by Iz Gius – GENDER.ED Summer intern 2020
Applications are now open for the GENDER.ED Communications and Events Intern position. As last summer’s GENDER.ED Intern, I couldn’t recommend the internship enough – be sure to apply before Wednesday April 7that 17:00 GMT and share the opportunity widely.
To apply, please visit:
As Communications and Events Intern, I took on a variety of different tasks, from social media management to copy-editing, from website development to graphic design. The very website that you’re reading this on – the new GENDER.ED website – was a major aspect of my internship task list. Over the course of 12 weeks, I learned how to navigate a professional work environment; I saw a different side to the University than I experienced in my four years as a student; I gained valuable insights about how to put my interest in gender and sexualities studies into practice – and about the sorts of careers open to me post-graduation. Most excitingly, I was able to collaborate with staff and students across the University and beyond, supporting and amplifying the outstanding work they were already doing. Some personal highlights include the Feminist Struggles in the Academy Webcomic, the GEARING-Roles project, and the Feminist Parenting book launch.
In many ways, the internship was not what I expected. I only set foot in the University once, and most of my work was completed in my sitting room, on my shaky (at best) WiFi, in my pajamas more often than I’d care to admit. But in many ways, the internship was remarkably ‘normal’ even amidst strange and uncertain times.
I learned so much over the course of the summer, and I am extremely grateful to everyone at IASH, GENDER.ED, and the Careers Service for their support and guidance. I would recommend this particular internship to anyone – and the Careers Service offers this internship and many others as part of their Employ.Ed On-Campus Internship Scheme. Below are a handful of my top-tips for future interns, or anyone considering applying to this program or similar.
- Before you get started, learn as much as you can about the department or organization that you are joining. Get a sense of the work that they do, the responsibilities of different team members, and their overall mission and aims. The more you know going in, the easier it will be to figure out your own role and how to take initiative within that space.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek feedback, especially in the beginning. You are not bothering your supervisor, and asking these questions early on will benefit both of you in the long-run. Have a discussion about how you’d like to have these conversations – a weekly meeting? Sending questions as they come up via email? Popping into their office (or in my case, a quick Teams call if they are available)? Communication is key, even if you aren’t a Communications Intern! I found end-of-week email updates extremely helpful.
- Sit in on as many meetings as possible, even if they aren’t directly relevant to your projects. This is a great opportunity to meet people and get a sense for what else is happening in the department / organization beyond your specific tasks
- Stay organized. There’s lots of different ways to keep track of the projects you are working on – daily to-do lists, Gantt charts, software like Trello and Asana, even post-it notes. Having a system in place also allows you to look back in the weeks, months, even years after the internship finishes to remind yourself of the skills that you developed (which helpful when updating CVs or preparing for interviews).
- Think about sustainability – and I don’t just mean environmental sustainability (although that’s important too). Your internship might only last a couple of months, but take care to consider the long-term picture. What steps can you take to ensure that your projects don’t fall behind after you leave? How can you make things easier for whoever takes over after you? Think handover documents, scheduled blog posts, and the like.
If any of this sounds appealing to you, click here for more information about the GENDER.ED internship. It’s a fabulous opportunity for any University of Edinburgh students interested in gender and sexuality studies!
Bio: Iz Gius is a final year MA (Hons) English Literature and History student at the University of Edinburgh. She is co-president and editor-in-chief of the student-run publication The Rattlecap (@therattlecap) – making activism and radical thought accessible. In the summer of 2020 she was the GENDER.ED communications intern.