A ‘Place’ment for Everyone – Student Staff in Information Services
Tapping into the diverse background and interests of past and current student staff is crucial to ensuring projects and services across the University benefit from fresh ideas and perspectives.
- Video: A day in the life at ISG
- A day in the life of a student working in ISG, University of Edinburgh
In the third year of his Bachelor of Engineering course at Edinburgh Napier University, Stephen Smith took a student placement working for IT services at the University of Edinburgh. Although learning to use “project documentation, flow charts,” and “the design specification” was admittedly “a bit daunting” - more than 20 years later, Stephen credits the insight he gained during this placement as “a key attributing factor” in securing his first graduate job.
When a full-time role working in IT became available at the University a few years after graduating, Stephen had the confidence to apply thanks to the concentrated experience he had gained “into each of the IT roles” and the “projects methodology” used by the team.
Now in his role as the IT Service Manager in the Applications Directorate, Stephen is involved in the recruitment and training of placement and part-time students, who are often studying outside the realms of technology.
[....] We learned over time that we don’t need to recruit only IT or computing staff (who are typically excellent too), we greatly benefit from a different perspective ... I think it’s testament to the quality of our students, our induction training regime and the support of existing staff, how well our student recruits adapt quickly and fit in to the team so well.
Most recently Stephen has been working collaboratively with Business Management student and avid vlogger, Sharon Chen, to enhance the delivery of digital events. Sharon recently shared what a ‘day in the life’ working in the ISG department looks like, and regularly uses her social media to document the picturesque adventures and experiences she embarks on across Scotland. "We learn from our students about the student experience of the service solutions we provide. This builds a mutual respect which in turn helps improve the quality of our services and our relationships with business area staff," Stephen said.
Likewise, other students at the University have found that working within the Apps and L & UC partnership is a beneficial way to gain valuable work experience.
Not only do do these internships, placements and part-time roles give students insight and a chance to enhance the services and systems that keep the University operating, these paid positions allow the employees to make the most of their time living in Edinburgh.
Meet some of the newest student staff in Information Services
Rebecca Hayward, Student Engagement and Events Intern, Heritage Collections
Rebecca is a third year history student at the University of Edinburgh and has recently joined the Heritage Collections team. Interested in a career in the heritage sector, the internship will give Rebecca practical experience and insight into how events and exhibitions can be utilised to engage audiences with historic collections.
"I’m originally from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire. I chose [to study in] Edinburgh because of its beautiful setting both the historical buildings and the easy access to nature.[...] I am also a big fan of musicals and have already got my Hamilton tickets for March next year!"
Her internship involves developing a schedule of events for next semester, focussing on using the exhibition space in the Main Library to showcase the University's unique collections and collecting student feedback.
Besides her summer internship, Rebecca also works in the National Museum of Scotland and is President of the Edinburgh University Arts and Heritage Society which allows her to enjoy spontaneous trips to museums and galleries with other like minded students. As she approaches her final year of study Rebecca hopes to explore "as much of Edinburgh as possible before I graduate!"
Megan Turner, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Heritage Collections
Megan is in her fifth year of study at the University of Edinburgh, now working on a Masters of Science Research in Economic and Social History. Having completed an undergraduate degree in History too, Megan was eager to take on this role to engage local communities with the heritage collections at the University.
"I am from a small and historic city called Lancaster in the North-West of England.[...] Outside of work and studying, I enjoy visiting cafés and bookshops (my favourite right now is Argonaut books in Leith, it does coffee too) and whenever I get chance, travelling and exploring new places."
Megan is working on several projects in the Engagement team - helping to organise and deliver a weekly Bronze Arts Award programme, ‘Capturing Craigmillar’ to teenagers at Craigmillar Library, and developing workshops to teach at HMP Perth for the Prison Service Programme based around the Musical Instruments Collection at St Cecilia’s Music Hall.
Outside of work and study Megan is planning to run a half marathon this year and enjoys regular trips to the Royal Botanic Gardens.