the University of Gloucestershire. Through my experiences with a physical disability and studying for my degree I had developed an interest in inclusion and social justice. So, an opportunity to work in EDI sounded interesting and I decided to apply. Following a successful application and interview, in November last year I began working one day a week.
In the 8 months that followed, I have enjoyed getting involved with a variety of different projects, learning about the different cultures and identities that make up our university community, as well as play an active role in responding to issues faced. This included contributing towards a variety of EDI resources, for example creating a Talis List surrounding Disability and Mental Health, laying the foundations for a future student module on EDI and drawing attention to different dates in the diversity calendar, through supporting our social media presence and writing blog pieces. Throughout working on all these different projects, I have also been able to develop valuable skills including communication, public speaking and project management to name a few. All of which was made possible by working with a great team of people who have always been supportive, encouraging and inspiring.
I would highly encourage anyone to take an opportunity to work in the EDI team here at the University. It is a chance to experience a rapidly growing area, whilst contributing towards positive change and gaining skills and knowledge that would be valuable across many different sectors and specialisms. Opportunities like this are invaluable when applying for jobs, it gave me a Unique Selling Point in both applications and interviews and most certainly provided a springboard into employment following my degree!
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