After having completed a 10-week internship with SPS and Astrobiology, I can highly recommend the experience to anyone who may be interested. I first came across the opportunity on the OU’s OpportunityHub and sent my application into the OU internships team. I was invited for an online interview where I was asked to make a presentation outlining how I would drive engagement to a specific event. Once I started the internship my line managers, Alice and Hannah, were extremely supportive, empowering, encouraging and gave me autonomy over the projects I worked on. They provided the resources I needed to make my ideas a reality and gave continuous positive feedback.
During my time as Engagement and Outreach Coordinator I was able to create several exciting pieces of content for World Space Week, including the opportunity to script, direct, film and edit my own video and generate a complete 3-week social media schedule surrounding the events of World Space Week.
After an initial induction, I spent time researching previous World Space Week events, social media posts and videos. After this I was able to put together an extensive mind map of my ideas and present this to the team. They gave encouraging feedback and highlighted a few of their favourite ideas, giving me the independence to start work on researching and writing a series of blogs. We arranged weekly catch-up meetings for the duration of the internship for updates on various stages of the projects. Over the course of the internship, I wrote a total of 4 blogs that will be shared during World Space Week.
Alice and Hannah also facilitated the introduction with an astronomer at the university with whom I could create a video for World Space Week and provided filming equipment, environment and set-up for my video. As usual they were extremely positive and encouraging, giving support during the editing of the video and trying to find more people for me to create videos with. The finished video highlights some common misconceptions students have about astronomers and will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of what astronomers do.
During the final phase of the internship, I created a full three-week social media schedule surrounding World Space Week. I had the opportunity to let my creativity flow, designing Facebook stories and posts to encourage engagement and raise awareness of our World Space Week features and events. Working on World Space Week, especially being an astronomy student, was so much fun and as a bonus I’ve made some valuable connections at The Open University. Seeing my blogs and videos published on social media will be extremely rewarding and the prospect of inspiring other young minds to consider a career in STEM makes it even more fulfilling. It is an experience I would strongly advocate and encourage anyone reading this to apply.
Written by Aliss Rodricks, Engagement and Outreach Coordinator Intern