Reflective Entry – Week 6

Introduction

I cannot believe that we are already halfway through this internship. Everyone has been so great and welcoming, in fact I felt settled within the first week. This job has been the ride of a lifetime and we’re not even over yet! 

As well as focusing on accessibility this week I will also complete a mid-way evaluation report, which is where Andrew (my colleague) and I wrote about how the internship is going in a mid-way evaluation report. This was an exciting start to the week, and I cannot wait to get started! 

Monday 

I always think it’s useful to have a morning routine to help start the day. Mine is a cup of coffee with whatever I fancy for breakfast. I usually have peanut butter on toast – they always make me feel energised. After I finished my toast, I logged onto my loan laptop to get started with the day. 

A cup of tea next to a laptop

The Learning Technology Development (LTD) Team provided every Student Intern with a timetable to help us all keep track of what sessions, training sessions and UniSkills webinars. The first session for today is “Whoa, we’re halfway there!” – Week 6 Catch Up Session”. This was an exciting opportunity as I got to catch up with everyone else on the internship and see how they are doing – everyone is doing fantastic and really enjoying the internship. By far my favourite part of it is interacting with the rest of the Student Interns and learning more technology skills along the way, especially with making Portable Document Format (PDFs) accessible. 

One thing I love about this internship is that supervisors aren’t the only ones that organise the sessions. 3 other Student Interns hosted a wellbeing session. Keeping your well-being in tip-top shape is mega important, if you don’t then you have the chance of feeling sad and no one wants that! We need to happy to be able to do our best, have confidence in ourselves and most important of all being happy. 

A PowerPoint slide showing different methods of how to keep your Emotional wellbeing healthy.

I learnt a lot of useful strategies to keep my mental health and wellbeing healthy, such has having hobbies. It’s important to find a hobby to help give yourself a break because then you have found something that makes you happy. One of mine is playing Mario Kart 8 deluxe on Nintendo Switch, I’m good at that game! In fact, it’s what I usually do in my spare time it always cheers me up! 

At the end of the day I logged off my PC and went straight on Mario Kart. I’m excited to what the rest of the week will bring. 

Tuesday 

After a great night sleep, I woke up and performed the usual morning routine, then I turned on my laptop and got to work on today’s tasks. Soon after Phase 2 began on the 14th of June 2021 I received templates for Microsoft PowerPoint, making our lives a lot easier when it comes to making the lectures and seminars accessible. Accessibility is important because it has become an extension to the equality act 2010. Therefore, any documents published after September 23rd of 2019 must be accessible. 

Today I came across a bit of a challenge: Ally was not agreeing with a PowerPoint title. The title on the slide was in black text, however, Ally showed it as white text, to fix this error I had to perform research. Researching and problem solving is one of the best elements of this internship because I can learn new skills without the need of a training session. As a result, the research helped me fix this error, it turned out that Ally was using what the colour settings were set as in PowerPoint, not the font colour. After I fixed the colour contrast error it was resolved. 

At the end of the day my technical skills have increased, and I feel good about that! You really do learn a lot in this internship and I’m loving it! 

Wednesday 

Every day working on this internship I learn a new skill and today was no different. There is one module that has a lot of PDFs in it to make accessible. The process of making PDFs accessible works a bit differently than making Microsoft documents accessible, every object like text and an image needs a tag, which is how PDFs identify the types of object in the document. This will take a lot of time to do manually, which is executed by using the reading order tool available in Adobe Acrobat Pro. However, Adobe Acrobat has an auto tag tool available which automatically tags the objects in the document, this will make my life a lot easier when making the PDFs accessible.

Overall, I have been extremely happy with today as I was able to make 10 PDFs accessible and learnt a new skill. I logged off and relaxed with a cup of tea ready for the rest of the day. 

