November 8, 2021, by School of Medicine

30 at 30: The Dean’s Academic Health Sciences Internship

Hello, we are Alex and Amelia! In this blog we introduce ourselves as the new interns, we try to explain our newly created role, and explore what drew us to the position as well as discussing some of our exciting initial plans for the upcoming year… although it’s still early days so forgive us if we sound unsure on this last point! 

The internship was advertised to all health sciences students approaching the end of their 2nd year of studies. A sandwich year between the 2nd and 3rd year of the undergraduate course, nurses, physiotherapists, midwives and sports rehabilitation students were invited to step off the course and spend 12 months as a paid university staff member! We can’t believe our luck that we managed to land the opportunity! 

The internship was created after years of development. Aimed at opening opportunities to undergraduate health students and in response to the national shortage of nursing academics and teachers.  

The arrival of this email into our inboxes caused a similar reaction in each of us – a feeling of interest and curiosity. Such an unusual offering in amongst our inboxes! We both applied thinking, what’s the worst that can happen!? And now here we are as the school’s first Health Sciences Interns. Our first week has been a whirlwind, the brilliance and implications of the opportunity are still very much sinking in! 

Both of us taking time off the BSc Adult Nursing course at the university, we are enthusiastic to pioneer this role. We will be assisting in research projects, teaching, admissions, policy, board meetings and other exciting opportunities.  

Meet the interns


I was born in the Queens Medical Centre, the same building in which the nursing school is based. 8 years ago, I left an undergraduate nursing programme in Liverpool following a mental health crisis. This experience taught me lessons about care, commitment, accountability and community that I am passionate to share with others and develop further. Often found crying in the library (in a good way), I am absolutely thrilled to be on board for this fantastic opportunity.   


I knew from a young age that I liked looking after people and helping others, so combined with my fascination for human biology, it led me looking into a career in nursing. My interests for discovering more about the profession have only grown since starting at the university. Moving away from my home in North Yorkshire was a challenge, but an exciting step I had to take. From all the evidence-based learning and practical engagement sessions taught, I want to continue to build on my learning and I’m keen to develop my skills further. To the point where it seems like I can’t learn anymore! This internship allows me to gain new insight and perspective into research and teaching which I (alongside Alex) am passionate about. 

Our first week

The first few days for us have involved a whirlwind of meetings, induction and orientation of the medical school. We were introduced to some of the brilliant members of the health sciences staff who we are intending to work alongside throughout the year. Discussions in these meetings revolved around getting to know each other, initial planning, preparation and what our roles will be during the first few months of the internship. Alongside the various meetings, we underwent induction training and set up of our office space and new work laptops (which we were excited about receiving)! New staff uniforms and lanyards were also given to us, which we are proud to wear, and they make us feel like part of the team. 

As new interns, we didn’t quite know what to expect and were nervous (but excited) to be part of something that no school has ever done before! Although this is a strange new role for us, the staff were very welcoming and supportive during our first week which has made things feel more manageable and encouraged a sense that everyone is in this together! Reflexive diaries were given to us and open discussions about expectations have really contributed to a sense of flexibility and possibility. We are excited to start this journey and bring our unique perspective and insight into the new role and into the staff team. 

Our goals for the internship


I share Amelia’s enthusiasm for improving student experience and harnessing the potential of the internship. I believe that nursing is one of life’s best offerings and being able to hear and learn from students’ own perspectives about what nursing means to them is something I am really looking forward to. I’m particularly keen to be able to be in sessions and listen to different disciplines within the school such as mental health, midwives and sports rehab. I really want to make the internship our own, keep students and staff updated via an ongoing blog, sharing as the role develops about what we’re up to. Overall, I hope to be able to soak up the huge amount of learning opportunities presented by this internship in order to share them with my peers and make me the best nurse I can be, bringing me ever closer to a fulfilling and rewarding career.  


What I hope to gain from the internship is to learn more about research in the nursing and healthcare fields and the routes into becoming a clinical academic. This is something that has become of interest to me since starting in the nursing programme, and I am intrigued and eager to discover more. The teacher training provided is something I’m particularly interested in linking with the student experience and looking at how one facilitates the other, as well as (like Alex) understanding the different perspectives, styles and techniques of teaching from the other disciplines. I also want to delve into this further and hopefully help improve the overall student experience at the university, as this is something that means a lot to me and I’m passionate about. I want to advocate a positive student experience and make their learning environment enjoyable and supportive. Despite whether I intend to go into research or teaching after this internship, I want to learn and gain as much knowledge and skills as I possibly can to take into future healthcare practice and help other students do the same. 

In summary, we are thoroughly excited to be starting this journey into the unknown. A completely new experience for both of us, we hope to achieve as much as we can and live up to the expectations of our students and fellow staff members. We are strong advocates for promoting progression within healthcare through research and teaching, and we hope to influence other students into applying for this role next year. 

Thank you for reading – we hope to continue blogging! 

Posted in 30 Years of Nursing