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Public Policy|Southampton

A reflection on my internship experience with Public Policy|Southampton

Chloe Holt

When I first accepted my internship offer as the new Digital Communications Officer last August, I certainly didn’t expect to be writing this blog still sat in my room and collaborating with the team virtually. What a bizarre, disorientating yet rewarding year! 

I began my internship last September, having completely lost the concept of time I can’t tell if this feels like a lifetime ago or only yesterday! I was welcomed to the team and given a tonne of responsibility before I could even work out what the abbreviations that Giles uses in team meetings meant! Just as I was shown the ropes and started to get to grips with my new responsibility, events such as Evidence Week and Unpacking Migration began and it was my job to promote the hard work that the team had been working on behind the scenes. The engagement and interaction from these social media posts gave me a sense of pride and encouragement from the early days of my internship, growing my confidence as followers and readership numbers crept up through the year. 

My responsibilities ranged from scheduling social media posts to creating the monthly newsletter to updating content across the Public Policy website. With the sheer amount of work that the team produces, alongside the fantastic output by policy-engaged academics, no two days were ever the same. The consultations, briefs and projects that I have promoted over this academic year has made me proud to be studying and working at an institution where research is at the forefront of creating a brighter, sustainable future for people and the planet, and hone in on integral policy on current topical issues. 

Aside from the work of the institution and academics, the team at Public Policy|Southampton are some of the most dedicated, determined and hard-working people I have ever met, with no challenge too big to get over the line. I have felt honoured to be promoting the work that they dedicate so much time and effort into, and I hope that the team feel as though I have done this justice over the past year. 

At the start of the academic year, Thea showed me a Communications Plan with the goals set out to achieve over the following 10 months. Some of the targets that we have achieved this year include reaching 4,000 followers on Twitter and launching a LinkedIn offering that has picked up considerable momentum to a readership of almost 500 people. My monthly analytics reports evaluated what was going well and what needed improvement and I believe this has been helpful to achieve these goals and enhance the social game. On evaluation, I am so pleased with the outcome of the year and I am proud of what I achieved in my internship.

I can’t say that there haven’t been tough times and I have to admit it has been challenging balancing an internship with a full-time Masters degree at a new university. There have been times where I have struggled to balance all of my responsibilities, particularly around exam seasons but the understanding from the team, particularly from my line manager Thea, has been invaluable to me and I have felt supported beyond what is expected in a workplace to allow myself time and energy to maintain all these responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. 

The team have provided a wide array of enrichment opportunities to enhance my learning, abilities and skills over the past year. It is with a heavy heart that my internship has come to an end after such a challenging yet insightful year but I am so grateful to have been given such an incredible opportunity. As I say my goodbyes, finalise my dissertation and begin my graduate role, I am now equipped with new skills, experience and knowledge that although this year was hindered by isolation, lockdowns and a lot of Microsoft Teams, I wouldn’t have changed for the world. 

To the PPS team - thank you for everything. 


Chloe Holt

Digital Communications Officer, September 2020 - July 2021

MSc Marketing Management Student, Southampton Business School


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