Interning with DEN: Talk, write, discuss, and voice your opinion. 

During my second year at university, I had to do a mandatory internship for one of the modules. Because of my previous experience working in DEN, I decided that it would be my best option to combine my substantial workload with something that is highly beneficial, improves my skills, and is fun. In addition, I had met many of my university friends through DEN and knew that the same would be the case now.

The first and foremost thing you must do in DEN is to attend the meetings we have every week. Work will come naturally to you through projects you want to participate in or ideas you wish to pursue yourself, but that is only possible if you engage with what is put before you. When I started, I immediately got involved by writing blogs and reviewing what other people were writing. This has greatly improved my skills in not only writing in English but also in how to “think outside the box” and engage with assignments creatively. After a few meetings, I got more involved with projects created by my fellow students:

  • Making videos for different events.
  • Participating in Open Days.
  • Just volunteering to support the School and the academics. 

Even though it sometimes felt like a lot, it was always worth it. It is also important to note that DEN is an organisation where the value is in what you can put in; you will always get help and assistance from anyone you need, whether a tutor or fellow student; you just have to engage.

I have always had a knack for public speaking, and DEN encouraged me to let me explore my skills. This is very important because the skills you improve in those simple tasks give you a lot of experience. Now, after the internship, I have participated in quite a few conferences where I have utilised the skills and knowledge I have gained through this internship.

There isn’t a lot that you need to prepare or know before applying for this internship, but it does help to know a few tips on getting the maximum benefit out of your time. If you want to intern with DEN, you must be ready to engage. Talk, write, discuss, and voice your opinion: there are many ways you can engage with your fellow students, but it is quintessential that you do something. You might feel awkward about it at first, but by doing that, you will benefit immensely from your time there. If you are creative, thinking of and proposing different projects is also beneficial. It not only would allow you to gain skills in how to organise such things, but you can also create the change or knowledge you want to see in the world.

Overall, I can safely say that I benefited from it. When you have the chance to apply for an internship in your study year, I would highly recommend you to join DEN.

Karlis Starks, BA (Hons), Politic and International Relations

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