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Internships

The end of my internship

It’s been an amazing journey for the last 3 months, and I can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed my time as an intern. Through it all, I’ve learnt a lot and improved my skills in web design, as well as having learnt a lot about Customer Engagement, a field of work I never fully understood before this role. 

I’ve met so many people and I feel like I’ve had a chance to get to know a little of everything that happens in the Library. It’s amazing how much goes on behind the scenes to bring the fantastic experience we get as students at the University of Hull, and I appreciate it more having seen behind the curtain. 

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So, what have I done? 

Well, it feels like a whole bunch of stuff. I’ve done research into Customer Engagement Strategies, delivered presentations on the same, helped edit SkillsGuides, gave my input on a wide range of stuff to help the Library have a student perspective. I’ve helped design and run Usability Testing sessions and fixed bugs or improved aspects of the Library website.  

I’ve also done some less easily defined things, like learning how a workplace works, making connections, and speaking to a wide variety of people working in different roles so that I can get an insight into what they do. I think these skills will really help me in my job search and future careers. 

Speaking of, what’s next? 

Well, I’m hoping to continue now to get an IT job in another University (or academic library) somewhere in London, where I live. As fun as it’s been to work remote, I’m excited to learn how to work in a physical workplace and everything that comes with that, including interacting with and directly helping customers. Wherever I end up though, I’m planning on keeping in touch with the amazing people I’ve met during my internship here. 

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It’s been really fun, and really insightful. I’m glad I got this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to the future. See ya! 

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General

Final Blog – This is the End – David Moore

After 12 weeks of work experience and how time has flown by, my internship is at an end and what an experience it has been.  From meeting new people, learning new skills and gaining experience within a working environment. 

So, after the first week which was hectic but enjoyable my work began from learning how to do timesheets, something that I have never done before to drafting design ideas for projects.  Throughout this journey sometimes I felt that my head was going to explode with information, which included searching websites and mandated training, but I overcame each obstacle and enjoyed every moment.  With the help of Lee and members of staff including other interns (Jo & John), it showed me a guiding light into the unknown and this has been a good learning curve for me.

During this time, I have gained a clear understanding of my role Visual Design Intern which is to help the other Interns design images and videos for the Skills Guide and Digi skills.  This involved creating images, of which I used PowerPoint, to create these icons I had to change the size, colour and merge them together to create simple images.  For the videos, these are instructive videos on how to create blogs, magazine articles, letters, opinion pieces and wikis.

For example

Skill guides

  • YouTube Videos – These videos are to show how to do blogs and shows examples of letter to editor, magazine articles, newspapers etc. 
  • Public Communications SkillsGuide – I helped with images.
  • Helped with other designs and images as required.

Digi Skills

  • Digital Tools – created images for the titles of topics.
  • Images based around public holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Bonfire Night etc, for example the title was Fear of Missing Out and the holidays was Halloween.  The image I created is

Conclusion

The end of the journey has come around quickly and I am thankful for the experience and gained a lot of knowledge.  I have met a lot of new people, explored the university as a staff member which showed me how things work in a working environment and having the chance to work in an office if only for a few days (working from home was great too).  Thank you to all the staff members of the library for helping me along my journey and this opportunity for which I am grateful.

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Internships

My internship journey ends

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Well, my internship adventure has now come to an end and I’m writing this after saying all my goodbyes. This has gone very fast the past three months only feel like a few weeks, but it has been a great learning experience for me. I have learned new things got to build on my experience as a copywriter and met some nice people along the way.

If you are a former student and considering an internship at the university I would highly recommend it. You will have a great time whilst also gaining valuable experience in your chosen field.

My Journey

My Internship first began back in August where I was nervously and excitedly pondering where the journey would take me. The first couple of weeks was just about getting to know the basics. Then I really started to get into my job role which was to write and adapt the digital skills course for students. If you want to know more about how this went check out my previous post at the halfway point of my journey.