Thursday 

This day was a fun day of the internship! 3 Student Interns created a Student Intern Quiz, which was in a pub quiz style. The quiz had 8 themes: General, Superhero, Film, Edge Hill history, Accessibility, Celebrities, and guess the music. 

The student intern quiz title slide
An image showing one of the questions during the student intern quiz. Which is When was Edge Hill Founded, the correct answer is 1885.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quiz; it was a nice break from improving the module areas. The very fact that other Student Interns made this quiz is astonishing, it makes it even more fun! My favourite theme was guess the music, I am a huge fan of music, it is my tool I use to improve my well-being. One of the songs in this theme is the most streamed song on the popular music platform Spotify, it is Shape of You by Ed Sheeran! I’m so happy that song came up because Ed Sheeran is one of my favourite singers. Overall, I placed 25th in the quiz which I am proud of, but I was there for the fun not to be competitive.  

I spent the rest of the day working on the mid-way point evaluation with Andrew, which is currently going well. 

Friday 

Friday, the final day of the week has arrived. I am a bit sad that the week has nearly come to an end, everyone on this internship is so great and working on the mid-way evaluation form is also fun to work on too. 

Speaking of which the mid-way evaluation form, it is an individual project evaluation for each small project within the large project and our professional development. My favourite part of the report is the individual project evaluation because we need to provide some data to show how hard we have worked. For the first project (accessibility) all but 1 module have been made 90% or more accessible, the other is 85% accessible. Andrew and I are both tremendously pleased with ourselves we have made such an impact on accessibility. 

You might remember from my last blog I completed a LinkedIn Learning course called Communicating with confidence. I did that course because I wanted to improve my confidence with communicating to others. However, I still wanted to expand my communication skills, so I completed another one on communication called Interpersonal Communication. This course increased my skills of how to communicate with my colleagues and supervisors, as well as communicating in tricky situations. I can already tell this LinkedIn Learning course will help me a lot as I continue throughout through the final 6 weeks of the internship. 

An image showing some of the Linked in course Interpersonal communication course. It says Effective communication is key to executive presence, meaning do you seem like a leader.

After I handed in my mid-way evaluation form and completed the LinkedIn Learning course, I logged off my laptop with a smile on my face, looking forward to next week’s work.

Please keep an eye out for Rachel’s blog coming out very soon, you won’t want to miss it! 

By Simon Hackett-Evans (Student Intern) 

The Perfect Work from Home Recipes: 15 Minute Breakfast Ideas to Help You Through the Day!

Overnight Oats


Overnight Oats are fabulous. They barely even fall into the category of 15 minute meals as you make them the night before AND that alone takes 5 minutes! This no-cook breakfast option leaves you with a healthy grab-and-go meal to enjoy throughout the week. Plus – it’s endlessly customisable! The beauty of them is that you can make them as simple or as fancy as you prefer. They are perfect for Student Interns who might get up no long before they are due to sign onto Teams for the day!

For this overnight oat recipe, you will need 50g of rolled oats and 2 tablespoons and natural yogurt. This is the basic recipe. As extras, you could add some honey, 50g of mixed berries or some protein powder. The procedure is simple, in a mason jar, stir together the oats and yogurt. Leave the jar in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Add any other ingredients!

ProOat Pancakes


What is better than a heap of pancakes for breakfast? Healthy pancakes! Packed with protein and fibre, these are my personal go-to choice most days! By following this recipe, you can get your brain and body perfectly powered up to complete all the tasks at hand and smash your day.

Just read this recipe and tell me it doesn’t look amazing.

For the Pro Oat pancake recipe, use 50g of oats, 1 banana, half a teaspoon of baking powder, 1 scoop of protein powder and 70ml of any milk. To make this recipe, blend together all of the ingredients until the batter is smooth. Heat a non-stick pan for about 2 minutes. Add the batter to the pan in small circles and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve the pancakes with any toppings you wish!

