30 November 2015 - 3:55 pm

Beyond Taste of Work and what it really means to be an intern at USE

Pitch Club - waving the prize

Pitch Club – waving the prize

Don’t get me wrong – Taste of Work is a great opportunity. Having a short insight in someone’s job can be quite decisive in making you go for it or not. But organised job shadowing cannot be compared with the incredible, unexpected work you can experience as an intern at USE. Just think of it – can you compare writing a blog post at 4pm at the reception with writing a blog post at 4am, whilst you help out with the 24 h Social Storm event?

Of course, reception and admin work are essential to help out the staff with organizing their events. But, admin plays just a part. As interns, we need to carry out projects, we need to help out with running events. Let me give you for example a taster in my week, as intern of Outreach and Widening Participation.

My week starts on a quite busy Monday, full of lectures, in between which I need to print my final materials for an event I’m organizing. I need to sort out these materials in packs and also put aside all the stationery needed for the event. On Tuesday, my event starts at 9am and it’s part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. I have two local schools from Sheffield (Ecclesfield and Fir Vale) participating in a friendly competition of designing and pitching a new soft drink idea. The children are enthusiastic, the Entrepreneurship society is there to help me out with delivering the sessions. Everything runs smoothly. Biggest lesson? Inspiring and activating leadership in those children. Lighting their imagination and giving them freedom to express their creativity.

Thursday shift runs without any unexpected event. Processing certificates for Tuesday winners, sorting through emails and post, other admin stuff. Friday comes with an unexpected fun experience – the Pitch Club. Basically, going to Bar One, approaching people at tables and asking them to pitch a 1 minute business idea to receive a free drink and the possibility of winning 100 pounds (yes, we gave away 1oo pounds! and yaaay, I’ve been on the panel of judges!). Biggest lesson? A bit of courage is all you need (or maybe, in Bar One, a bit of alcohol added to that courage). Just take the chance! You never know when your idea might be the one that sparks everyone’s interest.

00.00 until 4am Friday to Saturday night. Special (and, fortunately, rare) night shift. Not feeling sleepy at all. General working atmosphere. Everyone participating in the 24 h Social Storm event is giving their best and I need to answer to questions and guide them at points. Amazing opportunity to bring teams together to work towards finding entrepreneurial and practical solutions to problems identified by the Global/ Sustainable Development Goals. Did I mention free pizza and refreshments? What can you wish for more?

Winners of Global Entrepreneurship Week - Make your Mark 2015 event (Fir Vale)

Winners of Global Entrepreneurship Week – Make your Mark 2015 event (Fir Vale)

Coming back to my role as Widening Participation Intern, it was amazing to work with school children on Tuesday. And this event gave me the boost to start working on my own project canvas for an event coming this February. I will deliver a session and I have the chance and freedom to design it however I want. But more details about this to be posted soon.

This was my week. How was yours?

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  • About the author

    Ana-Gabriela Popa

    Ana-Gabriela Popa

    MSc Leadership and Management student at The University of Sheffield. Enterprise Intern. Global Citizen. Feminist. Avid reader. Series binge-watcher. Formerly International Students' Officer at Sheffield Students' Union, Chair of International Students' Committee, Vice-President Marketing at AIESEC Sheffield, Widening Participation Intern at USE. BA International Relations and Politics graduate.