The Undergraduate Community Internship Programme (UCIP) facilitates high quality work experience opportunities in third sector organisations for current undergraduate students. The project aims to share the skills knowledge and enthusiasm of bright motivated students with local organisations who in return offer a valuable insight into working in the third sector.
Case Study 1
Student: Tui Benjamin is a third year English Studies student who was placed for a day a week at the Renewal Trust in Nottingham.
The placement: The Trust aims to bring about improvements in the quality of life of the communities of St Ann’s and Sneinton by supporting activities to renew the area.
The role: Tui's role as Press and Publicity Officer centred on researching and writing stories on the Trust’s major project outcomes. She also compiled and issued case studies, press releases and various other content.
Feedback: Tui said: "Through volunteering I have gained valuable skills; cutting my teeth as an interviewer, honing my ability to write approachable and compelling copy and broadening my understanding of local politics.
"This boost to my CV has enabled me to line up more work experience, including a stint at the Nottingham Post. As publicity work is pretty much ongoing, at times it can be difficult to juggle my placement, university work, paid work, other extra-curricular activities and having a social life – good job I like being busy! My time management and organisational skills have had to improve accordingly which is a good thing.
“I love feeling a valued part of the team and knowing that what I’m doing is having an impact. When I was away from Nottingham for the Christmas holidays, it was nice to hear that staff were asking where I’d disappeared to.
"At the risk of sounding cheesy, I like that I’m giving something back to the city I now call home, rather than going through university resolutely within the much-maligned 'student bubble'."
Case study 2
Student: Cherry Yau is a 3rd year Financial Accounting and Management student who was placed in two linked organisations - '11 tech 18' and 'Oscar', based in the St Anns area of Nottingham.
The placement: Oscar supports Sickle Cell and Thalassemia sufferers and their families whilst 11 Tech 18 supports young people who are under-achieving or expelled from mainstream education.
The role: This included producing meaningful financial information to support the board of trustees and employees; looking at existing income and expenditure to improve financial forecasting; up-skilling relevant staff to enable the accounts to be better maintained; and contributing to theh development of a business plan."
Feedback: Cherry says, "I wanted to have a deeper understanding of what an accounting career might be like and put what I have been learning in lectures into practice."
"My role has assisted both organisations in reducing unnecessary costs and re-allocating resources to other significant areas. I also identified some free accounting training which enhanced both mine and the organisations' knowledge. I learnt a commonly used accounting software (QuickBook) which is used in many charities and small businesses which really broadens my knowledge from what I have learnt at University."
I was very lucky as most of the activities I carried out linked in with my academic work so it helped me to understand more. The only drawback is trying to balance the placement and university workload but it’s all good skills to take into the workplace."
The next round of applications will begin in March 2015 for the autumn semester. More information and details of how to apply will be available on this website then so please remember to check back closer to the time.