Blog Post

Interning with Sustainability Services

Over the summer, we hired two interns to help develop a platform to display our new and improved energy data. It is important for us to engage with staff & students, to inform them about their consumption as they are both primary users. As a result of 10 weeks of designing, editing and planning, we are proud to be launching our new very soon.

About the interns (name, course, career aspirations)

Abi: 1st year student reading Geography (Human & Physical); hoping to work in the environmental sector or continue in further studies.

Adam: recent graduate; Applied Statistics, wanting to become an Analyst.

What your role involved?

Abi: As a Junior Energy Officer, I worked with the Junior Energy Analyst to research and produce a data-driven website to display our energy data. My role involved co-designing, branding and communication. Also, producing the supporting content for the data to provide information surrounding the data. Other works include video-editing Green Gown’s submission task, website auditing and part analysis of business travel data.

Adam: As a Junior Analyst, I developed and co-designed the data-website. The work consisted of data manipulation, content-editor and completing analytical tasks as a result of improved Automated Meter Reading. Focal points included the Energy on Campus map display and using HTML coding to aesthetically present data. Other works include analytic data tasks in electricity, heat and water.

What have you gained from this experience?

Abi: Skills I have developed from this opportunity include communicating with appropriate people to utilise the services provided by the University to ensure we are both engaging to staff and students; overcoming and finding appropriate solutions around limitations to ensure all is under University guidelines. Further, it was interesting to approach energy & heat on a local scale having almost, always learnt about global/ national issues. It forms a more apparent microcosm of wider issues.

Adam: I have been able to find and present analytics best suited to layman audience including simplifying jargon and providing explanations for appropriate trends and patterns. Also, dual working- being able to work with another to ensure the website decisions satisfies both and compromising on conflicting issues. To best suit Systems-link (data software), I learnt HTML coding when embedding it to our site.

What was it like working for Sustainability Services?

Abi: As a first year student, my experience in the field of energy & sustainability is fairly limited. This was a great opportunity for me to use my knowledge from Geography as a baseline to learn much more from experts who have been reading, analysing all branches of energy, waste and travel. It is a welcoming and friendly environment where we were integrated into the team swiftly. It is also very encouraging to be working in a team where everyone is passionate about sustainability.

Adam: It’s a friendly, relaxed and calm working environment. It is easy to interact with everyone across the team, despite the project focusing on energy. There is also the ethical satisfaction, in knowing the analytical work I completed is to reduce overall carbon emission and help not only the University of Reading but our surrounding environment.

Would you recommend this to others?

Abi: I would highly recommend this others- regardless of year of study. It is a great way to develop skills in various fields- coding, communications, marketing & learning all things sustainability whilst working with a friendly team. It will also provide great links and contact across the University when communicating and makes you more aware of services provided across University campuses.

Adam: Yes. Initially having thought it was purely aimed at second and third year students- it is suitable for recent graduates also. It is a perfect opportunity for graduates who are less aware of career plans. To be working in a familiar environment means you are able to focus more on the work, making the experience even more worthwhile.

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity and making this a great experience”

Best wishes, your legendary interns.

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