Today was the start of my third week of a 12-week internship. I woke up at 7:30 am to get ready for the day. I had some peanut butter on toast, with a glass of water for breakfast. Once the time struck 8:45 am I turned on my laptop ready to get started. I made a Gantt chart to help plan my time and on it the next allocated task was to make the documents for a module fully accessible by Wednesday.
Helping others is my passion, therefore, making documents accessible so people with disabilities can read the contents of the documents clearly. Completing the Word documents and PowerPoints ensured that the process of making the documents was smooth sailing as they are the easiest type of documents to make 100% accessible. The templates sped up making the documents fully accessible because font styles and the layout were already set, putting me in a good mood.
I also attended a UniSkills Webinar on academic resilience. Resilience is something I often struggle with, even though my grades are consistently in the 80s I still feel unconfident with my abilities. In the Webinar I got asked to score myself on how confident I felt about my resilience, I scored a 4. However, the result of the Webinar increased this score to 8 – I know right, double the score, wow! I would highly recommend attending, it made me feel like a better student. Overall, today was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow.
Tuesday was yet another very enjoyable day. Andrew (my colleague) and I got most of the documents 100% accessible for one module in two working days, I am excited because we are prepared now ready for the meeting tomorrow. I am on the autistic spectrum, which means I find it challenging to communicate with others. However, my colleague was very welcoming from the start, which allowed me to feel a lot more comfortable. This made my confidence with communication skyrocket. Therefore, my communication skills have improved through this internship and we are only a few weeks in!
I also attended a creating interactive video and media content training session. As a Computing student, I always love learning how to use new software and Web applications. Canva and Sparks, are online applications where you can create your very own interactive video presentations, from loads of templates. The most surprising tool is in Microsoft PowerPoint, where you can record your presentation slides with your webcam, I did not know you could do that! These training sessions are indeed very useful.
Finally, I attended a Careers workshop hosted by Claire, a Careers Advisor, to make the perfect CV. She was very welcoming and went through these useful guidelines: two pages max, relevant and other work experience, include your hobbies and most relevant information first, which all of you should take advantage of next time you make a CV. Overall, today was a fantastic, productive day and I’m looking forward to the meeting tomorrow.
I woke up raring to face another day! Only one long PDF document had to be made accessible by adding and editing some tags and adding alt text to the images, we also created the learning episodes for the module, so students can have easy navigation of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Attending meetings is a little difficult for me, I often find it difficult to locate the right words to say I was a slightly nervous for the meeting.
When the clock strikes 2, Andrew and I joined the meeting and started talking about how we have been getting on this week. I was very glad to hear my department are very happy with what we have accomplished over the past 2 days and were not expecting us to get most of the documents 100% accessible – hearing that I was doing an excellent job it raised my communication confidence a great deal. The only thing that needed attention were the lecture slides, the bullet point style needs to be changed, Ally was not showing it correctly. I left the day with a huge smile on my face and tomorrow is another road to success, it can only get better from here!
For me, Thursday is the most productive day of the week because I’m far enough into it, where I’m in the zone of my work and know what exactly I had to be getting on with. I took initiative and created a master slide template that works for all lecture slides to be viewed as intended on Ally. I showed my colleague and he was very pleased with the result, he tested the template, told me it worked. In addition, we will be able to race through the lecture slides. I felt glad that my solution would make our lives easier over the remaining 8 weeks of the internship.
I also had an interesting training session on the web application software Padlet and Wakelet. Padlet and Wakelet allow you to create walls and others can post on them. These are an exciting addition to the students learning as lecturers cause them to allow their students to participate in discussions, share ideas, reflect on their learning and more! I’m all about that!
https://www.linkedin.com/learningOne of my favourite parts of the internship is being able to learn on my own time during working hours, I don’t have to be consistently working on creating learning episodes or working on accessibility. So, in the last hour of the day, I decided to make a start on the Communicating with Confidence course on LinkedIn Learning.
It’s hard to believe a third of the internship will be completed by the end of today – time has really flown by. I spent the day making Word documents and PowerPoints accessible and completing the LinkedIn Learning course. This is a fantastic course – I would highly recommend it! It’s given me some useful strategies like breathing, using your hands to make yourself calmer to be a confident communicator.
Reflecting is part of being a Student Intern, it’s really useful for seeing how much I have progressed over the week, for me, it’s my working speed. The work I produce is usually at a high standard, but my work pace is slow; my action plan is to use a stopwatch to time myself how long it takes to make all documents accessible. If I use that strategy, I’m sure my work speed will improve to make me a better employee in the future.
By the end of the day, I left, with a smile on my face and looking forward to working with my fellow Student Interns next week – I can’t wait! Keep an eye out for Rachel’s blog coming out soon, you won’t want to miss it!
By Simon Hackett-Evans (Student Intern)