Working as an intern at Ayrshire College

The College recently hired an intern on a six-month basis to join our Human Resources and Organisational Wellbeing team, after previously running two successful internships in the College’s Marketing department.

Corinne Carswell is around halfway through her internship, which is based at our Ayr Campus but involves regular travel to every campus.

Here Corinne talks about how she has found the role so far and what she’s hoping to learn in the coming months.

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After leaving university I was looking for a graduate or intern role, so as soon as this position came up I knew I had to go for it. I studied HR at university so I knew it was a really good opportunity. I also have a friend who works at the College who was able to tell me all about the organisation and how good the College was to work for.

The internship’s been great so far. There are four different areas to the HR department: there’s the general HR work, equality and inclusion, staff development, and health, safety and wellbeing. Although I’ve got an interest in HR and want a career in this area, I’m glad to be getting experience in all four areas.

Within HR, an area I have a keen interest in is staff training and development. This stemmed from university and learning the significance of effective employee performance. In past situations, I have experienced a lack of support and development, and so feel I understand the importance of this and how it can impact an individual’s wellbeing if not supported correctly.

Although I have little experience in this field I am able to witness how training within the College contributes greatly to improved performance and confidence when delivering an individual’s role.

I assist the team when needed and have attended a few learning technology roadshows with the Staff Learning and Development Technologist, Kevan Scade. I hope that I can be involved in other staff development activities or even more roadshows!

Virtual Tee

I’m more than willing to do anything that will give me good experience. The full team here is friendly, respectful and supportive.

One of the big things I’ve worked on is creating an evaluation report on the College’s Continuing Professional Development, to see how effective it was in meeting staff expectations.

Another ongoing project I have been working on is in relation to the College values. I was assigned the task to work with a group of HIVE students to gain thoughts and ideas of how the students perceive each of the 3 values within the College. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this group as it allowed student interaction and gave them the chance to speak their own thoughts and opinions.                 

I have also been involved in the Inside Outside project, which falls underneath violence against women and this highlights how women are exploited, something I previously had little awareness of. Being involved in this project has given me an awareness of how some women involved in, or previously involved in, prostitution in Scotland are exploited and how their voices are not often heard in the mainstream press.

I’ve also learnt a lot about the equality side of the College and their ambitions. Before embarking on this role, I never really anticipated how broad equality actually is. I studied equality at university but that was only once a week and only really covered the basics.

Equality is based on the grounds of fairness and being treated equally, something I have always felt so strongly about. The College has four key equality outcomes and actions that go along with it, which aims to tackle any equality related issues. Some of which I have been involved in.

For instance: supporting and encouraging gender representation, and delivering the actions within the College’s Promoting Wellbeing action plan.

PWG logo

As I enter the second half of my internship, I really want to show the College that it was worth running this internship. Now is the time to show my full potential. There are no two days the same here at the College, and I’m making the most of my opportunity here. I hope to get the best experience as I can before moving on to other roles.

Sara Turkington, Equality and Inclusion Advisor, has worked closely with Corinne throughout her time at the College and she commented:

Corinne has already worked on a number of different projects and focuses in the short time she has spent with us. In that time, I have seen Corinne begin to develop her skills and broaden her knowledge across human resources, equality, staff learning and development, and wellbeing. I hope she really embraces this opportunity and continues to grow personally and professionally.

We’ll check back in with Corinne in a few months’ time to find out how the rest of her internship went!

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