Shakshuka


This Middle Eastern dish is perfect. Not only is it ridiculously delicious but it can also be made for breakfast, lunch or tea! It’s made from simple, healthy ingredients – Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and the traditional version uses tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top.

Here is a recipe for shakshuka. You will need a medium sized onion, 1 diced red pepper, 4 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, a tin of chopped tomatoes and 3 eggs. To create this meal, heat some oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the chopped pepper and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spices to this pan, when adding the chopped tomatoes, break them up with a large spoon. After this, make wells in the mixture and crack the eggs into them. Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.

By Lydia Woods (Student Intern)

To Everyone That Has Made Me Smile

Hi, I’m Reece, and I am a student at Edge Hill University and a Student Intern within the Faculty of Education (FoE).

How is there only five weeks left to the internship? I’m not sure how it has gone so fast, but I definitely don’t want it to end.

This will be quite different from any other piece I have written as I will explain why working with a great team has made me more motivated, confident, and engaged in work.

Balloons

Let’s start with the FoE team…

The FoE team are brilliant, and I don’t think I have a bad thing to say about any of them. Every morning we have a team meeting to discuss our work and deadlines. However, we also end up chatting about the next Marvel film or how I don’t like chocolate but sometimes drink a Mocha. The endless conversations and the laughs we cherish are what makes the internship so much more fun.

Neon lights saying 'say cheese'

Ailsa, you are a dream to work with, and I can honestly say that the team would be lost without you. You make our meetings more engaging, and I’m sure I have been told a new story from your life every time we organise a Microsoft Teams meeting. Thank you for being the mum of the group.

Harry, I’m not sure where to start, but I do want to say sorry for always annoying you. However, you are very hard-working. You deserve a reward for all the tasks you have completed during the internship. Calm.

Amy, you are really kind-hearted, and I always appreciate it when we work together because not only are we a great team, but we are always laughing together. Although you were quiet at the beginning of the internship, we now can’t get you to be quiet. You bring positivity to the team, and I am grateful for that. Thank you.

Sharnie, you definitely bring creativity to the team. All your engaging tasks are very enjoyable, especially the Escape Room that I completed in only 6 minutes (hehe). You are always smiling, and like the rest of the team, your positivity radiates through our Teams meetings. When you return to Ormskirk, you are definitely coming for a drink.

Faye, every time you speak, I just visualise how happy you were on your 60 seconds with Faye video. Them jazz hands will definitely be one of the highlights of the internship. You are always smiling and are always there to help the rest of us when we are struggling.

And Emma, you are so hard-working, and I think the team would be lost without you. Thank you for completing that huge spreadsheet task with Amy, but make sure you don’t open Microsoft Excel for another few weeks, or you will go insane.

Well, that is the FoE Interns in a nutshell. We are all very different, but I think we work well as a team. I have made some really good friends, and even last weekend we had a fantastic day together. The FoE team has helped me improve my communication skills and become more confident and engaged in work. You are all fantastic people, so thank you.

So now, the Vlog-Blog Squad Wellbeing team. After the initial meeting, Eleanor, Amber, and I joined forces and set up a meeting to discuss ideas. Now we produce so much content every week, and I have learnt so much from you. However, after a few meetings, we suddenly got a new member, Lydia, who has been so fun to work with (p.s. you still need to make a TikTok). Eleanor, you are so kind and considerate of everyone. Even the well-being session you created was so thoughtful. Amber, you are the most creative because Lydia “doesn’t have a creative bone in her body” (your words Lydia, not mine). Amber, thank you for helping me with my Vlog and just always being friendly and chatty. Finally, Lydia, thank you for being supportive. Although you joined late, you are definitely a great addition to the team.

Now, all the staff. Sarah, you are a bundle of joy, and you always light up our team meetings. Thank you for being so supportive and always making sure we are comfortable in the roles and tasks you assign. Thank you, Laura and Leah, for giving me this opportunity and providing a support system where I feel comfortable asking any question.

