In the final in our series of blogs, Prothoma (NUSU Research Intern 2019) reflects on how the role has challenged her, rewarded her and increased her vocabulary. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
During my final day at my three-week internship, I’m just finishing up bits and pieces for the 2019 TEAs Report and kinda just racing against time.
Only two days ago, when I started writing up the Discussion, did I realise how big of a task it is to take the essence of what more than 400 students are saying and put them into a single report. The quality of the nominations has been overwhelming and because when I think of all the times university staff has helped me, I cannot even begin to imagine how I would put that into words. So, it is quite a big deal to me that I get to have an insight into the amazing things staff are doing every single day and also that a lecturer somewhere is doing something that made such a difference to a student that they will reflect on it, write it down and submit it within the next year.
The whole TEAs Report process has been so challenging and rewarding at the same time. I can genuinely say that every single week has been different. I started with the nomination data, which I thought was a pleasure to read. Doing the stats on staff ratios, student ratios and gender ratios was…math. But also, really made me realise that I had some serious thoughts and theories that I was so confident were going to be proven right by the nomination data. On the other hand, I was surprised by some of it.
Week Three has definitely been the most enjoyable week for me because I got to do lots of different things and work with lots of different people. In a meeting earlier this week I pitched my findings to six people, some of which have been doing this for years. I don’t think the idea that they could all potentially not find the things I had to say relevant at all sank in until 10 minutes after leaving the room. I was allowed to talk about what I think would be good ways to promote our findings (there will be free tea!! TEA…get it?) and some really cool ways to get students involved beyond the nomination period. It was nice to know that my contributions mattered when I was asked to have a look at the nomination categories and give ideas on how to change them so that it makes more sense to students like me.
I remember applying for this internship, interviewing for it and now it seems unreal that I’m about to finish it. It’s such a milestone to write something for the University that aims to have an impact on students and lecturers across all four global campuses. I am definitely taking away a lot of skills that (if I manage to talk about them properly) could make me sound like an organised person who can produce high-quality work to a set deadline either individually or within a team rather than a headless chicken who is kinda chuffed of the work she managed to write in three weeks during which kept emailing her supervisor to check over literature she found but couldn’t critically analyse.
I would like to thank Joe for all the support. You have been amazing to work with and to work for and I just want to know 1) which category you’d fall into if I was to nominate you for a TEA and 2) is there anything saying I couldn’t nominate you because I wrote this report? Like how you can’t enter a competition even if you’re just a cousin thrice removed of someone who writes the T&Cs for the competition?
Thanks to Rohit Sharma for your infinite wisdom and for adding to my vocabulary every time we speak. I am literally supposed to graduate with a Masters but I had to Google “proffer” and “pervasive”, so what’s the TEA sis?
Also, thanks to my mom who just refuses to acknowledge that I could possibly actually be working during working hours and that, of course, those hours don’t apply to her.