Working as an intern for Disability Wales: Emily’s experience

A graphic that reads Working as an intern for Disability Wales. There is a quote below the title that says 'I really appreciated those opportunities to try so many new experiences and develop my skills. The writing is set on a light blue background.

Here at Disability Wales, we have welcomed many eligible students in Wales to join us as interns for a short period of time. Our most recent intern was Emily, a neuroscience student at Cardiff University. Today, she’s here to tell us all about her experience.

Working as an intern for Disability Wales: Emily’s experience

This is a short blog about my experience working as a Virtual Project Assistant for Disability Wales.

I am currently going into my third year of university studying neuroscience at Cardiff University.

I started a virtual internship this summer through Go Wales, an organisation that helps students who may face barriers attaining work experience.

I was originally hesitant about how an internship would take place online, having never taken part in fully virtual work experience before. However, once I got started, I quickly got stuck in.

Why Disability Wales?

I wanted to work for Disability Wales because after doing my own research, I appreciated as a disabled person their aims at removing disabling barriers in society and promoting the voices and rights of disabled people.

We quickly set up a virtual meeting and discussed what I could bring to the organisation. I started working on research, as I felt this aligned well with skills I have developed in my degree, such as statistics and analysis.

From the beginning everyone was welcoming and supportive, offering help and advice if I needed it. I always felt supported and able to ask questions, while also having freedom to independently work.

What the internship involved

The research that I helped to prepare mainly related to the formation of the upcoming Disabled People’s Manifesto. This included creating a survey to send out to members, observing and analysing the content of focus groups and taking part in virtual meetings.

A photo of Emily sitting by her desk. Her laptop is open and there are a couple of books beside it.

I really enjoyed observing the focus groups, listening to the diverse range of experiences and opinions, and seeing how this will be used to influence and improve policies and their implementation. 

However, I was also offered a wealth of other opportunities in various roles. I really appreciated these opportunities to try so many new experiences and develop my skills. For example, I took minutes for a meeting of the DRILL Ethics Committee and took part in weekly staff meetings. 

Final thoughts

I feel incredibly lucky to have had this experience with Disability Wales! This placement has given me a beneficial opportunity to learn about the Social Model of Disability, the effectiveness of current legislation and the active research taking place about disabling barriers in society. 

Thank you to Emily for her contribution to Disability Wales during her internship, we’re so glad that she enjoyed her time with us!

You can find out more about internships for disabled students here.

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