The end of an internship… the start of something new!

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So I blogged a while back with an update on my internship and so much has happened since then. I officially collected all internship data in week 9 of the internship (4 weeks form the end) which gave me 4 weeks to write up the findings as a report and also prepare a presentation. In the last 4 weeks I have also had the opportunity to share my work with practitioners at the NMAHP Digital Health and Care Network Event. I was able to talk to practitioners about my internship work, the findings and ask them to help out a little further and fill in a quick questionnaire to gather move views on the experiences of the use of mobile working technologies at work. This event was great to network with others and get them to know more about my work. It also helped me to include practitioners in the dissemination of my results as this is an important part of a project development and dissemination.

The writing tasks that I have also been doing throughout were not easy given that I have not really written from a policy perspective before and this is something I had to learn. I drafted some of the initial parts of the report first and got some feedback on that from my internship supervisors so that I knew what direction I needed to take. This feedback helped me to tailor my report to the audience (ie. some non-academics and those in healthcare, policy and Government for example) and make some amendments to my style. I admitted that I was very much used to writing academically and my style needed altering a tad. I was able to finish a good draft the report before the end of my internship and it is the process of being approved/looked over in the hope that it may be able to be published online at some point in the future.

My second biggest thing towards the end of my internship was my presentation of the project findings to various staff and stakeholders (e.g. Scottish Government staff, NHS and other associated service staff). Although I was a little nervous this went quite well. I was able to give information on the methodology of the study and discuss the findings in detail. Some of the findings are not surprising in that they are expected to some degree. However, some of the findings added that personal touch to the project data we have collected and it is this is what makes our project unique. We wanted to identify the experiences of staff and practitioners using mobile working technologies and we did that for sure. It was great to hear stories of how the systems and devices had helped practitioners in their work and how staff overcame challenges they had faced. After the presentation we got plenty of good feedback from stakeholders about our findings and this is all an important part of the process. I think that preparing my presentation with my internship supervisor well before the delivery date helped a lot. We sat down for an hour, planned out possible slides and prepared what we were going to do. This means that when I came to write my presentation slides I was able to use these notes to see what I was going to and also use my draft report to give some of the practitioner experiences in the parts I was talking about. We even had a little run-through the day before and my internship supervisor) helped me with my confidence and speaking too which was great (she specialises in coaching and you can find her website here.

I was very pleased that my presentation and final report symbolised the end of my internship as I have something very new lined up ahead!

Before my internship I saw a few adverts for vacancies within the Scottish Government. These were in the area of Research, Statistics and Policy and Operations. As I had already stated wondering what was next (after the PhD) I decided to apply to give myself a fighting chance. I had been advised not to be too disheartened if I was not successful first time around as the eligibility and assessment were designed to be quite tough, but I gave it a go anyway. The staff at the Scottish Government were great at giving careers advice and I think this heled me somewhat so I knew what kinds of things to expect.

I am pleased to report that in May 2018 I was offered a post within the Scottish Government. I will be working as an Assistant Statistician, something which I love so this just adds a bonus to my experience overall. I know that my appointment to the Scottish Government was not directly related to my internship as I could not put this on my application (apart from a little note to say I was starting it in April). However, I know that my internship has allowed me to see how the Scottish Government work, see what kind of roles are available and see exactly what those roles entail. I am pleased to say that I will be starting my new role in November, after my trip to Vancouver of course!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience and I feel that it has helped me too. I hope that students read my blog posts and are able to see the benefits of the internships and will apply for the ones being advertised now. I am very much thankful to my internship supervisors, Justine and Alix, for supporting me all of the way through. They helped me plan out the project, collect data, write the report and all the parts in-between. I could not have coped without their supervision!

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