A Week in the Life of a Student Intern …

Monday:

Here we go! Another week as a full-time worker. I am absolutely loving my experience so far and I feel SO fancy when people ask me what I do for work and I reply, “I am a Digital Student Intern at Edge Hill University”.

I started off the week in a meeting with my departmental heads and my colleague -it’s always so refreshing to catch up with them as it makes me feel so much more connected. Working from home has the potential to be really isolating but my colleagues have been here for me throughout and it really has been a connected experience thus far.

I then spent the next few hours completing one of my modules and making sure it was at the highest accessibility possible. This module included quite a few PDFs, this was a challenge but also became a massive learning curve and helped me become a lot more confident working with PDFs and Adobe Acrobat. Finally finishing a whole module felt really rewarding and I was so pleased with the progress I have made so far – looking forward to completing many more!

To finish off my day I decided to go to LinkedIn Learning and complete some more courses surrounding PDFs to really ensure that I was understanding of how to make them accessible and confident going forward within the internship. Then, I of course wrote this blog entry… Monday… completed.

Person typing on MacBook Pro on brown wooden table during daytime photo

Tuesday:

Tuesday is always my most difficult wake up, I think it’s because the weekend is finally catching up with me. Aware of this, I woke up slightly earlier to give myself time to have a shower and really refresh myself ready for a new day I began by finishing off the LinkedIn Learning courses that I started the day before.

Later, I attended my weekly catchup meeting with other colleagues working for the Faculty of Arts and Science and the managers of the internship. I really enjoy these meetings as it gives me an insight into what people from other departments are getting up to and it allows us to express any concerns and get common questions and queries answered. It’s also just lovely to see familiar faces and be reassured that I do have a wide network of people to assist me if anything doesn’t go as planned.

After this I received a notification saying that one of the modules had content in for me to work on, so I started on that. I decided to make a start on PowerPoints and Word Documents first as it was already the afternoon and I knew I would accomplish more in the day if I focused on these to begin with. It feels SO good getting a lot done in a day and watching the accessibility score gradually rise as you go on.

I did encounter a few problems as the day went on which was slightly frustrating, however, I reported the problems to the correct people and the issues were quickly resolved and/or being investigated. I finished the day off writing this blog and feeling very accomplished with the amount of progress I have made today. Nothing feels better than a productive day!

Wednesday:

The middle of the week is here already! This internship is going so fast I can’t believe it, I’ll be back at University before I know it.

I started the day off in a meeting with my departmental heads and colleague, we worked together to resolve the problems that we had the day before and discuss the right methods moving forward.

I then began working on the reading list for my module, ensuring that all scanned documents were deleted and replaced with a digital copy and added to the reading list. This made the accessibility score go much higher on my module as it involved a lot of scanned pdfs.

After this I continued working on PDFs, this took a while as a lot of the PDFs had several pages and I had to tag each document from scratch. It is so rewarding at the end of the day when I look back over my accessibility spreadsheet and see how much I have completed and how much the module has improved.

Thursday:

ONE MORE DAY TILL FRIDAY!

Today has been a very long day, I have been working on a 111-page PDF all day in attempts to make it 100% accessible. Alongside this my sister went into labour so my Mum and I have been attempting to work and look after my 7-year-old niece and 2-year-old nephew at the same time. (I can’t begin to tell you how much I can sympathise with all parents who have had to work at home with their children over the pandemic.) For the most part they were wonderful, and I still managed to have a productive day, but it was not without its challenges!

Whilst working on some more challenging PDFs I decided it was best to have a call with my colleague to talk things over and work out a better solution. It was great to talk to each other about it and assist each other with the process. It really makes the internship so much easier knowing I have a team I can rely on and that we will always be there for each other.

Black wireless headphones with yellow and white pencils. Board saying "Be proud of how hard you are working"

Friday:

T.G.I.F! We have made it another week working full time with only a small amount of complications!

Not going to lie to you, today was a very stressful day for me, my final degree classification was being released at 11am and I was on edge for most of the morning. I took the executive decision to start the day with a Linkedin Learning course and then complete my weekly refection and look over this week’s blog entries. When my result finally came out, I was so pleased and proud of myself, but I also felt incredibly overwhelmed that the undergraduate chapter of my life is actually over – time to grow up!

After taking in my results I continued working on making my module accessible. I focused a lot on PowerPoints and Word Documents today which took a while but was relatively straight forward to do. I then wrote my blog entry for today and checked over my calendar for next week. Going through this internship I have realised that it is important to check what meetings I have the following week to ensure before I log off on a Friday evening, I am completely ready and prepared.

It has been an absolutely fantastic week, I have completed another module, been continuously connected with my team, completed several LinkedIn Learning courses, welcomed a new nephew into the world and truly grown as a person – each week I become more and more grateful for this opportunity. Now… let’s do it all again!

LinkedIn Learning Courses:

Creating Accessible PDFs

Creating Accessible Word Docs

Microsoft Word Essential Training

By Rachel Roche (Student Intern)

Photograph of Rachel Roche

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