A Sustainable Healthcare Internship Experience at CSH

I’m currently studying biological sciences at uni and my recent modules highlighted the true extent of the damage we are doing and the urgent requirement to make substantial changes. After some research I found an internship for my second-year summer that was exactly what I needed, focusing on making big positive changes environmentally but also socially and financially.

What I have been doing 

I have been part of many different projects whilst working with the CSH team. My time was primarily spent on mental health topics, contributing to both a blog post on green social prescribing and content for a new course on sustainable mental healthcare, alongside a group of other amazing and enthusiastic interns and medical elective students. I also created course promotion materials and infographics.  In addition, I helped write a series of blogs for AHPs, this required both researching and writing skills. Additionally, I was able to summarise case studies into useful summary pages that can be read by health care professionals to inspire different green initiatives in their practices. 

What you might do 

There are a range of projects available when you start and they are explained and divided out based on your interests and past experiences. These projects can vary in length, with some taking a few days and others running throughout your whole time with the team. Sometimes new work will develop from the projects you have completed. Whichever you end up on there is always lots of support and guidance available for any and all questions you have. The weekly catch-up meetings give you a great opportunity to chat others about the projects you have been working on and let CSH  know if you have any problems or need a new project. There is always lots going on and you can take on however much you feel able to.   

How I feel completing the internship  

I really enjoyed my time with CSH – I was able to meet some truly amazing people doing incredible work and immerse myself in something I’m hoping to move forward with in the future.  At points it can be tricky trying to balance different deadlines and completing assignments whilst not in an office-environment, the project leaders are always available and can provide clarity; the weekly catch-ups are also useful to remind you that you are part of a team and create the working environment.  Knowing that the work you are doing is actually being used and posted out to the wider community is a truly fantastic feeling. There is a great sense of ‘I did that’ and knowing that it is contributing to help fight such a huge challenge makes it even better! 

Who is suited to the internship? 

I would recommend this internship to anyone who has even the slightest interest in creating a more environmentally sustainable future. You get to learn so much and are exposed to a wealth of knowledge that you won’t find elsewhere; by the end of your time your slight interest will have peaked to much greater levels.  You need to be self-motivated and flexible as the internship is completed online so you are in control of your day and what you do; however as you may get the chance to work with people across the globe you also need to be flexible with their time zones and working hours.  It is useful to have is clear communication skills both via email and online meetings. Not being in an office environment can make it harder to get work completed as sometimes the task or the desired outcome isn’t clear – you need to make sure you can clearly get your point across to ensure everyone is on the same page. And record everything important down – sometimes the meetings move quite quickly so make sure to note down your allocated tasks! 

Rebecca Gee

University of Exeter BSc Biological Sciences Year 3