Something that I was looking forward to the most when working for a charity that is directed towards animal conservation was the rate of rewards. I have already mentioned that I have worked in field work and at a zoo, but to be able to see the impact your work has on animal conservation in these fields is slow and can take years – even a lifetime. However, charity has easily come up trumps. Work is fast-paced and the benefits of your work are immediate.
Save the Rhino has 13 programmes in Africa and 4 programmes in Asia. With an extensive group of projects around the world that is under their control, there always seems to be good news.
Now passing the halfway point of my time here at Paignton zoo, I’ve switched to becoming almost completely independent in the work I’m doing. From the start, the general idea was that I would have two weeks of training with the project leader, followed by two/ three weeks of unsupervised work. The overall project itself is now in its third phase. Now that the ‘before’ and ‘during’ data has been collected over the year for the primate’s probiotic treatment it’s time to analyse some of the possible lasting health benefits in the ‘after’ stage. Excitingly, early data analysis is looking good already.
My fourth week at UCCF brought me to face some different challenges, as my supervisor was on holiday. He had given me good guidance as to what I needed to achieve in the last week before finishing, so I was reasonably confident that I would be able to finish my work on my project well and hand over all of the information that I needed to in anticipation of my departure.
However, in doing this, I encountered a slight complication as I discovered that one of the people working on the project was due to go on holiday over an important date.
After what seems like a very short five weeks, my time at St. Anne’s has come to an end. I’ve settled in well and have a great relationship with the service users, so it seems almost too soon to be leaving!
The main aim of my project was to collect data on Spice use (more on that later), but during my time here I’ve also become involved in a lot more of the work that St. Anne’s does. I’ve helped to run the breakfast club every week, which was a great way to meet the clients and talk to them about my project.
The automated factchecking project is split between two parts: scanning text and checking its validity. When I started it a few weeks ago, I intended to spend equal amounts of time on each. However, I started off in the first week using some very rudimentary programming tools, and it became clear that it would be much more worthwhile to explore new avenues and come up with new ideas in order to produce work that will be useful in the long term. And the long term is important, because I am kicking off something that will be built on in the coming years.
So after four weeks, today is my last day in the St John Ambulance office here in Bristol. This final week was all about writing my project report, which I have now completed and sent to my project supervisor for feedback on any changes that may need to be made.
My project looked at the duties/events covered by St John Ambulance and the types of injuries treated. It also looked at areas where volunteers wanted more training or felt the training they received could be improved. The results and findings have been included in my report (waiting for approval before attaching a link to it as the report contains some potentially confidential data).
As I moved into the second week of my internship, I finalised my preliminary research and sorted through the information I had collated to pick out the most relevant details and the points I definitely wanted to include in my report. This allowed me to begin building up a structure for my report and to decide the best order to present my findings in. It also highlighted some areas where more in depth research was needed or where different sources could be used for a new angle.
As well as choosing the most pertinent information, I also looked through the different models of solar lights available to choose which ones would be suitable alternatives for LED and therefore would be worth discussing.
I’ve just finished week 3 of my time at UCCF: The Christian Unions. The time has gone really quickly, but I felt like I’ve been able to accomplish a lot. Most of my input into the project has been completed now, the initial writings stages are well under way, and some testing has already been commissioned. However, not everything went exactly as per the original plan (as is the nature of project management). Whilst we originally expected all of the content to be ready and sent to print within the 4 weeks I was working there, that has turned out to be wildly wrong, and the plan is now to send it to print in November!
I’ve now reached the end of my second week with the British Neuroscience Association, and plan to take one week off before returning. I chose to schedule my internship in this way so I could maximise the number of survey responses, and it also gave me a chance to head back to London to see my friends (and also attend the infamous beer & cricket festival in my boyfriend’s village).
This week has really all been about sending off the surveys and reviewing the current marketing material. It sounds deceptively simple. As I had created surveys for three different demographics (undergrad, postgrad and potential associate members), I then had to build up an organised directory of “dissemination points”, or people/organisations that could distribute my survey for me.