Eden Project – Final post

My internship at the Eden Project ended on the 12th of August, and I am now back in Reading missing the Cornish countryside tremendously. The whole internship experience at Eden was an incredible one. I have had some great experiences and met some amazing people and I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an esteemed charity.

Carrying on from the previous blog post, by the time my internship had officially ended I had completed the Nuclear Energy masterfile entry and submitted it to Jo, the Director of Interpretations. I am now awaiting feedback on the document. I had not yet completed the Geothermal Masterfile entry as I still had to finish the referencing. However, the research was all complete and Emma and I spent my last week at Eden compiling all of our research into a storyline. The storyline skeleton consisted of key questions: What is geothermal energy – how it works; Why geothermal energy is a good idea and Why is Eden interested in using geothermal energy. For each section, two levels of detail was required. Firstly, the whole section needed to be summarised in three sentences. Secondly, all further additional detail needed to be summarised in 8 bullet points. Overall, this constituted as the backbone for the storyline. This would then be passed on to the graphics team who would pick out certain aspects which sound interesting and would appeal to the public in creating their designs. After sending our proposed storyline to Jo, we had a follow up meeting where she made edits and told us where we need to change what. This was the last ‘official’ meeting during my internship. I have since, completed the geothermal masterfile entry and also edited the geothermal storyline according to Jo’s requests.

During my last week I also had my ‘End of internship’ interview, wherein I sat with Jo and Sarah – my supervisor –  and went through my ‘Start of internship’ interview questionnaire wherein I had written down my objectives, what I hope to contribute and accomplish during my internship, to compare what I had set out to do and what I had actually done. During the discussion we filled out an ‘End of Internship’ questionnaire. The interview went smoothly, I had achieved most of what I had set to do. However, I had underestimated the time it would take to complete two masterfile entries and therefore had not had any time to work on the ‘New and Emerging technologies’ section which I had included in my starting questionnaire. However, Jo and Sarah were very understanding about the time limitations and so this was not an issue.

On my last day, I had a goodbye lunch with Jo and Emma.  It was a great end to the internship, I got to speak with Jo and explain what charity insights was as she was very interested in the scheme and was keen on introducing it to other universities. Afterwards, I bought some chocolate ladybugs – very Eden – for everyone in the office and left after saying goodbye to whoever was still at the office late Friday evening.

Overall, the experience was invaluable. I have now a good grasp on what it is like to work for an educational charity, their work ethics and their problems and issues especially with communicating and engaging the public. Whilst volunteering at charities such as Oxfam before, I was always in the front end i.e. serving customers or working in the shop, helping with layout and gift aid. This was an eye-opening experience as now I  have a good idea about what happens in the back end of charities and the massive amounts of research, teamwork and cooperation that must go into each campaign/project that they produce. Alongside this insight, I have also gained numerous soft skills such as working in a team and interacting with other teams; setting personal deadlines; researching a large topic and picking out relevant information; summarising complicated processes in easy to understand terms amongst various others. To put it short working at Eden has been an experience of a lifetime.

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