I have now come to the end of the road I have finished all the content I was writing for the digital skills course. I overcame a few obstacles and actually exceeded my expectations in terms of how much work I completed. Over the course of the university year, you will all get to see my work published on the library blog and hopefully it will be both informative and enjoyable. As I planned with the help of my supervisor Lee the course is delivered in a different format to how similar courses have been delivered so as to hopefully be more engaging for students.

Highway, Wilderness, Yellow Line, Asphalt, Landscape

Goodbye and thank you

I would just like to thank all the staff I’ve worked with as well as my fellow interns, and my supervisor Lee whom I previously mentioned. I will now probably consider taking a taking a couple of weeks off before I get into job searching for copyright work in the London area. Although I’m not ruling out the possibility of working with the university again at a later date. Goodbye and thank you for the experience.

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Academic literacies Skills Team

Digital Assessments for Public Communications

We’ve recently published our brand-new Public Communications SkillsGuide, but you may be scratching your head wondering why we’d need such a guide. The way students are being assessed is ever-changing, so we need to keep up with the digital age. This guide provides much-needed advice on assessments in this category. 

What are Public Communications?

There are many forms of writing produced for public audiences (no not tweets and Instagram captions), more like articles and blogs etc. Public Communications are used to make academic research available to the public. They are written in an accessible and readable way to not exclude certain groups, therefore reaching a wider readership. 

The aims of public communications are to explain, inform, and educate. They may also be written to enact change. 

Here are a few examples of formats used to accomplish these goals:

Blog posts

Why are academic blogs written?

  • To reflect on your work – talk about your strengths, weaknesses, achievements and what you would do differently next time. 
  • To share experiences –collaborating with a group and writing a short section each about your role and the work you completed. 
  • To update – an e-portfolio to post a run down of your creative process, or data you’ve collated. This would be written over the course of your module. 
  • To share knowledge and advice – like an academic essay where you go in depth about a topic, however, a blog will be more informal, shorter, and use less academic jargon. 

Letters to the Editor

You may write a Letter to the Editor after reading an article, or journal and wish to voice your opinions on it. A few reasons for writing such a letter are:

  • Discuss controversial aspects of something recently published.   
  • Enrich the existing knowledge of the piece with an informed opinion. 
  • Seek clarification on an aspect of something you’ve just read.  
  • Share relevant professional viewpoints.

Letters to the Editor should not only be critical but should add value to a topic and stimulate debate.  

Magazine Articles

An article gives a balanced view, or a biased standpoint on a topic which will depend on where it is published and the target audience.

They are usually written to:

  • Inform – give information about current events.
  • Persuade – to get readers to agree with their viewpoints. 
  • Enact Change – educate people about socio-economic issues and how they can help change happen. 

(I thought this one would feel left out if there were no bullet points)

Wikis

A wiki is a place to gather information, thoughts, and ideas which you can easily share with others. Now, you maybe sat there thinking “wait isn’t this Wikipedia?” You’re not wrong, sort of. A wiki is structured like a Wikipedia page, yes, so as you all clearly know what this is I guess I don’t have to go on…

But wait there’s no bullet points!

What can a wiki be used for?

  • To document work – use multiple pages for different topics and store your work.
  • Create collaborative bibliographies – you and your group can summarise and critique further readings.
  • Build a collection of links and/or documents related to your work to discuss with your group.
  • Create e-portfolios – a place to showcase your work and process. 
  • Reflect as an individual or group, writing about how you got from A to B and how the process went. 

I feel better now all have bullet points. I hope this has helped you understand what Public Communications are used for. This may also clarify why you may be asked to complete one, or multiple of these whilst at university. 

Other types of Public Communications include infographics, newspaper articles, opinion pieces and posters. We go into greater detail in our skills guide. 

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Internships

John Weightman my internship reflections

John Weightman

The halfway point of my internship journey

It is strange to think that I’m already halfway through my internship, it has been about 6 weeks since I joined the Library Skills Team. As you may remember from my first blog post when I first started, I was a mixture of nerves and excitement wandering where my internship journey would take me. It is always natural to be nervous I think when starting a job. Though it’s safe to say those nerves didn’t last that long working with such a friendly and welcoming team. 

Road, Travel, Winding, Road Trip, Landscape, Street

What have I been up to?

