How I got my placement: Student Engagement & Volunteering Support Intern


Naeemah Patel is studying BSc Pharmacology at Leeds and is currently undertaking a placement year within the Student Placement team at the University, working with the Volunteering and Students into Schools teams.  Naeemah secured this placement through the Leeds Internship Programme and in this post outlines her role and her advice to other students seeking placements.

I am currently on my placement year, based within the University of Leeds Careers Centre, working as Student Support and Engagement Intern for Volunteering Opportunities and the Students into Schools programme. My role within the Student Placement Division is really varied, involving jobs such as managing LeedsforLife opportunities, co-ordinating our social media, administration of student data on My Career and giving one-to-one support and guidance to students through weekly drop-in sessions.

My placement year through the Leeds Internship Programme has given me the opportunity to get involved in project management, manage my time effectively, and develop administration skills and IT abilities. The best part about my job is the fact that it’s so varied – no two days are the same (which makes it fun and engaging!).

My experience

As a student with a science background (I study BSc Pharmacology), it was strange for people to hear that I had secured a placement in the area of student opportunity and educational engagement. As well as my enthusiasm for science, I have always been passionate about getting involved in wider student engagement opportunities. I have done lots of outreach work and residential events with schools and colleges as a Student Host for the University and as an Ambassador for the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Additionally, I have had various voluntary mentoring and tutoring positions in the past, aiding pupil development and progression. My past work experiences around the University really boosted my confidence in applying for this Campus Internship. I used my analytical and organisational skills developed during my first two years of my Pharmacology degree to demonstrate that I was also adaptable and conscientious, showing my suitability for this diverse role.

What’s good about campus internships?

Through working within the Careers Centre, I have been able to see first-hand how supportive the staff here can be – it’s become natural for me to bump into friendly faces in the building (and the amount of food shared in the kitchen is always a bonus!). The student placements team have built a good rapport with the wider Leeds community, external schools and organisations, and to experience this friendly environment through school visits and volunteering fairs has been one of the highlights of my job.

I’ve become more aware of the help and support that I can access here as a student so will definitely make the most of this when I go back to studying in my 3rd year. Through working at the University I’ve also gained a better understanding of all the hard work that goes into providing great student support facilities. The staff are always challenging themselves to make improvements and create new developments, with the benefit for students as their main priority.

I would really recommend to students to apply for the campus internships available through the Leeds Internship Programme. The experiences and chances that I have gained through my placement year to refine my current skills and develop new ones whilst staying in Leeds, will definitely put me in a good position when applying for future prospects.

This year’s campus based internships are currently being advertised; there are 24 opportunities (a mix of summer internships and placement year opportunities) across a range of departments and services at the University.  You can view and apply for campus-based opportunities on the main University jobs site here .

In addition to the campus based opportunities, the Leeds Internship programme works with various other employers, locally and nationally, including public, private and third sector organisations to offer a wide range of placements and internships exclusively to University of Leeds students.  Register your interest here to be kept updated of new opportunities (scroll down and click “Register interest”).

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Filed under How I got my job, Work Experience

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