Blog series: Farewell Outreach!

Stephen has been working with us for the past year as an Intern and has shared his experiences in a series of blog posts, as we bid him farewell he writes one final post…

IMG_0761So it’s time. The advent of the end of my internship has begun. Along with the year of 2017, my contract will have officially ended on the 31st of December, and I will have bowed out of the Outreach and Widening Participation office by the 19th December. While somewhat of a trite statement, it’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since I interviewed for the role, and almost a year in which this wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn set foot inside the hulking mass of The Arts Tower. Throughout my time here, I would work on a number of interesting projects, travel across the country, lead and manage school inward and outward visits, manage social media channels,  design and implement novel activities, indulge in fine University catering and start a blog series.

I’ve met a number of amazing and inspiring people across my time as an Intern, grown exponentially, and gained invaluable experience along the way. My communication skills and presentation skills have improved and I now have a lot more self-insight. The role has allowed me to gain an appreciation of how genuinely fulfilling, important and inspiring Outreach work can be and how crucial it is that we challenge stereotypes and preconceptions. To be able to see the positive feedback from students- their increased self-confidence and the belief they would fit in- has been incredibly rewarding.

So, I’ve compiled a by-no-means exhaustive list of the highlights of my time here. A snap shot of the crème de la crème of my ventures, if you will. First up is my maiden voyage as an Independent Intern in which I led, managed and delivered an Introduction to Higher Education to a group of 150 students from Essex. It was a lot of fun putting my own spin on it and delivering to students from the south who had a long journey to Sheffield; much like my own. I’d had experience presenting each aspect of the topic before, so I felt ready to deliver the whole thing at once, but on such a scale was a different ball game altogether! However, I need not have had any reservations about presenting to a verified army as it went really well. The students really engaged and it was brilliant presentation experience.

Another exciting event was the University Challenge Day. Along with my fellow Intern-in-arms Bryony, I led a brand new activity day for 40 students from surrounding schools and colleges. In 8 teams of 5, they had to complete a diverse range of team-building challenges to collect points, with the team with the most points at the end winning a UoS goodie bag and some tasty treats. These challenges included a University Quiz, a Cup stacking game and a Treasure hunt around campus. It was a lot of fun and the students definitely didn’t expect it to be as competitive and lively.

Among other highlights are working for HEPPSY+ and with a number of external organisations, such as Realising Opportunities and The Brilliant Club and all the amazing people that has entailed.

Soon, the keyboard and screen I’m using to compile these minute memoirs will be handed over to the next eager and capable pair of hands, ready to seize the Outreach world by its horns.

Overall, my experience here has been amazing (Have I said that enough?). I’ve had so many opportunities which have allowed me to grow and undertake personal development. As I said way back when in my first blog post, if you’re unsure what you want to do after you graduate, regardless of the field of your degree, go for one of the Internships which get released later in the year. They can offer you so much.

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