IOAI.com Wins University Of Bath Departmental & Faculty Placement Award

June 10, 2013 in Activism, Afterhours, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Personal, Politics, Prizes, Slideshow, University of Bath

BathU

Insight Of An Intern has been awarded both the departmental and faculty placement award by the University of Bath. 

I’m absolutely over the moon about this; not just because it’s a lovely accolade, but because it mean that this blog may help present and future interns in their experiences.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support IOAI.com.

UPDATE: UoB Responds to ‘Spotted’ Page

January 18, 2013 in Activism, Personal, Politics, Sexism, Social Media, Technology, University of Bath

In the face of increasing pressure from sections of the University of Bath community and beyond, the University of Bath has responded by posting the below statement on the ‘Spotted: University of Bath Library’ group page.

UoB Response

Details of the UoB Dignity and Respect Policy can be found here

Spotted at a University Near You: Sexism, Classism and Racism

January 16, 2013 in Activism, Afterhours, Personal, Politics, Sexism, Slideshow, Social Media, University of Bath

Spotted1

An example of the posts causing such controversy at The University of Bath

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 14.37.05

An example of the posts causing such controversy at The University of Bath

UPDATE: Please click here to see the University of Bath’s statement on the matter.

Since first hearing about ‘Spotted at…‘ Facebook pages — the latest craze to hit UK Universities — I must admit to not having paid them much attention. Frankly, I wasn’t too bothered about what sounded like a rather more risqué version of those cute Metro ‘Missed Connections‘ snippets.

Apparently prolific in the university social media scene, UoB’s very own ‘Spotted: University Bath Library’ page has gained over 4000 likes since its inception in early December 2012. The premise of such groups, for those who may not have had the pleasure of first hand experience, is that students make observations about fellow students in the library which are then re-posted on the ‘Spotted’ page.

AboutSpottedatBath

Innocent enough, you’d think — but the page has been coming under fire over claims of promoting sexual harassment, sexism, racism and classism, and is facing a vocal backlash from many in the University of Bath community. 

Read the rest of this entry →

The ‘D’ word – Dissertation Planning

January 9, 2013 in Afterhours, Community Internship, Dissertation, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Introduction, Slideshow, University of Bath

dissertation

As much as I’d like it to, my internship with 10gen can’t go on forever — and as 2013 rushes onwards, my return to university creeps ever closer.

This can only mean one thing; the dreaded dissertation. 

It may not seem like the most attractive prospect whilst also working a fulltime job (can anyone here say ‘exhausted‘?), but there is a lot to be said for laying the foundations of your undergraduate dissertation whilst on placement — giving yourself as much time as possible to work on your project and thus reducing your workload on returning to your studies.

So what can you do? 

    • BE REALISTIC: This cannot be stressed enough. Take an honest look at the time you have to complete your project and allocate a realistic amount of time to each of these steps, some of which will obviously take longer than others. Don’t be disheartened or overwhelmed if some take longer than you were expecting — the most important thing is that you keep your focus.
    • TALK TO YOUR COMPANY: If you’re lucky enough to have a highly supportive placement company, why not talk to them about allocating some time towards working on your dissertation?
    • THINK TOPIC: Begin by thinking about a focused and manageable topic that you know will be interesting, original and achievable.
    • THINK TEXTS: Undertake some preliminary reading and research to establish that there is appropriate source material upon which you can draw. Why not make an Amazon wishlist of relevant textbooks?
    • GET IN CONTACT: Contact your university department for guidance on whether your topic is a suitable area of research, and enquire as to which staff members in your department may be most knowledgeable on the subject.
    • GET READING: Once you’ve received the go ahead, you can begin your reading in earnest. Work towards completing the bulk of your research into your chosen topic, making sure that you manage your information effectively and retain all the relevant details you will need for your bibliography etc. I know this is a pain, but when you’re near final hand in and discover you’re not having to panic about missing references, you’ll be thankful you did it.
    • GET PLANNING: Take some time to work on a semi-detailed plan of your dissertation — identify each major section which you want it to contain. Remember to keep the final word length in mind, and perhaps even allocating a rough word length to each section, though this will probably change as your dissertation progresses.

Reiterating the need for a realistic and achievable plan, this is where it may be advisable to slow down the dissertation prep; enabling students to make progress on their final year dissertation without detrimentally affecting their placement.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘that’s enough for now‘.

Placement Tutors, Chocolate Biscuits and T-shirt Ties

December 17, 2012 in 10gen, Community Internship, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Interview advice, Pictures, Slideshow, University of Bath

Today a little piece of Bath came to London.

As part of any University of Bath ‘sandwich’ degree, students are allocated a placement tutor, whose role it is to provide a range of support, advice and guidance to help placement students.

It was my turn. My tutor popped into the 10gen London offices to make sure everything was going smoothly for all parties, and that I wasn’t being held captive or sold into slave labour.

Oddly, although everything has been going swimmingly here during my internship, I was nervous. When you’re fully immersed in a placement year, it’s easy to become disassociated with university life, forgetting the routine of tests and assessments that go with it, as well as the mountains of paperwork. To be suddenly reminded of it was strangely unnerving.

I needn’t have worried however, as upon welcoming my tutor to the offices I found myself greeting a warm and easygoing Clare Wilson, Faculty Placements Manager.

From the off, Ms Wilson noted that my placement was different to the majority of my university classmates’; many find positions working for larger companies, accustomed to taking on interns and thus having clearly defined and fixed roles for their interns.

10gen, on the other hand, offers a true ‘start-up’ experience; all hands on deck, everyone mucking in and the chance to gain experience in a wide range of capacities. During my time here I have worked on projects with marketing, sales, outside companies and, of course, the community team. Each time I gain a fresh perspective and accrue new skills to help me in the future, as well as having the chance to work with a wide variety of wonderfully interesting people. It’s certainly something I love about my internship, and can recommend to anyone thinking of interning for a start-up.

One issue which was driven home pretty hard during the meeting was the importance of prepping for final year – numerous people, including my head of year, my line manager, former students, my placement tutor and even my parents have tried to press upon me the importance of using placement year constructively — in particular to prepare for dissertation writing. The reiteration of this fact was yet another reminder to prioritise this in the new year.

After an hour of nibbling on chocolate biscuits and chatting to our Community Marketing Manager, James Chesters, and 10gen’s EMEA Engineering Director, Alvin Richards, Ms Wilson seemed satisfied that I had found my perfect internship, and went on her way — like some kind of academic Mary Poppins, flitting her way between placement students in need all over Europe.

If nothing else, catching up with my placement tutor reinforced in my mind just how lucky I am to have landed such a great placement, with such fantastic and supportive people. Not only are my colleagues interested in ensuring I get the most out of my time working at 10gen, but also that I make time for my academic studies and am in good stead for returning to university next year. Bring it on!

James even wore a tie for meeting my tutor