Hi everybody, we’re Eden Palmer and Rachel Inkster, and this summer we’ve been completing an internship within the Northumbria English Department! Our roles were to interview English Language graduates and alumni from around the country to find out more about where their English degree has taken them. From solicitors to publishers, we’ve interacted with a wide range of people, so we’d love to share our journey with you!

When we first received the email advertising the position, we were both really drawn to the idea of talking to former students of Northumbria and other universities to see what life had been like for them since graduating. With one of us having just graduated and the other one in their final year, we’ve both been thinking hard about what to do next (we still don’t really know!) and we know a lot of our peers have been thinking about this too! This is why we both thought it was a great opportunity to hear firsthand about what some of our options could be!

To get the ball rolling, we first had to find potential interviewees; we followed up suggestions from staff at Northumbria and also used LinkedIn to connect with various different people. Whilst waiting for responses we got to work drafting emails with all the information and creating interview questions that we knew others would want to hear answers to. Hosting the interviews meant that we had to prepare carefully, being ready to think of strong follow-up questions as well as carrying out the session professionally. This was nerve-racking at first, but we soon got into the swing of things, so our interviewees were able to give us a full picture of what their jobs are like!

After this, we moved on to editing the audio to improve the sound quality and remove any background noise or long pauses from the audio (Rachel found this a longer process than anticipated but has really enjoyed doing it and it’s a cool skill to add to her CV). The audio will be going on the Northumbria Englishes website as mini podcast episodes that students can listen to for ideas about what to do or where to go next. Right now we’re working on a student etiquette guide to help new students navigate their way around the uni experience and give them some tips about higher education! We decided that a poster would be best and have used Canva to create this.

Overall, this internship has been super interesting and we’d recommend opportunities like this to anyone who wants to develop their written and oral communication skills and is curious about career options post-graduation! Sarah and Billy have been great supporters and have always been just an email away if we needed any help!

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