A ‘turtally’ fantastic experience

The Kent Work Experience Bursary gives an opportunity to students to think about work experience in a different way. The world is the smallest its even been thanks to how easy and accessible traveling has become. Nevertheless, flight costs to go abroad still place a heavy burden on students; therefore, receiving a bursary to aid with the costs incurred is a great advantage for students seeking to have a different internship experience from the ones offered at home.

Finding an internship abroad is an exciting process because you find what seems like endless opportunities. In the field of conservation, the Tropics are one of the most interesting and thrilling places to work because of their abundant and diverse levels of biodiversity (over 50% of Earth’s species are found in tropical rainforests alone!). The experience that I gained doing proper field-work research in Malaysia cannot be compared to any other work I’ve done; it gave me a new insight on future careers and in what direction to guide my professional life.


Mother turtle laying her eggs on one of the beaches. Nest was relocated to Turtle Bay, to avoid it from being poached. A photograph of the facial scutes is taken to add to the dataset of a photo identification software to identify the turtle.

I spent 10 weeks of my summer on Lang Tengah, a 2 km2 island off the coast of Terengganu, in Malaysia. I interned at a small organisation called Lang Tengah Turtle Watch (LTTW) which works to protect sea turtles nesting on the island. There are 7 species of sea turtles, 3 of which can be found in Terengganu. Unfortunately, due to unsustainable fishing practices, turtle egg consumption and detrimental human activities, one of the species is virtually extinct (the Leatherback), and another, the Hawksbill, is on the brink of extinction. LTTW receives volunteers from all around the world each week, and one of my duties on the project’s eco-friendly camp-site was to educate the volunteers on sea turtle ecology, as well as shark ecology, coral ecology and marine pollution.

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Work experience at Accenture

My legal work experience at Accenture, the second biggest technology company in the world, greatly improved my knowledge of the new and innovating technology that the law has not yet accounted for. Thanks to the Kent work experience bursary that allowed me to travel into The City every morning I was able to take up this opportunity and improve my legal research skills as well as legal advocacy skills.  I was given a ‘crash course’ on negotiation by the head of Global compliance as well as completing a presentation on a force majeure clause, checking the legality of it and whether it is suitable for the business clients. During this I received critical feedback taking me out of a law student mindset into actually understanding what works for a business. This was probably the most valuable skill that I learnt during my work experience as it was a skill that you can’t learn at university and would be most applicable to improving my employability. I was able to recognise how to be turn the ‘black letter law’ that I had used at university into something that works for a benefit when essentially they are always looking to solutions to legal problems tin order to save them money.

I also sat on the weekly legal department phone call, taking down minutes that were later used in the director’s meeting. As well as receiving talks from a range of specialised lawyers such as complex contracting, digital business, intellectual property, data privacy and more throughout the week. The intellectual property talk was particularly helpful as I am studying this module this year, so it was interesting to gain an introduction to it as well as see it in practice in a large technology company. The data privacy talk was particularly helpful as it is a current issue with GDPR compliance that is changing and taking effect in Europe next year. It has the potential to have massive effect on businesses by harmonizing data protection across 28 EU member states and the breach fines being of up to €20 million or 4 percent of gross annual turnover. As it was something I did not know much about, but is so pivotal to how law, technology and the protection of it is changing in society. I learnt the potential employability prospects of data privacy as it is high in demand as well as how it applies to all different types of law.

To end the week, we visited the innovation hub and gained an insight into new technology such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, block chain and bitcoin. Getting to use the products, with some that were strictly classified, was really exciting. Overall, I was so lucky to have a group of hard working interns and lawyers so willing to share their experiences!

– Chenelle Olaiya is a 3rd year Law student

Who is for and who’s against the law?

I was privileged to gain a mini-pupillage with a QC at a top law chambers in London. Unfortunately, I don’t live in London and it would have been difficult for me to bear the cost of commuting daily. With the bursary scheme however, I was able take on this opportunity without fear of the costs.

