As part of my Masters course at the University of Surrey, I specifically chose an industrial placement project (click here for details) that was interesting to me, helped SmartKlub and allowed me to develop a new set of skills. As part of the project, I also produced a series of blog posts around the topic (see here).
The project required a lot of interviews with councils. The process of contacting and persuading individuals who I did not have a working relationship with is not a task to which I am naturally suited. This project enabled me to build new capabilities whilst also learning to depend on my existing skills to compensate.
I discovered that setting up meetings with council officers took much longer than we had scheduled. This was partially the result of one of the projects findings, i.e. officers have very little time; it was also due to the projects timing, as it coincided with both local and general elections. Officers were however, very helpful and open about their experiences once in the meetings, as were all other contributors to the project.
The dedication and diligence of everyone I worked with during the project was very inspiring. The staff at SmartKlub are both highly motivated and extremely generous with their time, sharing their considerable experience and taking a genuine interest in furthering the interests of everyone with whom they associate. Their ability to build a business with a sincere dedication to a triple-bottom- line despite a very challenging, politico- economic environment is both impressive and highly refreshing.
After working with SmartKlub I have become more confident in my ability to conduct a research project and in the ability of the determined individuals within the private sector to make a positive contribution to society. While the frustrations of many officers were highly concerning, the optimism and diligence of everyone I worked meant that I finished the project feeling reasonably positive.
I highly recommend the SmartKlub to any perspective interns.
So what’s next?
In October (2017) I began working towards my PhD in the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) at the University of Surrey. My project focuses on macro and labour economics in the context of environmental limits. For more details and to keep up to date on any future publications follow the link below: