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Essex Interns

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Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Our University offers a variety of opportunities to gain experience through internships and work placements during your studies. Some of our students who recently undertook placements share their experiences.

Elena Dirstaru, PhD Film Studies

Elena undertook a CHASE placement at the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) whilst studying for her PhD. She describes the type of work she was involved in and the skills she has developed as a result.

  • Read the interview with Elena

    What kind of work have you been involved in with the British Universities Film & Video Council and what did you enjoy the most?

    "My work at BUFVC has been quite varied, as I had a number of different tasks. I started by researching newsreels and newsreel cameramen both online and in the physical BUFVC library, and then moved onto listening to magnetic audio tapes with interviews with cameramen about their careers.

    "I also worked on digitising tapes and archiving them in the BUFVC data collection database. I had the chance to work with film reels, which was definitely the most exciting part for me, as a filmmaker. I used a Steenbeck editing table to watch film reels and digitise them, which was a really fantastic experience, and quite unique as well, as not many places own this kind of equipment."

    What skills have you developed during the placement?

    "I have learned how to work with historical film, which is a skill I wouldn’t have acquired otherwise and will be very useful in the future. I have also learnt how to properly archive audio and video files, and summarising their content in a useful manner."

    How do you feel the placement has helped you enhance your future career?

    "I believe this placement has helped me to gain invaluable skills that I would not have been able to acquire anywhere else. Because of my placement, I feel like I have more options in terms of employment at the end of my PhD."

    Elena describes her placement and other academic film work on the CHASE website.

Kirsty Groves, MA Wild Writing

Kirsty landed her dream job with Essex Wildlife Trust as a direct result of her placement with them. She explains how the skills she developed on her placement led to her employment.

  • Read the interview with Kirsty

    What kind of work did you undertake during your placement with Essex Wildlife Trust, and what did you enjoy the most?

    "At the beginning of the placement I had a number of different roles. I assisted with site maintenance which included chopping back brambles, stripping bark from logs and other physical labour. I found this to be really fun and enjoyable, and I made the most of the free exercise opportunities I had been given. I also carried out administrative tasks in the visitors centre, and learnt how to operate the equipment in the tearoom so that I could help out in there too. I managed to get involved with nearly all of the educational activities the site had to offer with school groups and other groups of children, from ages 2-13. This for me was the highlight of my placement. Getting dirty and having fun outside every day was brilliant, and has also given me the skills required in order to obtain a job with Essex Wildlife Trust."

    How did that tie in with you research project/dissertation?

    "My dissertation is based on the positive impact that spending time in nature has on mental health. Seeing people enjoying the natural environment has given me first-hand experience of these benefits. I have also been able to gather anecdotal evidence in order to support my thesis by observing various visitors to the nature reserve."

    What skills have you developed during the placement?

    "I have developed so many skills on placement! I set out with the goal of improving my networking and communication skills, and I really feel that these have come on a long way. I have helped and interacted with visitors, staff and volunteers, which has allowed me to widen my network. I have gained catering and retail experience, and a Level 2 Food Hygiene qualification. And of course most significantly for me, I have learnt a number of educational skills. I have learnt how to tailor information to an audience based on their needs and confidently deliver information to a large audience. I have also developed detailed knowledge of child safeguarding processes and health and safety. Additionally, I have developed some scientific knowledge of the natural world and my wildlife identification skills have also improved."

    How would you describe the placement to your friends?

    "10/10 would do it again. I had fun every day whilst gaining the skills I needed to launch my career."

    How do you feel the placement has helped you enhance your future career?

    "As a result of the placement, I now have a job with Essex Wildlife Trust. This was my aim from the beginning of the placement and I am so very happy to have achieved it. I would not have had the skills I needed to obtain the job that I did without the placement, even with a Master's degree. The confidence and knowledge that I have gained as a result of the placement is invaluable to me, and the connections that I have made there have enabled me to get my dream job straight away."

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.

Employability events

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We have lots of careers events and workshops running this term, all designed to help you develop skills, research future career options and meet employers. Some are one-off annual events, so don't miss out.

frontrunners placements

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frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Employability advice

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Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.