I spent two weeks with the QC. During the period, I went to the central criminal court and was privileged to sit in on two very important murder trials. I was given the opportunity to discuss the cases and to provide answers to situations that arose in court. I also sat in on conferences and meetings that the QC had. Through this mini-pupillage, I learnt about the general day to day practices of a court that cannot be obtained in a lecture room. I had close contact with my QC and other practising barristers and a chance to observe them at work. Observing the law this way has truly been an invaluable experience. It was great to get involved in real cases and discover how pragmatic matters, such as the wellbeing of a witness, can influence the shape of proceedings.

During the two weeks, I was also fortunate enough to watch the retirement ceremony of a judge. The whole ceremony taught me a lot about the court system and encouraged me to aspire for even greater heights in my law career. On the last day of the mini-pupillage, I had drinks with junior and senior members of the chambers. Through the discussions we had, I was given insight on how to succeed in law school and even at the bar in future. I was also able to develop relationships with them which means I can go to them directly if need be. Though I didn’t realise at the time, my level of confidence and networking skills have also improved.

This mini-pupillage has served as a great learning experience and I am grateful to the bursary scheme for making it possible.

– Ebunoluwa Adeniran

A job for the people

Journalism is a profession where, essentially and on a very general note, you serve the people. You inform them daily of the news so that they can use that information to their advantage (e.g. voting, discussions, among others). The mainstream media touches upon national subjects on a really big scale. The beauty of regional newspapers is that they are a medium that deals with the topics that the everyday man has to be in contact with. (They are more in touch with their public if you want to put it that way.)

I had the chance to work at the sports desk for the KM group and helped to produce the Kentish Gazette, a newspaper for Ashford. I was assigned different tasks, including sports I knew pretty much nothing about such as Golf, Motorcycles and Cricket, which was a nice opportunity to see beyond football, which is my favourite sport. I did a handful of match reports and articles regarding the local sport matches and fixtures played on the weekend, including some of the football National League. It was a really exciting opportunity as I went through the process of producing a newspaper from scratch. I am really grateful for this opportunity.


I read a couple of blog posts and couldn’t agree more with one thing, the Work Experience Bursary allows you to focus completely on the experience. You focus on your job, on how to make yourself better, on how to make your work better. As an individual you don’t worry about the money because you know that the uni has you covered in that aspect. I am an international student and still find trains here a bit tricky, I usually take the route that has fewer changes as I am afraid to miss a train. The train I took to Ashford was quite easy to follow and allowed me to be in time for my placement, but it was also a bit expensive. Yet, that wasn’t a problem thanks to the bursary.

I can’t stress enough how useful it can be to actually experience the job you could do after you finish your degree. You will never know if you like what you are studying if you don’t experience one of the many outcomes it can lead to. I am happy to say I enjoyed being a journalist for a week and will be looking forward to do the job once I finish studying at the University of Kent. But that is something you need to find out by yourself, by experiencing the job.

– Kenneth Sanchez Gonzales is a 2nd year Journalism student

New York, New York….Walk the Talk

I have been to New York City before, but this time was significantly different. I returned to a familiar place – to a large church near Times Square – but I volunteered within a capacity fairly foreign to me. Previously I had assisted the Women’s Ministry department, but this time, I was helping with a large outreach called “Walk the Talk.” The week prior to the outreach, I assisted Priscilla from the Missions department with prep for the upcoming week. This involved buying supplies; designing name tags; drawing a map of the city, and ordering lunches from local restaurants. It was great being able to liberate Priscilla so she could focus on the organisational and managerial side of things. The actual week of the outreach, I helped sign people in and I led one of the teams.

Time Square Church’s heart is to reach out to the local community and Walk the Talk was planned to facilitate this specific vision. Those who signed up to participate were members from the congregation who have a likeminded heart to reach out to the community. The outreach ran for four days from 1st – 4th August, and it involved sending teams to four different areas within close proximity to the church. Teams of six to seven people went to: Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen, the Rockefeller Center, and Columbus Circle. I led the team that went out to Columbus Circle. Each day involved a teaching session as well as practically going out to those different areas. The outreach activities varied daily, but they involved speaking to people; giving out bottles of water and snacks, as well as helping to clean St. Paul’s (a soup kitchen for the homeless).

