Laura Bell, interned at the Norfolk County Council Laura Bell, interned at the Norfolk County Council

Laura Bell: "An internship is a great opportunity to try out a new sector and broaden your experience".

Laura joined Norfolk County Council to work on a project, 'Developing Norfolk's Future Workforce'. Laura talks about her internship and how the experience benefitted her.

What drew you to become involved in the UEA Internship Programme?

My previous job had come to an end and I was looking to gain experience with a different employer. The role at the Council interested me because I had previously considered pursuing a career in local government or the Civil Service and I thought the internship would be a great opportunity to find out more about working in those situations.

How did your UEA experience help prepare you for your internship?

I worked as a student ambassador throughout my time at UEA and gained so much experience from working with the Recruitment and Outreach department. I developed lots of transferrable skills in communication and administration which I was able to utilise during my internship. The experience of working with local schools also gave me good background knowledge for the specific project I was working on: researching enterprise and careers education in Norfolk schools.

What would you say was the most enjoyable aspect of your role?

Reporting back on my findings to the Developing Norfolk's Future Workforce group and seeing how the work I had done was going to be used to influence policy and support schools in developing their careers education.

Was there anything unexpected or extra that you gained from your internship?

I learnt a lot about the regional economic picture, particularly regarding the growth sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk. Looking at how the Council is working to address the skills gap in the region was also very interesting. The importance of comprehensive careers education in schools for giving young people the advice they need to make informed decisions about their future was also something I had not fully appreciated before. It also made me wish I had studied a STEM subject as, particularly in this region with sectors such as energy, manufacturing and agriculture, this is where the jobs of the future are!

Would you recommend the programme to others?

Yes. An internship is a great opportunity to try out a new sector and broaden your experience. It is also an opportunity to develop the kind of soft skills that employers are looking for. The process is very straightforward and the UEA Internships team are very helpful in terms of sorting out all the paperwork.

If you would like to find out more about the UEA Internship Programme, contact the UEA Internships Team on 01603 593917 or email