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Meet the Interns

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Published: 9 January 2020

At the University of Sunderland in London, we take a great deal of pride in our students and their career development. That’s why we created the internship programme. Over the course of 12 weeks, students get involved in their university whilst gaining the skills and experience employers look for in their graduate employees.

This term, five students were chosen to join teams throughout the University. Leonardo and Gabriela joined the Library team, Helena and Salina have been working with Student Admin and Gourav became part of the Events department.

Leonardo: “I hope my skills and personality are shining through”

University of Sunderland in London Library intern Leonardo Catalano

Leonardo recently completed his degree in Business and Management before jumping on the opportunity to join the Library department.

The process started as an interview with the admissions panel, something Leonardo felt was a good experience for his future employment.

He’s been using his time as an intern to help improve the Library services, but with one eye always on his future. “The experience has been great for references when I apply for jobs.” At the end of the process, he wants to apply for more graduate internships or business and management placement schemes.

He says of deciding to work with the Library team, that from the first moments of his degree, he was completely absorbed by the Library and the endless knowledge it can provide. During his studies, he discovered a sense of curiosity that the resources of the Library could help him explore. He’s now helping to pass on that sense of curiosity to other students.

He finds that academia provides a nurturing environment that helps to promote freedom of expression and supports the development of personalities.

For Leonardo, this internship is an opportunity to implement what he’s learnt during his studies and grow in confidence.

Gabriela: “I’m gaining more confidence and sharing my knowledge with others”

University of Sunderland in London Library intern Gabriela Preutesei.

Gabriela finished her degree in Health and Social Care in October 2019, with a focus on the psycho-social impact of having a child with learning difficulties can have on family members in the UK. She says that the topic strongly related to her own life story, with her dissertation topic dedicated to her son who has a disability.

Gabriela was very excited about her internship with the Library. Her aim was to learn as much as she could. Now, in the time she’s been working with the Library team, she’s developed her skills, and gained more confidence and knowledge which she enjoys sharing with others.

Outside of her studies, Gabriela was the President of the Health and Wellbeing Society at the University. She organised meetings and events on a range of topics including stress management, smoking awareness and nutrition. She’s also a Student Representative for the Health and Social Care course, helping to enhance the experience of her fellow students and making sure their voices are heard.

In her spare time, Gabriela has a love of books. So much so that she was the President of the Literacy Society in her first university in her home country of Romania.

Helena: “The whole experience is thrilling”

University of Sunderland in London Student Administration intern Helena Baafi Mensah.

Helena is a graduate of the MBA in Human Resource Management programme, where she submitted her dissertation on how change management has an impact on employees at the supermarket chain Aldi, where she works part-time.

She sees the internship as an opportunity to challenge herself, putting the experiences she’s gained at the University into practice, whilst gaining new skills.

Helena says she has found the internship thrilling. She has had responsibility for campaigning on and launching the student portal Compass.

Despite a huge fear of planes taking off, Helena says she loves travelling by air and has a special affinity for airports. Sadly, she says, she cried for five consecutive houses on the flight from Ghana to London because of the turbulence.

Once she graduates, Helena hopes to take her experience with the University of Sunderland in London further, working with the Human Resources Department or others that help engage students. The big aim, she says, is to put all her experience together and become an entrepreneur.

Salina: “I was super nervous but excited!”

University of Sunderland in London Student Administration intern Salina Aktar.

Salina has just completed her Public Health Masters course at the University of Sunderland in London. Her focus has been on the mental health of international students in the Asian community.

Talking about starting the internship with the Student Admin team, she says she was nervous but really excited and now feels happy to have had the opportunity.

She has children, and outside of her university life, she likes to do activities that they enjoy, including baking, dancing and watching films. Her (rare) alone time is spent reading and going out with her friends. She helps to run Christmas and Eid parties at her local youth centre and organises a market stall run by children to help them gain confidence and feel like business people.

In the future, she would like to teach Public Health courses at university. She says she has been inspired by the teaching team at the University of Sunderland in London and the impact they have on the lives of their students.

Salina says she applied to be an intern with the Student Admin team to gain experience working with university staff. She wanted to get an understanding of what they do, and how they fit in with the wider University.

Gourav: “I wanted to get the skills I need to keep up in the corporate environment.”

University of Sunderland in London Events intern Gourav Bardia.

Gourav, who recently completed his Top-up MBA in Marketing, has recently completed his time as an intern in the Events team. He says he was excited to start his internship and glad to have been chosen. On why he decided to apply for the internship with Events, Gourav says that he wants to get the skills needed to keep up with the high-paced corporate environment and get a better understanding of how the University works.

In his spare time, Gourav helped run the Swimming Club and has a keen interest in photography. His friends, he says, call him Good Boy (from the GB of Gourav Bardia. But he hopes that GB will eventually come to stand for ‘Good Businessman’.

Once he graduates, Gourav hopes to get some good corporate experience and then start his own, customer-centred business.

The Careers and Employability Service has been running the internship programme for several years now, giving students experience working in a professional environment. Keep an eye on our social media and the plasmas screens around campus for the latest opportunities.

Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.