Research Centre Summer 2019 Interns: DCRC | Leah Williams
Over the summer months, the Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) welcomed their first Intern into the office. Leah Williams had just completed her 2nd year studying Graphic Design at UWE Bristol and was thrilled to get the opportunity to spend 10-weeks experiencing life inside the research centre, based in the heart of Bristol’s Harbourside.
Before she headed back into student life, Leah wrote up a little summary of her time with DCRC.
My summer at the DCRC by Leah Williams
I have just spent ten weeks of the summer working as an intern at the Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) and what an experience it has been!
The DCRC create new and exciting ways of sharing stories by coming together and focusing on using technology inclusively to have a critical impact on people, for the greater good. Not sure about you, but this is most definitely a future I want to be part of!
As a rising level 3 Graphic Design student, I have learnt so much about what it is like to use my skills in a workplace environment as well as gaining an understanding how I can utilise my expertise. This opportunity has given me confidence in my abilities as well as improving my time management and organisational skills.
Throughout my time at the DCRC, I have mainly been working alongside Nicole Foster – Creative Economy Research Fellow – to help organise an innovative conference, which would take place during the last week of my internship – Creative, Knowledge Cities 2019: Rethinking, Resisting and Reimagining the Creative City.
The conference was fantastic! It explored the critical tension between the creative sector, cities and universities, which I think is incredibly important to discuss in the current state of the world. It takes a step towards a more inclusive future. One of my key tasks was to assist with designing material for the conference; this included designing the programme, signage and promotional material. I also took care of the conference website and spent time liaising with speakers.
During the first two weeks of my internship, I had the opportunity to attend the South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) Robotics Workshop. This was a two-day workshop where the fellows shared their findings from their research. I also attended the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D, workshop in Bath. Whilst there, I met some incredible people. It was great to learn different ways of thinking and how I can apply these processes to my own practice, which was really valuable to me. It was also very interesting to get an insight into the opportunities that take place outside of education, for creatives.
Following this, I was challenged with designing printed material for the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D and the Ambient Literature: Words We Never Wrote project that has been taking place in Bower Ashton Library.
It has been a busy summer but I am so grateful to have had this fantastic opportunity – being surrounded by such incredibly diverse people was a reward in itself!
I would advise anyone rising to level 3 to look for the opportunity to do an internship before leaving education, even if you’re uncertain of the job description. What is most important is that it gives you experience and a taste of the real world outside of education, something that is both valuable to you and your future employer. If you are anything like me and don’t have a clue about what type of job you’d like in the future – because you want to do everything (!) – then this is a great place to start!
Nicole Foster on Leah
Leah was an incredible asset to the Digital Cultures Research Centre over the summer. She contributed to multiple projects, but especially to CKC 2019: Rethinking, Resisting, and Reimagining the Creative City conference. The conference organising team did not have the capacity or skill set to focus much attention toward the design of the website, programme, and social media graphics. So we were keen to give Leah the opportunity and provide her support to develop materials based on the conference theme and a colour scheme. She produced fantastic work, and I am certain her design skills made a major impact in terms of how well the conference was received by participants.
Leah’s internship was an important reminder of the incredible skills, creative vision, and strong work ethic demonstrated by so many UWE Bristol students, as well as our role as researchers, instructors and staff to help support their continued development. We sincerely hope that we have the opportunity to work with Leah again, and look forward to supporting other UWE Bristol students in the future.
Nick Triggs on Leah
Leah’s willingness and enthusiasm to extend herself, and quiet confidence in her own capabilities were a delight. She worked seamlessly across a wide range of projects, managing competing and tight deadlines with a hugely impressive degree of professionalism and energy! Always looking to anticipate needs, offer suggestions, and happily take on board constructive feedback, Leah quickly became a key member of the team.
Perhaps most importantly for us, her reflections on the learning & growth that this internship offered through exposure and connection to a breadth of new and exciting experiences and contexts, make clear the value in supporting and creating these opportunities for sharing and engagement.