Erin: Reflection of my internship experience

I had the most amazing opportunity this summer to intern with Carers Trust Scotland. My job role was Youth Engagement Assistant – so I was mainly working on youth engagement projects and planning the Scottish Young Carers Festival. I have experience myself of being a paid carer and I know how rewarding and challenging it can be to care for someone. To hear experiences from young carers was very insightful, and I felt privileged to be able to help in providing support and meaningful respite to them.

When I first started this internship, I was extremely nervous, but that was all put at rest when I discovered how lovely the staff team are. Despite working from home and meeting everyone digitally, I could not have felt more supported – everyone always reminded me that they were just an email away. There were weekly staff catch ups where I could enjoy everyone rambling on about their favourite Netflix shows and the unbearable summer heat, which made it feel like you were really sitting in an office with your colleagues.

The working environment was very relaxed, but you were also given trust and responsibility with your tasks. As part of planning the online Festival, for example, I was given the responsibility of reaching out to organisations asking if they could provide content and I was also responsible for scheduling social media posts to promote the event. What also gave me a great sense of responsibility and trust, but I also really enjoyed, was live tweeting during our Young Carer Voice: Consultation Event.

One of the high points for me was meeting some of the young carers and learning a bit about their background and caring role. I would take part in meetings and training sessions (I even learnt a bit myself at these sessions!) with the Media Ambassadors and the Young Adult Carer Advisory Group. I admit, it wasn’t the best meeting everyone through Zoom calls, however, we all made the most of it and every young carer I met was so lovely and enthusiastic about whatever it was they were working on. The Media Ambassadors made such an amazing film, and you could see their passion about making the film when they took part in the workshops.

As an accounting and finance student, I got the chance to speak to the Carers Trust Finance team and Carers Trust Scotland’s Office Manager to learn a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. I got to learn things that hadn’t been mentioned much in my university degree, for example, the details of what is different for a charity when reporting finances versus a private company.

I truly enjoyed working with every member of staff, and especially my manager, Nicola Bell, who has such a great passion for what she does. I learned a lot by doing this internship, for example, the amount of work and planning that goes into a Festival. But I still don’t know what it’s like to actually go the Scottish Young Carers Festival! But this is not the end for me - I will definitely be showing up as a volunteer at next year’s Festival.

Coming from someone who had never worked with young people or worked in planning events, this internship was such a great experience and I enjoyed it so much! It opened my eyes to the world outside of accounting and finance. I would, without a doubt, recommend this internship experience to any and every university student!