Thank you to everyone that has made me smile. 🙂 I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the interns when we go out in September.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this.

Photograph of people sitting around a campfire

By Reece Thomas (Student Intern)

Picture of Reece Thomas.

Week in the life of a Student Intern – Milena Bittmar.

Hi, my name is Milena, I am going into my third year studying English Literature and I am a Digital Student Intern at Edge Hill University. I am based in the Language Centre, which includes the Foreign Language side and also the English Language side. In this blog, I am going to show you what I get up to in a week, as a Digital Student Intern. This week I am also setting myself a goal to do something good for my physical and mental wellbeing every day, even if it is only something small.

Monday:

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked with James in the English Language side of the Language Centre department, 8:45 until 17:00, with an hour lunch break (which we can pick to have at any time). The first thing I did in the morning was open up Microsoft Teams on my laptop and make sure my status says available, so everyone knew that I could be contacted and that I am at work, and then the rest of the apps that I needed for the day. This included opening up Excel, where I log what I do throughout the day and also an changes that I make to the level of accessibility on the module that I work on in the day. This morning, James had uploaded some voiced-over PowerPoints, and I was in charge of making sure the captions all made sense, in terms of correct spelling and punctuation. This is one of my favourite things to do, despite being quite time consuming, as it is satisfying to see it all done at the end. I had five different videos to edit captions for, all between fifteen and twenty minutes, and therefore it took me the majority of the day! After my lunch break, I worked on making different documents (mostly PDFs) as accessible as possible through Adobe Acrobat DC, on a specific module.

My wellbeing task of the day – I started my week off by having a really healthy and filling breakfast of porridge with banana, blueberries and chia seeds, and did not forget my vitamins!

Black and red cherries on white bowl

Tuesday:

On Tuesday morning, I carried on making the module accessible. A lot of documents started at under 50% and ended up being 100% accessible!

It is important to take breaks and therefore my wellbeing task of the way was to spend as much time as I could outside, as well as doing my work. I made a set up outside in the 30 degree sunshine, although in the shade, got Weeks 5-10 completely accessible by the end of the day. In the evening, just before finishing work, I also filled in my daily timetable, where I write down the hours I worked.

Silhouette of mountains during sunset

Wednesday:

This morning, it was my last day working in the English Language sector with James, and so I wanted to finish making the module as accessible as possible (aiming for all of the documents to be 100% accessible by the end of the day). I spent the morning working on accessibility through Adobe Acrobat DC and then uploading them onto our University’s VLE system.

I completed all of the weeks, and the still had an hour to spare, so I thought I would get on with a LinkedIn Learning course on proofreading and editing, as I thought it would benefit my work now, and also in the future as I am planning to pursue a career in that sector once graduating and taking on a Masters in Publishing. That course took me to the end of the day, where I logged the hours I worked and signed out.

My wellbeing task for the day was to go for a walk, and because it was cooler than most days in the evening, I took my dog on a sunset walk in the park, and it was so lovely to get some fresh air, other than the garden – and movement is also so important for you mental and physical wellbeing.

People walking on green grass field near green trees under blue sky during daytime

Thursday:

On Thursday I worked with Lucy in the Foreign Language sector. I was making documents accessible, which included editing Italian PowerPoints, Word documents and PDFs.

I continued making documents accessible throughout the day, completed a LinkedIn Learning course and also wrote more of my blog when I had time. Then, as my wellbeing task, I read a book in the evening and made sure I got a really long, good night’s sleep – as that is what your brain needs the most after sunshine and working all day!

Person holding book sitting on brown surface

Friday:

Today, on the last day of the week, I worked with Lucy to make an additional module accessible, including a series of documents focused on the Mandarin language, which was exciting! I did that for majority of the day, and then had a meeting at 15:30 with the Language Centre to let them know what I have been working on all week and for them to let me know what I will be doing next week. I wrote up my weekly reflection and then finished off my blog, before going to enjoy the sunshine. My wellbeing task of the day was to get some sunshine, before it rains next week, and to socialise with a friend – which I did!