In the first week of my internship, we just had our basic training going through fire safety and things like that. We also met all the staff and I got to meet the other Interns. At first, there was not a whole lot to do but Lee my supervisor gave me an opportunity to write a few small sections for the staff Digital Skills course. I got to write about Fake News and how to avoid online scams like phishing. In addition to this Lee also recommended to me and my fellow interns some MOOCs (Massive open online courses). These courses are very useful and when I had any downtime while working, I took a look at them and enrolled in a couple of courses.

Digital Skills Course

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So, that was pretty much my first couple of weeks, but things didn’t really get going till it came to adapting the study skills course for students. For this, I first looked through everything that was written for the staff digital skills course and considered what could be useful for students. Some aspects I could use and just change slightly for a student audience, and I found ways to adapt some of the material aimed at teachers to work for students. I also came up with my own ideas and what digital skills I felt were relevant to students.

Later I discussed with Lee how we were going to deliver the content for students. We both felt that students would probably not engage as much with the course the way it was presented on Canvas so, we had to go in a different direction. As I have experience blogging and Lee wanted to get more content published on the library blog, I suggested writing the course as a series of blog posts. Lee seemed very interested in the idea and we came up with the plan for a post each week throughout the year. This way it feels less like a course, and it makes it easier to digest all the content over a full year than over a few weeks. We decided to call it #TechItUpTuesday if you want to see the latest post, please check it out and feel free to give me any feedback you have.

Reflections

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I am very much enjoying the experience so far; I’ve got to meet some very nice and friendly people. As I am working remotely it has also been most helpful to have a half-hour call almost every day just to talk about things other than work. I have also got the chance to stretch my writing muscles particularly with all the posts I have queued up to write for the digital skills course. I am now anxiously looking forward to what the rest of my internship has in store.

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Internships

My Internship Progress – The Halfway Point

Joanna Rawnsley

I can’t believe it’s already October. It’s autumn which is my favourite time of year, Halloween is upon us, but more importantly, I’m halfway through my internship with the Skills Team.

Let’s Recap

I am creating a brand- new, Public Communications skills guide. One section is all about blogging (ironic isn’t it), because Public Communications are pieces of writing, or visuals like posters and infographics that are created for the public sphere. This guide will go into detail about everything students need to know for such assessments.

What I’ve learnt in the last 6 weeks

By researching what it means to write for the public and the different formats used, I’ve developed new writing techniques and learnt the many factors of what goes into these formats. I’ve realised that the language I use, and my vocabulary has broadened, because writing is a craft. The more you practice, the more skilled you become.

As well as my writing, my proofreading and editing techniques have also developed. These are crucial to me as an aspiring author/poet, but also a blogger. Even though I’ve now completed my masters in English and Creative Writing, I will always be striving to develop my writing and editing techniques and this internship is providing me with this experience.

Something I haven’t had experience in before was copywriting, but it is a career I have been contemplating. I’m thankful for having the opportunity to learn how to copywrite and develop this skill further. The research for the copy was extensive; going down numerous rabbit holes, but if my studies taught me anything, it’s that sometimes these rabbit holes can be fruitful. It just so happens this was the case as I’ve now completed the copy for the guide.

The best is yet to come

With the copy completed, it’s time to build the skills guide. Helping with its construction and design were optional to me, but I want to make the most of the time I have working here. Learning how to design a website and how to use HTML coding is an area I’ve been wanting to get into. After completing my internship, I am looking at working in marketing and/or social media and having some web design expertise will make my applications stand out.

To sum it all up

In the last 6 weeks, I have become more confident in myself and my capabilities whilst gaining expertise in areas that will help me in my future career. A lot can happen in 6 weeks, so who knows what I’ll write about in my final update come November.

Here’s another autumnal image, because it’s pretty. There’s really no other reason for it being here.

Right, back to work for now!

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Internships

Intern life so far

David Moore

David Moore

The Journey so far – this is the sixth week and halfway through my journey as Visual Design Intern.  The experience has been enlightening, eye-opening and fun to experience the work environment.  I have not just sat at my home computer; I have also experienced the office life twice.  This is very new but familiar as I was also a student that visited the library.  As an Intern, I have seen different aspects of the library such as where the staff work.

