01 Jun 2022 Supporting Professional Development: Reading University Student Internship
This is the second year in which we have provided a paid internship to a student on Reading University’s Masters course on Species Identification and Survey Skills. These placements allow us to seasonally flex our workforce a little, while the student has the opportunity to shadow experienced technical specialists during fieldwork, develop their own survey capabilities, and also to learn key consultancy skills such as team working, prioritisation and problem solving in a commercial environment.
This year we have been joined by Tom Scott, who is thriving in our Oxford team. Tom has summarised his experience to date as follows:
‘I joined BSG Ecology at the end of March as part of a 6-month placement from the University of Reading. As my start time coincided with the start of the survey season, I have had to get stuck in straight away, which has worked out well as I have been able to learn so much from everyone here already. I have been involved in a wide range of surveys including those for great crested newt and dormice, as well as assisting on a Phase 1 habitat survey. Being able to put into practice skills that I have previously learnt through university into the field has been incredibly valuable.
Everyone here at BSG have been incredibly welcoming, very considerate of my level of understanding and have been very helpful at furthering my ecological knowledge.
I have also been very fortunate to be given the chance to complete several different reports and even write a few fee proposals myself. At first it was a rather daunting task but with everyone willing to help it has really helped me to develop.’
Last year we were joined by Matthew Simmons, who took up his internship position between March and September 2021 inclusive. We are delighted to report that Matthew has now secured a full time position as an ecological consultant with Wood Group. This provides clear evidence of the value of the initiative in helping students gain the skills needed to develop a career in ecological consultancy.