What’s the point of an internship? In film and TV, an internship seems to be one long coffee trip followed by a little bit of photocopying. As the team from Solutions for the Planet are located in different cities across the country, I was fairly glad not to have to get anyone coffee. That would have taken a while.
Articles on the internet claim an internship is about learning new skills, increasing your professionalism and building your CV. I think this has certainly been the case for me. This summer I’ve learned how to chair a meeting, learned to work remotely and have broadened my understanding of the work environment. Prior to this summer, my work experience was largely teaching English and coaching tennis. Whilst that taught me a lot, I’m glad to have gained experience working in an office, writing a competitor analysis and creating learning resources, and taking part in meetings.
More importantly, however, I have gained invaluable experience of the working environment. As someone who’s been in education for most of their life, I had often wondered about how small businesses worked and what employees did all day. I now understand the professional environment much better and am more confident to face the world after I graduate next year.
Overall, it’s been a very good way to spend the summer. I’ve enjoyed being part of the team, I’ve gained insights into the working of small businesses and seen the value of social enterprise within the wider community. It’s also been useful on a personal level, as I will go into my final year of Russian and English having worked full-time all summer. As my course has few contact hours and a lot of independent learning, the work ethic and routine I’ve practised this summer will really help me as I navigate exams and dissertations.
In short, I’ve had a great time and I haven’t had to make a single cup of coffee.
Written by: Niamh Donnelly, Summer Intern at Solutions for the Planet
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.