These two work styles are very different from my experience with working from home I gain access to my software and a familiar atmosphere.  The downside to this is face to face contact which is now slowly getting back to some normality.  The one thing that I have found helpful is the daily meetings.  These help me start and motivate my day and helps me practice using a camera and teams. 

Within this time, I have gained a clear understanding of my role which is to help the other Interns design images and videos.  This is for the Skills Guide and Digi skills.  Creating images, I used PowerPoint and their icons.  To create these icons I changed their size, colour and merged them together to create simple images.  For the videos, these are instructive videos on how to create blogs, magazine articles, letters, opinion pieces and wikis.

Conclusion

In conclusion to my journey so far, I would say I have gained valuable experience and knowledge to move forward and carry on with my journey.

So, bring on the next six weeks.

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Internships

What does customer engagement mean to me?

Codey McShane

Codey McShane

Hi again, it’s me, Codey, and I’m back with an update on the progress of my internship. Last time I mentioned that I’m the Customer Engagement and Communication intern, and I talked a little bit about what customer engagement broadly means. Now that it’s been a few weeks I’ve had a chance to dig into the role and figure out exactly what customer engagement is, why it’s so important, and how I can take that information away and produce something insightful and interesting by the end of my internship. I’m going to share some of what I’ve been up to with you all, and my thoughts throughout the process.

What is customer engagement?

One of my first tasks was to do some research into the ways that other academic institutions consider how best to engage with their customers. They do this by creating a Customer Engagement Strategy (CES), a plan of action regarding how they can ensure their service understands and meets the needs of their customers. Customer engagement is also about communication, because how else can they know exactly what the customer wants?

Why is it important?

There are many more aspects that make up customer engagement – inclusivity and accessibility, marketing, feedback and setting expectations – but suffice to say, it encompasses so much and that’s part of why it’s so important. Having excellent engagement with our customers means that they’re getting the most out of all that the library has to offer and increases their trust that the library will continue in providing excellent resources.

What have I been doing to try to improve the library’s customer engagement?

After doing some research into other institutions’ customer engagement strategies and plans, I delivered that information in a meeting to the library’s CES team, highlighting similarities and differences between theirs and ours. I identified a lot of common themes and some interesting stuff that was missing, and I think that information will really help shape the library’s strategy for the better. Part of the reason for my specific internship existing is that as a previous student at the University of Hull, I was a customer of the library, and potentially have some fresh insights into what it means to engage with a customer.

As a result of that feedback, you can now find the library’s Customer Engagement and Communication Strategy online on our website and see for yourself the commitment the library has made to provide excellent support to students, staff, and the general public.

Another interesting thing I’ve been working on is user testing of the library’s website. It’s increasingly important to have a robust online presence currently, and ensuring that the library’s online content is useful, easy to use and not hidden away is vital. We recently hosted a user testing session where a first-year student helped us to see exactly how a user interacts with our website, and because of that amazing feedback we’re already planning to improve parts of the site. It’s important to the library that we’re able to see our content through the eyes of a customer, to make sure what is being produced is effective.

What am I doing next?

So far, I’ve got more user testing sessions planned, which should hopefully give us a nice range of feedback from which to improve the library website. I’m also beginning the process of delivering some information directly to customers in the form of a skills-guide or blog post.

That’s all for now – hopefully that’s been interesting and I’m looking forward to my next internship blog post where I’ll be reflecting on the internship and will have some more stuff that I’ve delivered to present to you all. See you next time!

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General Internships

Introducing John Weightman

My Internship Adventure Begins

John Weightman

My adventure as an Intern first began with an e-mail from the Hull University Careers team. They were offering a whole range of interesting Internship opportunities for the university. After a difficult start to post-university life due to the COVID pandemic, when job opportunities were limited, I hoped to work in the media possibly as a writer or editor and so began writing my own blog about Music John’s Music Hub. I also worked a few part-time jobs such as writing for a music magazine MXDWN UK. This then led me to think, well I really enjoy writing and with my BA History degree I’ve also showcased my writing qualities. Therefore, I want to focus on an Internship that will give me knowledge in new areas, maybe learn some HTML, and also expand upon my writing abilities. That’s when I saw an internship with the Library Skills Team, where I would support the team in the writing and implementation of the Digital Skills course. Here was an opportunity to further showcase my writing ability and really get my career running and expand into new areas. 

