Although short, during an internship you learn a lot: how to make a plan, how to approach your supervisor, dealing with steering your work, finding information, knowing who knows what, arranging meetings and going through meetings effectively. I think the experience is also valuable in terms of seeing what’s out in the “real world”: how an organization makes a profit or is financed, what sort of topics are brought up during discussions, what problems may be faced, what daily life is like…
Last day presentation!
Of course, mastering technical skills requires time, and I don’t consider myself a “senior professional” in the tasks I’ve been doing during this and other internships (although I may look like it in the picture haha). However, I feel more confident now of having skills needed for working life in general, which I think it is the point.
Some friends came to visit me this month. When they left, my sadness did not last long because one of them missed a flight, so I had her over a bit longer <3. What can I say, there is an upside for everything.
Moving back to the internship, the tasks I am doing in the internship are not related to the internship evaluation. Instead, in order to get the credits, I am writing a Logbook (like a journal) and doing some readings of the recommended literature, such as “Nicolini, D. (2012) Practice Theory, Work, & Organization” book. Readings are about symbolic interaction, social psychology, participation or social learning… although we already have been introduced to some of the topics last year.
The literature is supposed to help us to see how the organization works, and we are expected to write a report and present our experience by the end of the course.
Today I want to bring up that the second year is different than the first in several ways.
My internship office is close to SLU, and the experience being so close to university while not being in class felt weird at first. Honestly, I could see through the window people attending to class… and I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth I chose to “work”. Working feels like being restricted to a goal at times, and I had the feeling that when one is in class, your world “expands” in a way that doesn’t happen as often when you “work”.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is not seeing the same classmates every day. During the first year, we went to class and had lunch together in the afternoon… That was just nice. I know more than one, including myself, who missed seeing each other every day and the routine of going to class and learning something new.
Silvia, Ana & Clara
I guess that from now on, our relationship has to be worked on, just like all the others. Put some effort into knowing how we are, and meeting up when possible.
How did I get my internship? Well, I started by writing a spontaneous application by email to the company, with a cover letter and my CV. In the email, I expressed my interest and wrote that “In the Environmental Communication and Management masters degree, there is a possibility of doing an internship for at least 5 weeks, in the period from June till December 2018“. Although you only have the “obligation” to do it for up to 5 weeks for the 15ECTS, I thought it was good to give the available timeframe anyways. So, it is up to the students to choose how long we want to do an internship for, and one of the two examination times: either November or January. It was through emails and the interview how we discussed the timings, possibilities, and tasks.
Where am I doing my internship? I am doing it at an ecological consultancy at the Green Innovation Park. I applied for the company because I was interested in knowing how the consultancy sector works. My background is in environmental sciences, so I thought it would be nice to refresh a bit the “sciences” stuff, and I thought that an internship was a good opportunity to do it.
What is my task? Well, the fancy name could be a “Market Research” about the consultancy sector in Europe, but the reality is that I am gathering information both in and outside the company, and putting it in order. It may look like it is not very related to communication and the environment, but it was!. I interviewed my colleagues about their work and experiences (that was cool), and I also looked at loooots of websites at the European level and at the country level. I had to restrict the search along the way and ask for guidance, but I’ve managed to get an overview and see links between what’s being done and the possible future needs in different sectors!.
If you are wondering “Where do people do their internship?”, this is your post 🙂 The internship is optional, and so it is the place we do it. These are just a few words from interns this year:
Intern 1. At the Nordic Swan Ecolabel (Svanen), in the marketing and communication department.
What is your task?: Very varied tasks, such as writing a blog post about how the Nordic Swan Ecolabel works with the global goals, social media (texts to Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin), text to an ad, and some content on their new webpage.
Why did you choose that place?: ” I chose to do my internship at the Nordic Swan Ecolabel because I want to work at a similar place after my graduation. Therefore, I wanted to get a better understanding of how it can be in practice. Furthermore, their ambition to inspire people to a sustainable lifestyle is something that is very appealing to me.”
Intern 2. At a US-based Asset Management Firm – London and Stockholm offices
What is your task?: Internal Research and Communication strategy for Employee Engagement, CSR and Facilities Management.
Why did you choose that place?:
” Because corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responsible investing is a growing and interesting field and I wanted to learn more about how environmental issues are discussed within the global financial industry. These are important avenues for environmental advocacy and decision making (with regard to investment decisions) and I think it is a good opportunity to gain some understanding of how environmental issues are understood and appreciated by traditionally unrelated industries.