As mentioned in my opening line, this particular time in New York City was significantly different for me. To aptly express and articulate all the ways in which I benefited from volunteering with Walk the Talk, is a hard task. The teaching was both challenging, and inspiring, and it aided in equipping us to effectively minister to the community. Personally, the opportunity to lead a team was greatly beneficial and it certainly gave me invaluable experience, as well as enhancing my interpersonal skills. The whole experience taught me to a greater degree that people matter, and this is something I hope will stay with me, and will affect my life, both personally and professionally. I believe that effective leadership incorporates caring about those under you, and inspiring them to enter into and carry the corporate vision forward, into fruition.

The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary contributed in making it possible to travel to the US, without feeling hindered financially. Knowing this bursary was available gave peace of mind and excitement that this opportunity was within reach. I am truly thankful to the University of Kent for their support, and I would encourage others who have a desire to volunteer abroad, but may feel restricted financially, to consider applying also!

– Sophie Lamb is a final year law student

Work experience at Let’s Do Business Group

My 3-day work shadowing experience at the Let’s Do Business Group gave me the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a successful organisation. Let’s Do Business Group is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the East Sussex’s business community by providing a range of services, such as financial and business expansion advice, and training. Their primary objective is to help businesses to grow throughout the South East of England. The work shadowing experience at the Let’s Do Business Group allowed me to gain a better understanding not only of the services they offer, but also of the projects the company is currently working on.

During my work experience I had the opportunity to review loan assessment applications; to revise the company’s data protection policy (due to the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May 2018) and to design an action plan to implement necessary changes; to analyse competitors’ projects and to conduct a SWOT analysis of the business relocation services offered by other Counties in the UK. On top of that, I shadowed colleagues from the Finance, HR and Marketing departments, and spent Tuesday morning with the CEO of the Let’s Do Business Group talking about the overall strategy of the company, most successful projects and the company’s long-term goals.

The work shadowing experience has been extremely beneficial and quite an eye-opener. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, it was a truly great opportunity to see the inner workings of such a successful organisation. It was invaluable to see the inner dynamics. Additionally, everyone in the office was very welcoming and the working environment was very encouraging, which has only strengthened my conviction of the importance of a healthy organisational culture.

Without a doubt, I would recommend it to anyone to gain paid/unpaid work experience, regardless of whether it is only for a couple of days, or whether it lasts few weeks – you are going to learn something useful and valuable anyway, regardless of the length. It also gives you a great insight into successful companies, the insight you would not otherwise have.

Damian Harateh, 4th year – Law and Accounting & Finance student.

Anything is possible

It is possible.

That is the biggest revelation I had after visiting the BBC with the Centre for Journalism. Before the visit, I anticipated the BBC, and any professional newsroom, to be a place that was so far away, and a place to be out of my reach. The BBC seemed like a cloud on Mt. Olympus meant only for the gods and goddesses of journalism. For me, the world of professional journalism seemed so scary. When I looked at journalists at the Centre and across newsrooms, I wondered how I could ever make it to their level.

Although the enormous size of the BBC newsroom did not ease many of my anxieties, a light bulb in my head switched on. I realized that all of the journalists in that massive newsroom were just normal people like me. Not some extraterrestrial beings that descended upon the earth to tell the news. It was a very comforting feeling to know that every journalist in the newsroom started from somewhere. In the same way that I am starting from somewhere as well. Everyone we encountered was absolutely delightful, and were so keen on answering all of queries.

When speaking with the World Service, it was amazing to see my fellow international classmates excited and energized about opportunities that were presented to them. In honour of Tim, who has encouraged us to tune into Radio 4 each morning, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to how the program is set up and carried out. Also, it was entertaining to be able to practice reporting the weather, and to learn how those journalists got into reporting weather in the first place. Lastly, We were taken to the gallery to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the shows are made.

All in all, after visiting the BBC, I was even more grateful to Centre for Journalism that has properly prepared me for a life as a journalist. Although fears and anxieties can take hold, I know that if I follow what I’ve learned in this past year, I can’t go wrong. A warm thank you to Laura and Centre for making this trip a reality, and for helping me realize that it is possible.

– Adrianna Clark is a recent graduate of MA International Multimedia Journalism