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Creating together

Students tell us about their internship at Federation of Small Businesses. To find out more about our regional internship programme for Newcastle University Business School students, visit our website.

Week 1

The first week at Newcastle University was exciting, challenging, and interesting. The week started with a full induction day and dinner at St James Park. During our orientation, we had a great tour in the TOON–which means town in Geordie–visiting the fantastic shops as well as taking in the views of the city. On Monday evening we went to a dinner hosted at St James Park where we met the companies hosting this years internships, the students taking part in the programme and our project supervisors.

We started working on our project on Tuesday and we quickly formed a team dynamic.  Our team includes students from Xiamen, the Netherlands, Boston, and Newcastle. Despite the language barrier and our cultural differences, we have already become good friends with each other.

During our first week, we have had several meetings with professionals in the government technology field. During these meetings, we enhanced our knowledge about the GovTech programme in the Northeast of England and also got the chance to interview key people working in the field.

Apart from working, we also had a good time traveling to South Shields and Sunderland. Embraced by the sea breeze, we spent some time at the beach and indulged in some fish & chips!

Overall, the first week included lots of new adventures partnered with great learning experiences.

Week 2

Cherry, intern from Xiamen University tells us about week 2 of the FSB internship.

We have been working on our project now for two weeks and time is flying by! We have been devoting ourselves to working on the final paper this week and have made great progress which the team are really happy with. Throughout our second week, we identified five GovTech challenges and corresponding recommendations, based on the interviews we have conducted and our data collection. We hosted a video meeting with a representative from Public iO which was extremely insightful and interesting and the group received positive feedback after the call. After the meeting, we assigned tasks to everyone and focused on the work. During our meeting with our Supervisor on Wednesday, we presented the work we have done so far and asked for some suggestions from him. Simon was pleased with the progress we have made and said he was looking forward to our final presentation, which inspired us a lot. Throughout our second week, we also hosted other meetings with senior Newcastle University staff and organised telephone interviews with the Founder of ProxiSmart and the Partnership Development Manager in Sunderland City Council, which were both very useful.  Aside from working hard, our team spirit is growing from strength to strength and  we are having lots of fun together. In all, we had a quite productive and fantastic week and we all look forward to the last week here!

Week 3

Elisa from Groningen University tells us about her final week working on the FSB GEO Internship!

It was our last week working at Newcastle University and in order to deliver on our ideas we worked even harder on our written report and presentation. On Tuesday, we had an interview with Rob Wilson from the university, who holds the titles Chair of Information Systems Management and Director of the KITE Research Centre. It was an impressive interview with Rob sharing his thoughts on technology use in the public sector. The next day we travelled all the way to Edinburgh to visit CivTech, which is a government-sponsored accelerator programme for technology startups. We learnt a lot about the working process of CivTech and heard about successful examples and apps, all of which were quite fantastic. We also gave a presentation on our work and got some advice and feedback. Also, through our way to the CivTech office, we experienced the great Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Finally, on Friday we submitted the final report and gave our final presentation, which we all felt was a success. Every member of the team devoted themselves to the project and that was reflected in the presentation, with all our individual strengths coming together for the best possible outcome. During this internship, we formed a deep connection within our group of interns, and in the end we would have preferred to stay in Newcastle. Experiencing a different culture and the local life of Newcastle was also a high point for the trip. The overall experience was fantastic, and we will be sure to remember it for the rest of our lives. All in all, thanks to Newcastle University Business School and the Federation of Small Businesses for giving us this opportunity for a wonderful internship.

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