Oxford not only offers the chance to learn from world-leading experts in your subject, but also opens doors to careers you may not have ever imagined being interested in. The university’s Career Service has a Micro-Internship Programme that enables students to undertake short work experience opportunities, lasting from between two to five days, in a range of different sectors.
I did a micro-internship recently with the central university admissions office, working on a project called Oxplore. It’s an online learning platform for 11- to 18-year-olds and uses research undertaken at Oxford and at other universities to make engaging and accessible content for school students. I was so excited to get involved, filming and writing up content!
Our internship was based in Oxford, at the university’s central administrative office. We got lunch vouchers every day to spend in the staff canteen, which was definitely an added bonus! We started off by designing a vision-board for the next ‘Big Question’ for Oxplore to tackle – previous examples have included ‘Are we getting unhappier?’, ‘Is there life after death?’ and ‘Should we eat animals?’ Each Big Question is broken apart and approached from lots of different disciplinary angles. We then created and compiled resources for our Big Question, which also involved contacting and interviewing Oxford academics about their relevant research. We then altered this to make the content digestible and engaging for pre-university students, making image galleries, quizzes and fact files. Meeting experts from different subject areas within the university was so interesting!
We also planned, scouted and shot a video for Big Question, before helping to edit it. We used this as an opportunity to show off our colleges and chat about how much we love them and our subjects. I had a lot of fun writing up a testimonial article about studying at Oxford with age-appropriate recommended reading as well as general tips and advice. Combining the opportunity to learn new video production skills and use new equipment with talking about university life was perfect for me.
It’s great to get such a practical, first-hand insight into a new industry, particularly when placements only last a few days so if you realise it’s not for you, you haven’t wasted much time! I’d recommend anyone give these placements a try during their time at Oxford as it’s great to apply your degree knowledge to something really practical and useful. Hopefully my contribution will help to inspire or encourage a prospective Oxford applicant!