Undergraduate student Julie-Anne McCluskey discusses her experience as an intern with Springvale Learning
Julie-Anne McCluskey, an undergraduate student from the School of Psychology, recently completed an internship with Springvale Learning during Queen's University's Development Weeks. Here she has kindly provided a valuable insight into the value of internships in the hope of encouraging students to avail of this opportunity during their studies.
"I worked in Retail Management before I had my children and became a stay at home parent. As I had been out of the workplace for several years before coming to Queen’s, gaining relevant work experience alongside my degree was important to me, and the Development Weeks Internships seemed like a brilliant way to get started.
I applied for the Internship with Springvale Learning as it was relevant to the Research Methods and Statistics element of the BSc Psychology degree. It sounded interesting and a bit of a challenge!”
What tasks did you complete during your internship?
“During the internship, I worked with staff and students to create a Student Satisfaction Survey that aimed to collect overall satisfaction ratings, demographic information and information about more specific areas, such as course quality and learning support. I had to collect as many responses as possible, in person, by email and over the phone. Once the results were in, I analysed them and put together a report for management. Infographics were used to communicate the results to the students”.
What transferable skills did you develop as an intern?
“During the first year of the Psychology degree I gained skills such as teamwork, effective listening and communication, and of course report writing and statistical analysis. The internship put these skills to good use. It also boosted my confidence and allowed me to see where my strengths are and identify areas for improvement. I am undecided on what I want to do after graduation, but the hands-on experience gained through the internship gave me valuable insights into possible future career roles”.
Have you anything to add for students considering an internship?
“I would really recommend the Development Weeks Internships to other students. The opportunities for meaningful hands-on work experience are excellent. Putting the skills learned during your Psychology course into practice can not only help you grow as a person, but can help you get a better idea of where your studies could take you. It also allows future employers to see your dedication and drive. I really enjoyed my time at Springvale, and I hope to apply for other Development Weeks Internships in the coming years”.
The internship opportunities are equally popular with the organisations, as demonstrated by Ann-Marie Mervyn from Springvale Learning:
“Springvale were delighted to offer a development week internship, our first time taking on a Queen’s student and what a successful experience it has been! Our psychology intern settled in extremely well and was challenged with completing a student satisfaction survey. We now have a robust survey with meaningful recommendations to take forward so that we can offer an even higher quality student experience here at Springvale. I would highly recommend partnering with Queen’s, they only provide the very best!”
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