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I’m going on an adventure!

Then I got to work, updated my CV, and wrote my covering letter and I waited a few days, maybe a couple of weeks I don’t recall exactly, and I got an e-mail from Lee Fallin asking me for an interview. The interview with Lee was very pleasant and relaxed he gave me the chance to ask him a few questions whilst he told me all about the internship and ended with him confirming I had the job. Now I just had to wait with bated breath for my internship to begin.

You may wonder how other than my writing skills I can help people learn about digital skills, well let me tell you. As a blogger who runs their own website I have experience in how media is implemented in the digital world as well as how to keep my information safe online. I also learned many digital skills during my time as a university student where I improved my proficiency in Microsoft office and used many digital tools to aid in my study. As a former student, I also feel I would know how best to adapt the information we are delivering to a student audience. I’ve always had an interest in computers and everything digital and since I was about 4 years old, I was already able to use a computer (although mainly for games).

The first day finally arrived after signing all the necessary documents a few days before, as with most people on starting a new job I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. I was also joined by 3 other interns with various different responsibilities for the library or Skills Team, we then got to meet some of the staff including Lee my intern supervisor. The first week mainly consisted of basic training and meetings with all the other staff members as well as going through all the health and safety details. 

I’m now into my second week and have already written a few small sections of the Digital Skills course as well as writing this, my first blog post for the University. This will be the first of several blog entries where I will write about various study skills mainly focused on digital skills.

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Internships

Introducing: Joanna (Jo) Rawnsley

Starting work as an intern with the Skills Team

An interview with oneself

“We’d like to offer you the internship position.”

Well, I wasn’t expecting that… 

Jo Rawnsley

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Last year I graduated with a BA in Creative Writing and Film Studies, afterwards, I went straight on to a masters to study English and Creative Writing. I am currently working on my dissertation, a poetry portfolio. I’m a Poet, wouldn’t you know it… Yes, with a capital P as I’ve had a few poems published in online journals, however, this portfolio is going to be my first complete collection. 

The main reasons I decided to do my degrees are the same for wanting to do this internship:

  • It’s a chance to let my creativity flow
  • To further pursue my passion for writing 
  • To gain more experience as a writer

“But Jo,” I hear you say. “What will your internship include?”

Ok, ok I’ll tell you…

I’m working as part of the Skills Team, in the library to develop new Skills Guides for students. Living in the digital age the way we work, and how we’re assessed is ever-evolving. We need new guides to help students working on Public Communication assessments, such as academic blogs, magazine articles, letters to the editor, and author wikis. My job is to research such assessments, compile the information and transform it into accessible and readable advice for all. 

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“Didn’t you say you write poetry, how is that going to help you?”

Good question and I can see why you’d think a poet may not have the expertise to write these guides, but I don’t only write poetry. Throughout my four years of study, I’ve put my hand to a vast array of forms. Just because it says “Creative” in my degree title doesn’t mean I got away from academic writing. On the contrary. I’ve written many academic essays, critiques, reflective journals, and commentaries, as well as some reviews here and there. In the second year of my undergraduate degree, I wrote a 5000-word project, in film studies, discussing whether makeover television programmes create a false sense of beauty compared to that we see in beauty vlogs. And, no I didn’t include any poetry. 

The academic side of my degrees provided me with researching and critical thinking techniques, whereas the creative side gave me the space to let my creativity shine and ideas flow. Both sides provided me with the techniques I need to develop content for the Skills Guides being created. 

“That’s great! Last question; after these 12 weeks, what then?” 

Once the project is complete, I will be able to state that I have expertise in areas such as copywriting and public communications. This will greatly increase my chances of completing my goals of working in social media and/or public relations. 

“Thank you for answering these questions and good luck!”

Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure. 

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