Jasmine, 16, from the American School in London, shares her hands-on interning experience at FIRST UK headquarters this summer. Jasmine is no FIRST noob, she spent three years in FIRST Lego League and two years as Brand Manager in the FIRST Robotics Competition. From developing content to directing her own spoof film, Jasmine reflects on her two-week internship with practical tips for others to follow.
Disclaimer: This blog was written and published in Jasmine’s own words – no bribes were offered to influence the following flattery, that happened naturally… and we’re kind of chuffed about it. Thanks Jasmine!
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At FIRST UK, interns aren’t given “busy work” and “pointless” jobs to do like printing copies or making tea and coffee; we truly do things that matter. In just two short weeks, as a group of interns we completed a multitude of tasks, from creating tutorials and resources for teams to filming a spoof video for the website. And to top it off, I now have the chance to write a blog post, so I can share my experience with you guys!
My experience was filled with nothing other than working hard and having fun. It was my first time working in an office of any sort, and it has raised the bar high for any that follow. The office environment was friendly, with enough space to provide independence, space for working and experimenting. But at the same time the team was close enough that if us interns needed any questions answered, advice or a new task to complete, we could ask with ease (and the team was more than happy to give us something to do).
Watch the spoof film Jasmine, Tomas and Sarah produced to develop our FIRST UK narrative “the UK’s most epic STEM programme as voted by robots.”
One of my first tasks was to research and create a database of all FIRST Tech Challenge guides, tutorials and manuals that currently exist. Although there was a lot of material to go through, this was an important job to do because without this information we wouldn’t know what resources still need to be made, what is out there and should be improved, and what is already great for teams to use. Additionally, I took notes on ways to improve the content I found, such as using better verbs to help teams understand how to do something and taking clearer photos of the steps and annotating them with arrows and circles. From this database of information, we began to create videos and guides for teams to use next season.
As a student who has participated in FIRST programmes before, it was so interesting to see the inner workings of the organisation. Additionally, although I am interested in some areas of STEM, my internship also allowed me to explore the communications side too. I learned about how FIRST UK coordinates its outreach, how they present themselves to the world, as well as their approach to recruiting schools. The team is incredibly open, willing to teach and tell you anything you would like to know regarding how a small organisation runs. I was even invited to sit in on a team meeting!
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Flashback of Jasmine (left) during a robotics session with her FIRST Robotics Competition team.
No matter your passion – engineering, designing, programming, media, communications – there is always something to do here. If you are interested in an internship with FIRST UK, I would recommend that you make sure you are proactive. There is always so much to do, so if there’s a task you see needs doing, just let the team know, and they’ll give you the opportunity. It’s for all of these reasons that if the opportunity arose I would highly recommend for you to participate in an internship at FIRST UK, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
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Jasmine’s favourite FIRST moment of all time (apart from her internship with us) was being the operator for her FIRST Robotics Competition regional event in Chicago this year, where she felt “accomplished and proud of the whole team” each time they won a match.
For ongoing internship opportunities hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org with a blurb about why you’re awesome and what you’d like to learn – we’ll take it from there!