Trees during golden hour

By Milena Bittmar (Student Intern)

Getting started with LinkedIn Learning

What is LinkedIn Learning?  

Photograph of Student working on laptop

LinkedIn Learning is an online skills development website ran by LinkedIn.  

All the courses are developed by experts.  It provides an extensive library of online training videos and exercise files for users to be able to develop their skills further.  

LinkedIn Learning is a free service for any student with a @edgehill.ac.uk email address and can be linked with your own personal LinkedIn account too. 

Many of the courses the University offers have Linkedin Learning courses that complement the module to allow you to further study and helps encourage self-learning.  

Why use LinkedIn Learning?  

LinkedIn Learning can offer users the chance to:  

  • Develop digital skills 
  • Keep up to date with training  
  • Further develop professional skills  
  • Encourages Self-learning 
  • Flexible around your lifestyle  
  • Provides you with a history of courses you have took/skills 
  • Encourages career development 
  • Encourages professional development  
  • Lots of course to go alongside your degree! 

Courses to help you land your prefect job 

Photograph of Student working on laptop

Maybe you are looking for something new, maybe you have new goals, new opportunities you want to apply to help you find that exciting new job you have always wanted. To help with this we are presenting you with many of the best LinkedIn Learning courses which not only helped us but the millions of professionals that got hired last year. It is always important to brush up on your interview and CV skills and this is what many of the professionals generally focused on, first impressions matter. Getting your CV and interview stage done correctly sets yourself up for a much better chance in the hiring process as it allows your skills to stand out above the rest.  

Interview and CV courses 

Photograph of Student writing on a piece of paper

There is also a course on LinkedIn Learning called Career Advice from Some of the Biggest Names in Business. It consists of collective advice from some of the world’s most influential thinkers, leaders, and innovators. They have run some of the biggest companies, created the biggest and most loved brands and changed the world. This course brings together the best insights from interviews with LinkedIn Influencers such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Meg Whitman and many more.  

However, you need to do more than just get the interview questions right. You will need to demonstrate that you have the skills for the specific job. Especially nowadays with the ongoing pandemic, skills such as software development, marketing, project management and data analysis are all in demand, and software such as Excel and Microsoft Teams are becoming common knowledge as we all come to terms with working from home. Therefore, it is important for applicants to watch these courses to not only brush up on any new skills they might offer but to stay updated on new developments within the industry allowing you to stay ahead of the competition. 

Here are our top recommendations for LinkedIn Learning courses for your departments:  

Software Development 

Marketing  

Project Management 

Data Analysis 

General Courses 

More information and support with LinkedIn Learning can be found here – https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/linkedinlearning/

By Katie McCarthy and Daniel Bresnahan

To be, or not to be… Vegan?

Living a meat-less, animal product free life certainly is not something which appeals to everyone, but it is a choice I made just over a year ago and have committed to ever since. My name is Eleanor, I am a student at Edge Hill University, and I am vegan! My experience has been an adventure and I have learned a lot on the way, so I thought it might be nice to share some of the things I have discovered with you…

Firstly, veganism is not about eating grass and lettuce! Huge shoutout to all the fast-food companies who have given us a vegan burger on their menu, supermarkets for their lovely meat-free aisles and Insta-inspiration for boosting my brain with recipe ideas too. Not only this, but also the ‘accidentally vegan snacks’ that I have stumbled across, I would be lying if I said these weren’t a lifesaver. I said I would share my findings with you so here are one or two animal-free snacks you can enjoy:

  1. Oreos!
  2. Jammy Dodgers
  3. Party Rings
  4. Prawn Cocktail Skips
  5. Most Ready Salted Crisps
  6. Popcorn

Sweet treats and salty snacks are always enticing, but fruit and veggies are also perfect to reach for if you’re after something tasty, nutritious, and naturally plant based. Frozen grapes are a brilliant sweet snack, carrots/cucumber to dip into a pot of hummus are perfect for sharing and an apple is a great go-to for on the go fuel!

