After many applications, several challenging interviews and an anxious period in limbo, I have been fortunate enough to be selected for one of the University of Southampton’s Excel internships. I am now a part of the Southampton Feedback Champions, which is the latest generation of a series of projects run by Laurence Georgin that have aimed to share and promote good feedback practices throughout the university.
What has initially struck me most about the internship is the change from being a student to being a member of staff. Obviously, there are the little things like having a posh staff ID card with all kinds of door clearances and a new staff computing account. However, the real surprise is seeing an entirely different side to the university- one that you just don’t see studying at Southampton. As a student (which I still am; I will be starting my third year of English and History this September) my day-to-day did encompass going to my undemanding eight hours of lectures per week and doing the requisite reading and assignments. In all honesty though, I spent as little time on campus as possible. Like most students, I always had something else to do- usually involving outrageous levels of inebriation. I gave very little thought to what goes on behind the scenes.
But now, here I am, behind the figurative scenes. I’m frankly amazed at the extensive network of projects and initiatives being run to improve the student and staff experience throughout the UoS, of which Southampton Feedback Champions is one and none of which I had even heard of as a student. This brings us to the crux of my internship work. I would say that I’m a fairly typical student, and the fact that I hadn’t heard of so many very worthwhile and relevant projects aimed at improving the lives of people like me is worrying. Thus, perhaps the most important challenge for Southampton Feedback Champions is actually getting people to hear about it, and to be blunt, to care about it if they have heard about it.
For me this will be something new, and I have a feeling that it will be as difficult as it will be interesting. But they say that if it isn’t hard, it’s not worth doing, so I’m looking forward to every minute of it.
Second Year, English and History