Ambassador Intern Insights: Harriet Lacey

Stipend Ambassador, Harriet Lacey, has been doing an Ambassador Scheme Support Internship developing a safeguarding online training module for Ambassadors. Here, she shares her experience so far

Hi! I’m Harriet and I’m a second year sociology student. I found out about the Support Internship through my Stipend Mentor and when I read the job description, it was exactly what I wanted to do. During the autumn term, it was particularly difficult to get accepted for work opportunities, and so this scheme not only guaranteed hours each week, it also cured my curiosity for Outreach and what happens behind the scenes. The internship is very informal and I was able to choose hours that work with my timetable. My degree has a lot of independent study so my schedules can change weekly. Shauna does check ins regularly to ensure that the hours and projects are manageable. I have been supported throughout the whole experience, which makes creating and imagining concepts easier and more enjoyable.

Currently myself and another intern (Asheyla) have been researching the existing safeguarding training available both within the university and through external companies and charities. This is so that we can create a virtual refresh that will be accessible for all Ambassadors in the hopes that safeguarding can become a less daunting topic. I didn’t realise how little I knew before starting this process and I have learnt a huge amount just through discussions alone. This opportunity has also enabled me to research and understand the inner workings of Outreach. We even created a work opportunity where we managed and directed a focus group so that we can give other Ambassadors hours in such unpredictable times. It was a win-win, as we got crucial information for the project and they got hours that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

The internship has actually helped me understand that there is definitely more to safeguarding than previously thought. It is very engaging and so important. Sociology, the degree I study, uncovers the inequalities in society and the social structures that interconnect, and so looking at the best techniques to use when creating a training programme as well as such relevant content has really made my 3 hours on a Monday fly by.

What I didn’t realise until I started writing this article was that this opportunity has helped guide me into thinking that I would like a career of some sort helping, supporting and preventing harm and I can do this whilst working behind the scenes. I can help others understand and challenge myself while still being in my comfort zone. One thing that was stressed to me when I applied for the job role was that it would be flexible and it really is. I am in control of how things plan out, while having the support available if it’s needed.