‘What about protein?’ I hear you ask… Well, loads of veggies and pulses are packed with the protein our bodies need to thrive; beans, chickpeas, lentils, and nuts are just a few examples. Also, other nutrients can be sourced from animal-free foods too- such as potassium from bananas, vitamins A, B and K in spinach, and iron in tofu!

A photograph of an assortment of nuts.

So, there is a couple of perks of a vegan diet for you, but what about the wider impact? According to research, if everyone in the UK were to swap out one meaty meal to meatless each week, our nation’s Greenhouse Emissions would reduce by 8%… that is the same as removing 16 million cars off the road. Seems silly not to, eh!? I am not writing this post to try and convince everyone to be a strict vegan, more so to try a meat-less filling in their sandwiches or switching their bangers and mash to veggie sausages every once in a while! Speaking of sausages, here is some scrumptious vegan BBQ suggestions to enjoy this summer…

  1. Beyond Meat™ burger
  2. Cauliflower steak
  3. Morrison’s ‘Hot ‘n’ Spicy No-Prawns’
  4. Marinated tofu… (yes, tofu can be so good!)
  5. Vegetable kebabs

Also, if you don’t fancy your BBQ to be entirely plant based, why not pop some halloumi on your kebabs, or have a Linda McCartney mozzarella ¼ pounder in place of a beanburger!

A photograph of a barbeque and vegetable skewers.

For now I feel that’s enough of the animal-free replacements and suggestions, so let me tell you a little more about my experience as a vegan and where I am with it at the moment… Firstly, I am not perfect by any stretch! Accidentally eating something not wholly vegan is part of the trial and error of discovering a plant-based diet, milk powder and a bit of egg in the small print can be deceitful. At first, I worried, but then I soon came to realise that feeling guilty about trying your best helps no one, be kind to yourself and just give it your best shot. Also, veganism has boosted my confidence in trying new foods, being more adventurous with recipes and learning what I like! Not only this but getting a little more confident in the kitchen has refined my knowledge of what feels good going into my body and what foods will give me the nutrients I can feel that my body craves.

Most importantly for me, veganism has energised me. In the physical sense undoubtedly, but also in the way that I navigate through life with a consciousness of how my actions may impact others. Just knowing that small changes I have made can make such a big impact are comforting and invigorate my passion to care for this world, and the organisms which live upon it. And with that I urge you, make a small change and give a plant-based swap a go… you never know, you might like it!

A person standing in front of a waterfall

Now that we have come to the end of this chatty exploration of veganism, I thought some of you may be keen on a deeper insight into the plant-based world. On the Box of Broadcasts platform through Edge Hill University, there are countless short programmes and documentaries about veganism and making small changes to your diet for the greater good! Simply type in ‘Edge Hill University Box of Broadcasts’ into your browser and log in with your institution details, my personal favourites are: 

  • Jermaine Jenas: Football Going Vegan
  • Hayley goes… Vegan
  • Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, with Ellie Goulding

So, sit down, tuck into a Jammie Dodger or two and enjoy!

By Eleanor Rowell (Student Intern)

Photograph of Eleanor.

Week 5 – A Week in the Life of a Student Intern

Week five had come faster than I originally anticipated it would. It was bittersweet – I was happy because I’ve been working in a job I adore for the last five weeks but then again it would end in seven weeks.

This week, my focus was on one my many tasks from a key contact within the Faculty of Education this task was to organize a schedule for a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ Twitter takeover as well as create a logo and banner for them to use during this event, and as an avid reader – I couldn’t wait.

