Intern Journey: Reaching out to make a difference

by YPU Admin on April 26, 2018. Tags: Intern post, Journey to Work, and University Experience

Introduction

My name’s Anthea and I’m a currently a graduate intern with the Student Recruitment and Widening Participation (SRWP) team. After studying A Levels in Sociology, English Language, French and completing an extended project I went onto study Sociology at the University. I’m from a town local to Manchester and have grown up loving its rich diversity and things to do! Manchester was the obvious choice for me and I absolutely loved my degree and the opportunities it’s provided!

In Depth

When I started my first year I knew I wanted to work with young people but I was unsure about how I could go about this. I had volunteered with various projects whilst at college and wanted to expand my knowledge further. During my second year of University I applied for an 8 week summer internship through the careers service with a local mentoring charity called ReachOut. Throughout my internship I was able to work with new people and create workshops for Year 6 pupils transitioning into secondary school. After an amazing 8 weeks I was offered the opportunity to be a Project Leader working with a group of university mentors and primary school pupils once a week for a two hour workshop that I designed. The aims were to boost literacy and numeracy skills as well as character strengths such as fairness, self-control, good judgement and staying power. This was done through various fun activities such as drama, art and team building exercises. I ran the project whilst balancing the high pressured demands of my final year. Despite its challenges and learning to juggle my studies with my workshops, it was definitely a great learning curve! Although the purpose of the role was to improve the self-esteem of the mentees, I found that being pushed out of my comfort zone to encourage and motivate others had a profound effect on me!

Being a Project Leader drove my interest in the Youth Work sector and gave me more confidence in my abilities to work with young people. I went onto complete a graduate internship with ReachOut and gain a deep insight into how charities operate. I was able to assist the production and delivery of ReachOut Graduation Ceremony and despite its challenges the day was extremely successful! I liaised with corporate sponsors, helped recruit new mentors and assisting the training of new Project Leaders.

My time at ReachOut led me onto a graduate internship with the Student Recruitment and Widening Participation at The University of Manchester. When I applied for the job I definitely did not think I would get to do all of the different and varied jobs that I get to do! My main role is working with the Post 16 team on events which take place on campus. This includes the weekly accommodation tours in Fallowfield, Guided visits and campus tours and the massive open days which take place in June. These events allow me to work with student ambassadors across the University and meet people from around the world. I have been very fortunate that I have got to work with people from various faculties as well as prospective students. University was one of the most important experiences of my life and meeting people who are about to embark on that journey is so exciting. The role within the SRWP team means I have also been able to get involved with other activities happening around the team such as events with the Brilliant Club and Greater Manchester Higher. I’ve also been able to visit different colleges and deliver presentations as well as Higher Education Conventions around the UK to meet people who are interested in studying at Manchester. In the short time I have been here I have become adaptable and more confident in public speaking, having the support of the team has encouraged my own personal development and it has been an opportunity I am very grateful for!

Once my internship has ended I am hoping to gain my Youth Work qualification and work with many more different types of young people. I never thought when I first started studying at the university that I would be so fortunate to gain the experiences I have. Studying a broad subject which I was passionate about and making use of the opportunities offered by the university has increased my desire to continue to work with young people and to challenge myself whenever I can!

Going Further

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/connect/teachers/students/secondary/widening-participation/

 The Widening Participation programmes at Manchester, which encourage students of all educational backgrounds to apply to Manchester.

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/open-days-visits/meet-us/

Open days and Campus visits are the best way to see what it really feels like to be at University!

https://www.reachoutuk.org/

ReachOut works with young people across Manchester, Oldham and London and is currently looking for Mentors and Project Leaders!

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