It is the 28th of July, 2016 and it has now been two weeks since I started my internship at the Eden Project. At the start of my first week I had a plan about working on the Nuclear and Geothermal research for the Masterfile and also to keep researching new and emerging technologies’ on the side.
Between the 12th of July and now a lot has happened. At the start of the second week I spent two days on the ‘Welcome week’ meant for new volunteers and employees. This was very useful as it gave me more information the amazing stories behind how Eden came to exist, about what Eden was trying to do as an educational charity and how they were going about doing this.
It’s nearing the end of my third week at St. Anne’s, so it’s definitely time for another blog post. Before we dive into the details, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify some of the jargon I’ll be using throughout my posts.
A ‘client’ or ‘service user’ is someone who has come to St. Anne’s for any kind of assistance, from help with housing or substance abuse problems, to just wanting a shower and a hot meal. St. Anne’s has many different clients, but my project is focused on those who are ‘vulnerably housed’. This term is a bit foggy; it covers just about everything from street homeless (what we tend to think of when we hear the word homeless) to someone living in a hostel, right the way through to people who actually have their own tenancy.
Time has flown by and it’s hard to believe it’s nearly the end of the penultimate week! It’s been a promising week with significant progress having been made:
- I finished extracting the relevant data from DIPS for the fifth and final district within South West Region and plotted the graphs to present this. There is a lot of data that I’ve collated, so I need to consider how best to present my results when I start to write my report.
- The survey I created has been distributed via the South West Region mailing list with great results. After the slow response initially, I’ve now had over 100 responses, which is much more than I had anticipated!
Yesterday, following a fairly long (but mostly hassle-free) trip from my home in South London to the sunny seaside town of Paignton, I woke up early to start my internship training. The town, as per its namesake, is home to the Paignton Zoo & Environmental park as well as the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. Established in 1959, the Trust operates in locations all over the UK, working for both domestic and international conservation goals. My two days of training was incredibly hectic and involved meeting a lot of new people alongside being told about a myriad of different aspects to the research project I will be joining in on.
A quick photograph I snuck in between collecting foodstuff and faecal scoring in the enclosure with the Emperor tamarins… I’m hoping to learn a lot more about wildlife photography while I’m here
To sum up what I’ll be doing as simply as I can:
The project I’m working on was established around a year ago and aims to investigate the possible effects of two different probiotics on the general wellbeing of a number of primate species held at the zoo.
My internship is at Full Fact, the UK’s independent factchecking organisation. Ahead of this year’s referendum, they worked with ITV and Sky News to correct factual errors made in live debates, and they have asked for and got corrections in all the national newspapers. They play an ever-growing role in the effort to hold the media and politicians accountable to their claims.
Many assertions made in public debate come up again and again, they call them “zombie claims” at Full Fact (because they just don’t die). Claims like ‘poverty increased in the past six months’ or ‘unemployment decreased last year’. Factcheckers spend valuable time finding and interpreting government data for poverty or unemployment every time new datasets are released.
It is always amazing to seat at the end of a journey and look back at the road you have traveled. This four weeks have blazed by and I am now left to reflect on my time at PureLeapfrog.
When I started this internship, I had many preconceptions of what working in a formal setting would be like and indeed a lot of misgivings surrounding the current political climate that Britain surrounds itself in.
I had imagined that the biggest pain points of working would be related to project planning, and execution but I discovered more importantly that building the proper environment and team spirit may be the single biggest challenge of a CEO running a company.
I am more than half-way through this four week journey and it seems that time is escaping. So much of consequence has occurred between the last blog post and now.
In terms of project, I have learned new skills mainly to do with designing and synthesizing new ideas. The map (see image) that I was tasked with constructing is now nearing it’s finishing touches and I am glad for the opportunity to have been part of a team.
The initial scribbling of the map.
After watching the day to day ebb and flow of the office, it has become more apparent that it is the people that surround you that matter to a much greater extent than any idea ever could.
Hello again from another sunny day in Bristol.
The online platform DIPS is temporarily down, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide an update on my project over the past week. This week I have continued where I left off on Friday, with good progress having been made. I have extracted the data from DIPS for four of the five districts in the South West Region and entered it into my spreadsheet allowing for more graphs to be plotted/drawn. I am currently working on extracting the data for the final district and will have this all done by tomorrow (hopefully DIPS will be back up and running soon!).
Having completed the British 10k on Sunday, my final week at the UKSCF started by discussing the run and how it had gone with my colleagues. However, before long I was back to work.
I began the week by responding to queries that had been sent into the charity by individuals enquiring about places on clinical trials. I had to advise them on the costs and benefits of different clinical trials, as well as guide them towards useful tools to research and understand the implications of taking part in a clinical trial. This exposed me to some of the people that the charity is trying to help by funding research, and it served me as motivation to imagine the situation that they must be in and the fact that we must be somewhat of a final hope.
Weeks 2 and 3:
My second week began much the same as my first finished – I continued to produce a database of contacts, which we could contact to help us with the opening of a Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Sport and Trauma. I extended the database from sports clubs, brands and bloggers to include sportsmen and women who had retired due to injury and startup companies to target for a corporate partnership. Having completed research for all of the charity groups that I had been assigned, I compiled a list of the top 10 male and female sports stars that I believed we should target using criteria such as sport played, injury history and current charity links.