Bursary winners' video
Tell us about yourself...
Jamila: My name is Jamila La Malfa-Donaldson. I've just completed my third year of a Chemical Engineering degree with a Masters to follow in September, and I've been awarded the Gateway bursary.
Rosie: My name is Rosie Besant and I've just finished my second year of my Drama and English Literature degree, and I've been awarded the UK Professional bursary.
Ropafadzo: My name is Ropa Rusere and I study International Relations with German and I've been awarded a Gateway bursary; I'm in my second year.
Lauren: My name's Lauren Butcher, I'm a second year Law student, and I've been awarded the Enterprise International bursary and a Gateway bursary.
What placement will you be doing this summer?
Jamila: My summer internship will be completed in India, Bangalore, where I'll be working with an NGO in their manufacturing and design of waste-water treatment units.
Rosie: I will be interning for two weeks at Tatler Magazine in central London and I'm going to be an advertising intern, and I will just be helping with lots of different tasks around the office but I will also be compiling a competitor report for them as well.
Ropafadzo: I'll be going to Guatemala in the summer and I'll be spending four weeks there working with Social Enterprise Corps, so I'll be doing different projects working on international development, so for example water management, renewable energy, and so on. I'll just be doing different projects relating to international development in Guatemala over the summer.
Lauren: I am doing a four-week internship as a human-rights intern for an NGO in Tanzania, so I'll be working with predominantly widows and women who don't know about the proprietary rights that they have after their husbands have died, working in microfinance projects, legal research, and also hoping to raise awareness of the legal issues involved.
What skills will you develop through this placement?
Jamila: I aim to really gain a cultural understanding of India as well as develop my entrepreneurship skills and communication skills.
Rosie: My main one is to develop my sense of commercial awareness which I'm already developing because I work in retail at the moment, but I also want to just expand my knowledge of a really, really fast-paced environment. I'll be working in the work-up to London Fashion Week so it will be really - being at the centre of it all in one of, you know, the biggest fashion cities in the world.
Ropafadzo: Most importantly I hope to gain cultural awareness skills, so for example being able to work with people in different countries and different environments, and that's especially important especially as I want to go into international development, that's my chosen field, and on top of that I also want to gain skills in social enterprise because that's something that I would want to pursue as a career after graduation.
Lauren: I'd really like to develop good communication skills, so, learning how to deal with difficult subjects in a concise way, and being able to explain them clearly. I'd also hope to develop my ability to think on my feet and to be innovative, and to deal with problems in a creative way.
How will this award help you with this placement?
Jamila: My bursary will cover the costs of the programme in order for me to complete the internship there for two months and - as well as accommodation and various networking events.
Rosie: The bursary will be used to cover my day-to-day expenses for food and also travel.
Ropafadzo: My bursary is mainly being used to cover the cost of the programme fees and also the travel, as in the flight to get from here to Guatemala.
Lauren: The money I've received will mostly go towards paying for the internship which is quite expensive, and paying for my flights and visa to go and work in Tanzania because you have to pay quite a lot to volunteer. And also to cover my vaccinations as well.
How do you hope this placement will help you in future?
Jamila: Well, not only do I aim to gain a life-changing experience, I also aim to develop a stronger confidence in my career ambitions as well as skills that I will use throughout my degree.
Rosie: I really hope it will open up things that haven't been available to me before; in terms of things like brand management and working in retail it will definitely open up my chances and increase my chances of working in brand management. Not coming from a fashion background, it will really increase my awareness of how that works, sort of in a magazine environment but in a kind of customer-facing environment, as well as how advertising works.
Ropafadzo: Well, after taking part in this placement I hope to be able to first of all to get into contact with other organisations that deal or that work in international development, so for example I want to know what are the big names in social enterprise and especially in international development, and at the same time I also want to be able to know what it's like to work in a developing country, and know the kind of challenges and so on. So in terms of opportunities that would be able to open up my eyes a little bit more, give me real work experience of the field that I eventually want to go into after graduation.
Lauren: I want to work for an international commercial law firm and that's quite a competitive process, so I would hope that my experience will give me competitive edge in my applications, and also give me real experience in a country and in an area that law firms are looking to expand to, so it will make me more employable and a much stronger applicant in my training contract applications.
For more information on the Work Experience Bursary Scheme go to: www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/internships/funding/index.aspx