Written by Priyankha Khindri
Back in January of this year I started my role as a Communications Intern for the Education Incubator alongside Lisa. Since then I have been fortunate enough to learn so much; developing skills and working towards some of the goals that I set myself when I first began. Read on to discover some of the key outtakes.
Writing for Wider Audiences
One of the goals that was really important to me was to learn how to write for a non-academic audience. This was quite challenging; my first blog posts read like essays and I struggled to wrap my head around how to make my work exciting, engaging, and accessible. Through the support of my manager – Kerry, our mentor – Hazel, and a number of other members of staff who were kind enough to read my work I feel like I’ve managed to understand how to write for different audiences. When writing for academic audiences I was really reliant on using formal language to get my point across, but this made for really long and convoluted blog posts! I used a guide written by the National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement to help develop my writing for non-academic audiences and it taught me about the importance of keeping my language accessible. This guide has really helped me when doing assignments such as policy briefings which are intended for non-specialised audiences. I highly recommend it!
An unexpected, but really lovely, development over these past few months has been the growth of my working relationship with Lisa. The University of Exeter is split between Exeter and Penryn based campuses and whilst Lisa is on the Streatham Campus, I am on the Penryn Campus. Much of our work is independent so this distance doesn’t impede on our work but it has been lovely to develop methods of working together, despite the distance, and to feel as though we are a little team! For example we used to update each other sporadically on Slack but this meant that sometimes we would forget to share key developments, so we decided to set up regular one-on-one meetings. This meant that we would collate any key updates throughout the week and knew we had a designated opportunity to share our updates – which helped us to both stay on top of our workload and decide what our next set of tasks would be. I think it’s helped to make us both a lot more productive and ensure that our workloads are manageable and I’m truly looking forward to meeting her in-person at the Writing Retreat in June.
Changing Perceptions of Innovation
In my last blog post I highlighted how important it was for me to change how people perceive the word ‘innovation’; demonstrating that it’s relevant to more than just science and technology. This is something I’ve had the chance to do as a result of the Education Incubator working in partnership to fund student-led projects against racism or promoting gender safety, which are about innovating life beyond the classroom and making the university experience safe and enjoyable for all. This was a great opportunity to learn about existing projects that the University of Exeter have such as the Night Bus, run in partnership with Stagecoach, providing a late bus service to provide students with safe and affordable means of travelling home from a night out. To read about other initiatives like these at the University of Exeter, click here. It also makes me excited to learn more about the student projects that have received funding this year – which we hope to be able to share with you soon!
For the last few months of this internship I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to participate in the Writing Retreat in June.
The University of Exeter’s Education Incubator scheme. Promoting pedagogic innovation and collaboration with an aim to enhance learning across the University and beyond.