When I started reading about Imperial’s Charity Insights scheme, I knew it was something I would like to get involved in- a chance to experience the office life while doing something (hopefully!) of value. I reached out to WES in the hope of getting some insight into that age-old problem which plagues many of us here- the famous “where are all the girls” enigma. At the same time I wanted to contribute in some way to reducing the barriers faced by women in STEM fields.
WES was set up in 1919 to help the women who had flooded into engineering roles during the war, but faced strong social pressure to give up their jobs once it was over.
My first impression when waking into Nesta’s main office was: “Am I in Google?” From the colourful shapes and designs spread across the walls to the couches by the window overlooking the OXO Tower, it felt like I had stepped into the hippest Silicon Valley start up by a recent Stanford graduate in the world. And this feeling was only reaffirmed throughout the week.
Nesta’s work, put simply, is innovation. They aim to take ground breaking ideas and make them a reality, covering pretty much all topics imaginable, like healthcare, democracy and policy-making. My personal focus for the next 4 weeks will be a mixture of investigating personal data economy and digital democracy, which is the coolest project I’ve ever done.
Sentence structure is central to human language. We understand the difference between the sentences: “Sam is happy because he won the Lottery.” and “Won the Lottery, Sam is happy.” The former follows the rules of the English language; the latter is more likely to be spoken by Yoda in Star Wars.
We are able to understand such simple sentences as well as more complicated ones. However, how do we ensure that a computer (or SkyNet) is able to do so?
Well, this is the job of Natural Language Processing, or NLP for short. My job at Full Fact involves improving their automated factchecking process, and this entails using NLP to process whatever claims that politicians, journalists etc.
I am now 2 weeks into my time at Team Up! I am into the full swing of tube commutes and office work. But for the more interesting part of my experience: I have almost completed the first section of my project, in which I am creating a new set of mathematics assessment materials. I will soon be moving onto the second half of the project, which will be based on updating and amending the current lesson plans. For this period, I will have more free range and control over how things develop, mostly because my supervisor is away on holiday!
Despite being a 1st year Biology student, the amount of knowledge I have regarding neuroscience and neuro-disability is basic to say the most, much like the majority of the younger generation since the wonders of the brain and its workings are not a majorly touched on in the school curriculum.
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is an awe inspiring charity that provides specialist care for patients with neuro-disability and aims not only to rehabilitate patients but to improve their quality of life as a whole. For my project I will be working with the RHN with the aim of producing a toolbox of presentations that the hospital can use when visiting schools to raise awareness for the neuro-disability and the work of the charity, some of which will also be presented by myself.
To be honest I didn’t even realise that my journey at MEA has just pasted the half point a few days ago, not sure if it’s because my concentration on work or just because of that theory which states you feels time goes faster as you grow older. Anyway, let me introduce you what I have done since my first post.
After armed myself with related knowledge and learned what the organization do, I began to do researches that would benefit both MEA and myself. Nowadays solar PV is becoming a popular option for consumers to cut their energy bill as the price of Solar panel dropped significantly since 2011(from £11000 to around £5000 for a 16kW panel).
Before starting my 4 weeks at the K&C Foundation I had sorted a plan of action with the Foundation about how I could work with them and contribute to their existing schemes. However, this was all prior to the horrific Grenfell Tower Fire. The K&C Foundation has been instrumental in collecting funds raised to help the victims and those affected by the fire and making sure that 100% of the money donated reaches those in need. Usually in the little K&C office, there are 5 people who work and who take in under 50 cheques a month. Due to the fire this drastically changed.
On the Monday of my fourth week at The Brilliant Club, the organisation held a Mid-term review. The entire team of approximately 60 people gathered in a single conference room and each department (Finance, Operations, Evaluation etc.) held a brief presentation to communicate their work and its outcomes to other departments. This was a unique experience in that it helped me complete my picture of how the entire organisation functioned and how different departments complement each other.
I had two major tasks to complete throughout this last week: to conduct interviews with former tutors from The Scholar’s Programme which I had scheduled in the previous week and to write up the report for the 2016 London Provider Feedback Survey according to the organisation’s brand and style guidelines.
At the start of my third week at The Brilliant Club (TBC), I learnt that I would not be able to interview project providers on The Nuffield Programme. The reason for this was most that although the Nuffield Research Placement scheme is run by TBC, it is funded by the Nuffield Foundation who did not approve of the project. This came as a slight shock because it meant that a significant part of the work I had done over the course of the past two weeks could not be used. However, there was fortunately a second option – I could quickly set up a different interview project where I would be to apply all of my recently acquired knowledge about the science of a research interview.
My first week at Clarity passed by quicker than expected. But that could be the result of starting on a Tuesday and finishing early on the Friday. But before I dive into the events of my first week at the charity, let me provide you with an insight into what they’re all about.
Clarity is a social enterprise that produces home care and personal care products. The company has charitable status as the majority of their workforce has some form of disability. The charity uses the money that they make from the sale of their products to support and provide employment for those with disabilities.