If you’re anything like me, you probably hate being idle over the summer months. Yes, it’s great that we get three months off, but I get so bored so quickly. As soon as I’ve got nothing better to do, doing nothing doesn’t seem fun anymore. I’d love to spend the whole time travelling, I don’t have the money for that meaning I’m still in Manchester whilst most of my friends head back home. I was very happy to have the opportunity to work in the International Office of the University this summer, as it gave me something to do every day (as well as some extra money!).
About two days after getting back from a trip to New York and Toronto, I started my new role in the Rutherford Building. I was working in a small team, there was only 4 of us in our little office, but I really enjoyed that as the people I was working with were lovely. The other summer intern was about to go into third year, like me, and the year-long intern had just graduated from my course. I was lucky to have so much in common with the people I was working with. I had worked with my boss, Karen, before through my role as an ambassador so I knew we’d get on really well.
My role was to help in planning the ‘Global Village Fete’, an event to welcome international students and give them a taste of British culture. The event also incorporated stands from Culture and Faith societies from the SU, University security and Greater Manchester Police. We wanted the event to be welcoming and fun, but also informative. It can be daunting for international students to move to a totally new country, so it’s important that they know how to keep themselves safe in their new home.
There was so many different facets to this role, and I loved the daily variation that it brought. I got to be part of meetings with catering, security and other members of staff. I wasn’t just sitting in on these meetings either, I got to give my ideas and input too. Karen was great at making me feel listened to and taking my ideas on board, which is so important when you’re starting out at a new job. I was also involved in administration roles which I hadn’t had much experience with before. I helped out in organising the schedules of over 100 ambassadors and making sure they all had the appropriate information to do their job properly. I was quite meticulous in making documents so that every member of staff, ambassador and stall holder was fully aware of what was going on throughout the day. This job definitely made me realise how detail-oriented I am!
Although I enjoyed all aspects of the role, my favourite part was having a lot of creative input and control. I got to make all of the marketing material for the Orientation events, as well as new name badges for ambassadors and the signage to go up around the Fete. I also got to take photos around campus to be used on the social media pages and I got to be involved in a video about British Stereotypes for the Communications Team. It made me realise how much I enjoy creativity, and I now know that it is something that is important to me when looking for a job after Uni.
Eventually, after a summer full of preparation, September rolled around and it was time for my event. I was surprised at myself at how well I coped with running such a large scale event! There was a lot to do, and a few problems that needed to be ironed out, but ultimately the whole day went smoothly. We had nearly 3000 visitors to the tent throughout the day, and it seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves. I think the petting zoo of balloon animals and the free British food tasting definitely went down a storm!
A summer internship is a great opportunity for anyone, and I think it’s a really productive way to spend all that time off. Not only does it look great on a CV, it can also be an opportunity to gain some new skills and get a taster for an industry you might be interested in. Take a look on the Careers Link page to look for open opportunities or – If you’re staying around Manchester – the Uni offers a wide range of Summer Experience Internships. It’s definitely worth taking a look and seeing if there is something that catches your eye!