"This summer I had the pleasure of working with Carers Trust Scotland, helping plan and execute 2019’s Scottish Young Carers Festival – a large event held every year that allows young carers across the country to take a break from caring and have their voices heard by decision makers.
"As a neuroscience student aspiring to a career in scientific research, interning with a care charity might seem counterintuitive at first glance – but I’ve surprised myself by how much I’ve learned, and just how relevant it’s been for me. I’ve had the opportunity to help manage a large complex project, with challenges which tested and built upon my own problem solving, communication skills, and the confidence to make decisions when the need arises. Even after the event, I’ve been tasked with helping extract data from festival evaluations, which at the very least is a key aspect of any research-based career.
"However, helping with the Scottish Young Carers Festival was not the only event I had the opportunity to take part in. I got to visit a college expo in Perth with colleagues where I learnt more about Carers Trust Scotland, its different branches of work and plans for the future.
"A particular highlight however, was attending the Media Ambassador residential programme, where I had the chance to meet a group of young adult carers and hear their stories, as well as learn some useful tips on conducting interviews. It was great to see the more interpersonal side of the organisation, and really put the importance of the Scottish Young Carers Festival into perspective.
"The Carers Trust Scotland team was always very kind and supportive, and any nervousness I had was soon gone within the first week. Although a very relaxed working atmosphere, I appreciate the level of responsibility I was trusted with; being a main point of contact for the young carer services and event providers. It gave me free reign to take my own initiative in regard to ordering merchandise and approaching new providers. This made it all the more rewarding to see the Scottish Young Carers Festival finally come together at the end of July. Admittedly, the running of the event itself did have its own stressful moments, but I feel I am a better, more confident person for it, and I’m glad everybody had a good time.
"All in all, I can’t imagine any career sector that wouldn’t benefit from interning with Carers Trust Scotland over the summer, for those interested in business, politics, science, or health or social science – there are so many transferrable skills and connections to be made. As my internship now draws to a close, I recognise this has been a very valuable opportunity for me, and I’m sad to say goodbye to the team at Carers Trust Scotland as my new term starts at university."