Intern 3. At a public sector cooperation for sustainable transport, Greener Trondheim, as well as in the general climate strategy of Trondheim municipality.
What is your task?: Working closely with a group of travel advisors – “My internship is very open, and I am building my own working days. Right now, I am working on a report and presentation based on results from a big survey of children’s modes of transport to and from schools. In the coming week we are also holding several events as part of the European Mobility week (16th to 22nd of September), which I help arrange and of course attend.”
Why did you choose that place?: “I chose to work in Greener Trondheim as it correlates with my interests in environment, infrastructure traffic management and city planning. I also found the public sector cooperation interesting.”
Intern 4. At the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD) at Uppsala University.
What is your task?: “My work includes communication around various activities at SWEDESD, amongst others the strategical and structural conceptualization of the ESD Learning Lab that currently is being established at Uppsala University Campus Gotland.”
Why did you choose that place?: The aim behind SWEDESD’s research and projects is to generate new knowledge about learning processes to advance sustainable development. SWEDESD focuses on learning environments, building teachers’ and trainers’ capacity as well as establishing synergy in learning for sustainable development, both on a regional and national level. – “I chose this place for my internship to learn more about pedagogical transformation in higher educational context towards sustainability.”
This second year, and especially the first semester, leaves space for some choices:
You can choose to take (Sept-Oct) – Internship in environmental communication, or – The Context and Process of Research I and II: Theories and Methods, both options worth in total 15 ECTS. However, these options are not fixed. It may be the case that you´ve worked for many years, and instead of an internship, you rather prefer to take a course on another subject and university during that first period. If that’s the case, you can talk with the EC team and apply for a different course.
Later on (Nov-January), you can take either – The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis, and Academic Writing 15 ECTS or – Governance of Natural Resources 15 ECTS. Maybe, if you are more into learning from a long internship experience (more than 2 months), you could try to transfer credits from methods courses you´ve already taken. This would give you the possibility to extend the internship time if you wish.
It can also be the case that you may want to study abroad in the second year. It is possible to do so if contacting the department and applying for it in the first year. It will take some planning, sure, but the possibility is there! It is what I like the most about the study system here: the flexibility. 🙂
I signed up last year to help out and welcome new students during the first weeks. Last Saturday, I attended a first short meeting about the welcoming weeks and planned activities we could help out with. Activities are organized by the Student Union ( Ultuna Studentkår ) and the Masters Committee.
Activities and events are generally posted on Facebook, so check them out here: https://bit.ly/2MdcWyA
Sunny as it was, coming back to Uppsala for the second year felt like a “Déjà vu”, a term which is used for when someone experiences that they’ve lived something before, although they haven’t. I suppose I pictured Uppsala in my head like a distant and dream-place during summer. So now, repeating the way to Uppsala from the airport, seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, and biking to the SLU felt familiar and unreal at the same time!
Super bad quality. I know. – But that’s a deer!! A DEER!!
I shared these and other thoughts with a friend, and we also talked about the perceived outcomes we had from our first year studying ECM. We agreed that we couldn’t have learned more intensely within a year. Maybe we could have gone through more theory, but as she pointed out “I don’t remember most of what I went through during my bachelors, and I think I will remember last year very much”.
Putting those thoughts apart, I feel with energy to start my internship and I am looking forward to the second year ahead. I hope you too!
Yeah, not just one, but two! YEYYY :’D. The weather is being fantastic these days, tempting all of us to avoid our computers and visit the lake for a swim. A short swim, I suppose, because water must be freezing. Still, it is very tempting.
Home exams are good anyways… I would say that the upside is that you know that it all depends on you, on how you manage and invest your time in reading and writing. This takes quite a lot of pressure away, and somehow you are sure that you’ve written what you knew, wanted and needed. However, you have to be very good at structuring your argument within a limited space, and this blows away the possibility of “just write that, and let’s see”, which I used quite a lot in past written exams when having to memorize. So, I would say there is more pressure on your comprehension and discussion skills.
If you haven’t done home exams before and feel weak on those skills like I did, then seek support on your classmates as we were advised to do in the introduction course… yep, and now we’ve finished… Time flies!
…It is time to go home now 🙂
Have a good SUMMER, and do not hesitate much about studying here… It is a life experience, I highly recommend it.