Monday:

I think after the weekend, I am always a little groggy Monday morning, but my daily meeting with my team got me out of this rut, they really are a Monday morning cheer up. This week, it was my turn to lead the daily meetings and at first, I found the task a little daunting but I realised that they have had to do the same, so they’ll understand if I make any slip ups… I didn’t! Alas I think my team would agree that when I am leading a meeting it’s short and snappy so, we can get on with our tasks for the day.

For me that meant research, I had no idea what or how to create a brand image, after a few websites and a pep talk from a fellow intern who studies marketing I felt a bit more comfortable. When I create content for social media, I usually use Canva as it has a range of different templates to play with.

My first logo included a golden yellow background and a boy reading a book however, after receiving some feedback that it wasn’t as inclusive as it could be, I got back to work and am currently waiting on feedback for my new design. After completing the usual admin for the day it was 5’O clock and I was logging off.

Tuesday:

Tuesday’s meeting went a lot better than Monday’s, this time I discovered my flow and had everyone’s goals for the day clear and sorted. I quite like leading meetings – I think anyone who has can agree that the small sense of power behind it can be fun.

Today I was back onto my ‘Reading for Pleasure’ task and today’s goal was to create a schedule of content to release. I spent a while trying to find a template of a monthly planner from Canva but decided to go back to a reliable spreadsheet instead (which back in my first week of the Internship, I would have been less willing to use).

A picture containing a water bottle and a laptop displaying teams

I think one of my favourite things about this task is it required research. What kind of things do readers want to engage with on Twitter?  How can I convince somebody to pick up a book? I like to thing I have an advantage with this task because not only do I read avidly but in the future, I would like to be a published Author so these little tricks of the trade I was learning will really help me in my future.  

So I created a schedule of events and content to post over the month of September. I sent it over to my key contact and they loved my ideas so much that they would like to run the content over the next academic year instead of it all into one month!

I was beyond happy!

Wednesday:

And just like that half the week had gone! I did my usual morning routine and settled down at my desk, with my huge new water bottle (because I keep forgetting to drink at work, so this really helps!) My task for today was to get to grips with Google Sites. In Education they use Google Sites for a heap of different things, so if we were to help the Education staff, we had to be as comfortable with it as they are.

Sarah gave us a little free reign with this task and we could create any kind of website as long as we became comfortable with the tool and that our site was accessible. I created my site to act as a portfolio to showcase my creative pieces as well as to show off my photography.

Thursday:

I think Thursday’s always go in a blink of an eye, unlike Fridays. My Thursday felt like I hardly did anything but when I look back on it, I did actually did a lot! So once my meeting was out of the way I settled down and started on a new task; copywriting for the CPD website to make it more enticing for professionals.

The rest of the day I alternated between various tasks which were almost completed and finally sent them off to be checked. I really enjoy that feeling of bliss when you send a project off to be finished, the feeling of pride and accomplishment.

The final thing we did was publish our 60 seconds with an Student Intern videos on Twitter. Once shared on Twitter they had reached an audience over 200 people per intern. This was fun to do, and it was really interesting to see what my colleagues dream jobs where when they were 10… keep your eye out though because I have heard a whisper more are on the way!

Friday:

Friday! At last, everyone who works a 9 till 5 job everyday has to admit that when the clock hits 5pm on a Friday all the stress from the last week floats away.

A picture of a Frappuccino, a computer and some flowers

An excitable task I started today was to create a digital escape room for teachers to use in September as a creative online ice breaker. Initially I had no idea how to even approach the task, so began researching. I also moved into my Monday pile and finished up some content for the Education building notice boards until lunch. Which when it rolled around, I think I needed a midday pick me up, so I ordered myself a Frappuccino and cracked on with familiarizing myself with online teaching tools such as Vevox. I finished my Friday with creating a Panopto video on how to use Vevox. I logged off quite happy and looking forward to Week 6, the halfway point in the internship! 

Keep an eye out for Simon’s blog which will have all the details.

