My experience as an intern. Lianna Williams
15th September 2021
Today it’s Lianna who will share her experience as an intern in the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Team.
This blog is written by Lianna Williams who has just completed a year interning within EDI and would like to share their experience and encourage other students to consider applying for this role in the next academic year.
I have had the pleasure of interning for the universities Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team situated within HR for academic year 2021/21. This has been an invaluable experience and I write this blog to actively encourage students to apply and take advantage during the next academic year.
My discipline area is Psychology and having a passion for social justice, I applied for role of intern as part of the EDI team as I wanted to be a part of change at the university. I complete this internship with a greater understanding and appreciation of how vast and ever evolving EDI work is. The role has been both exciting and rewarding and an opportunity I am very grateful to have been given that has enhanced my employability much greater than I anticipated. For example, I have been able to take advantage of a number of professional development opportunities I wouldn’t have thought of doing, encouraged by the EDI manager. I find this to be quite unique and not something I have experienced in the world of employment before which is largely the reason I encourage other students to take part.
Given personal and professional development is something the role has more than generously provided, I offer some advice for future applicants that I have learned from my own experience.
I applied for this role during my third and final year of my undergrad, in the middle of a pandemic whilst and having to homeschool my primary school aged son; so this role can fit around your individual commitments. However, it is made clear from the start your undergrad commitments must always come first. Like my previous two years the first semester, I feel, has a lot more time flexibility and given I also had my dissertation to complete, I realised from the second semester onwards I was struggling to separate my undergrad and intern commitments effectively. Whilst the flexibility was there and very much appreciated, there were pressures I hadn’t factored in which had an emotional toll. This is largely due to the fact EDI work can be quite emotionally taxing, especially if you are working on areas that are close to your heart, which I was, so this is something to consider.
Personally, I think the role would be perfect for a level 5 student who already has a years’ experience being a student at the university giving you some foundation to think about the kind of change you would like to initiate/work on within your role. Also, given there are a number of personal and professional development opportunities to take advantage of, you may find you have more time to do so. Even if you are unsure of what your next steps may be, it is always sensible to think about advancing your employability and gathering those transferable skills. Having said that if you really want to do something you will make it work.
This really is such a fantastic opportunity to have been given and I encourage others to consider applying for this role and would be very happy to be contacted if you would like any further words of encouragement.
Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter @UoGEquality