By Sharnie Bowen (Student Intern)

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

Emotional Processing: Tips on how we can learn to accept our emotions

I think we’ve all at some point been bombarded with the multitude of self-care tips that have gone viral on social media. Especially on spaces like Instagram, Pinterest etc. we see self-care and self-love has become a big topic in online communities and sharing our tips and tricks with one another. Yet on some levels, I think the basics of self-care can be put aside, and it has at times become more of an aesthetic thing to do. Instead of when looking at the basics, it might feel like a bit of a chore! One of the biggest tips that I find people forget, to focus on distraction or escapism is just processing. We all have stress and with the bustle of modern life, we’re often encouraged to push aside them to deal with work and our other commitments. This doesn’t help anyone! When we don’t allow our brain time to process and confront our emotions, we get to a point where we are keeping the pressure in until we inevitably explode.

Photograph of person surround by sticky notes. Notes contain words including: norms, expectation and society.

So great, processing emotions. How do we do that exactly? It’s the fact we need to stop ourselves from instantly distracting ourselves, although at times it can be helpful. We need to give ourselves the time (it doesn’t need to be instant). After a hard day at work, give yourself a set amount of time to sit there and process. This can be in any way! The beauty of emotions is that everyone expresses and processes them differently. So, spend that hour crying, yelling, journaling, letting your mind spiral. Any way you see fit, and let your mind go through these processes.

If you prefer, you can split this time into two. As there are two types of problems, practical and hypothetical. A practical worry is something that can be solved or dealt with. So, in the time you set aside for yourself, use it as time to go through these problems and solve them or set out a plan to. If you do things this way, it will allow you to put to rest anything nagging you in the back of your head. Which happens a lot, in our busy lives!

Hypothetical worries are the trickier ones, these are the fears that creep in when we least expect. We worry, get angry or upset over the infinite possibilities and it can get in the way of our focusing. The way we deal with these is by giving our minds the time to run wild. Let your mind jump from one thing to the next, let the anger come to the surface. By letting your mind process and confront all different types of issues that are causing you distress, it’ll help you feel calmer and get the weights off your chest.

I think another important strategy is to stop looking at emotions like sadness and stress as negative emotions. As much as it is unpleasant to experience them, these types of emotions are our body’s way of telling us that things are getting too much. It’s the warning sign that we need to take time for a break. So, I’d say to approach them less as negative and more as alerts to give yourself some time.

All of this is a lot easier said than done. But it is one focus that can really change your perspective on emotions as a whole and you can grow to understand yourself as a person more. All of this knowledge will make dealing with emotions in a work environment specifically so much easier.

Links for additional support:

Edge Hill University Wellbeing Resources – https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/wellbeing/

NHS ‘Struggling with stress’ webpage – https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/stress/struggling-with-stress#:~:text=However%2C%20there%20are%20simple%20things%20you%20can%20do,muscle%20relaxation%20to%20be%20helpful%20in%20relieving%20stress.

NHS Mental Health – https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

By Amber Berry (Student Intern)

Amber Berry, Student Intern

A beginner’s guide to accessibility

If you’re anything like me, I had no clue what it was that made documents accessible and how important it was for people. Online accessibility makes content available to as many people as possible, enabling people with disabilities to access content as someone without a disability could.

In 2018, less than 10% of all websites were meeting web accessibility standards, which makes it difficult for some people to access those websites. In 2018, accessibility became mandatory for public sector bodies – highlighting the importance of this. So, simple corrections to content could enable more people to access it.

This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, simple changes such as colours of texts and the text size to be appropriate could make a difference to someone’s experience with that content. Some other changes could be, including captioning to videos and a transcript and limiting your emoji use.

To support beginners with accessibility, I have created the below guide:

By understanding what accessibility is and how important it is, the basic points to accessibility are easy to remember. You can learn more about accessibility on:

By Phoebe White

Photograph of Phoebe White