Posted: 09 December 2014

'Interning has been a fun and worthwhile experience'

Earlier this month I met with Monitoring and Evaluation Intern Sumayyah and Analyst Intern Trudie. As part of the same team, they’re based here at our headquaters. I wanted to find a little more about them, their roles and what brought them here.

You both volunteer with the Evidence and Impact team; could you tell me a little bit about your roles here?

Sumayyah (S): I’m looking at return interviews- these are interviews given to young runaways. Basically, when a young person goes missing, The Children’s Society get involved and give them an interview to try and find out where they’ve been, what made them chose to run away and what help we can offer. I’m looking at developing a tool to standardise these interviews- at the moment they’re all different and it’s tricky to analyse the data.

Trudie (T): My main project is looking at the ethnicity and demographic data for the Children’s Society’s service users. I analyse the data, looking for relationships and trends. 

S: I’m really enjoying it so far.

Sounds like you’re doing some really interesting work. Do you have any set outcomes you’re hoping to achieve?

S: There have been limits with the time, so I’m mainly hoping to leave recommendations.

T: I’m quite similar. Because of timing I’m looking at it broadly and just trying to do as much as I can.

S: It’s gone so quickly.

T: I can’t believe it.

You’re more than half way through now, have there been any surprises along the way?

S: I didn’t realise how hard Excel is to navigate. I had to learn a lot there.

T: I didn’t expect to be given so much responsibility- I’ve done a lot of phone interviews.  It was scary at first, but I’m used to it now.

What made you want to intern here?

S: I did my dissertation on child poverty in the UK and The Children’s Society was featured in a lot of my research. I saw the internship advertised and thought it’d be good to put what I’d learnt into practice. It’s also just round the corner from where I live.

T: I wanted to get into the charity sector but didn’t have any direct experience- so I decided to do an internship and get a flavour for it. I do want to work for a children’s charity though.

You both want to work for children’s charities, what’s made you feel so passionately about the cause?

S: I feel there’s little help for young people. They go through so many problems and I feel there just isn’t enough out there. For a wealthy country, we’ve got a lot of underlying problems that people don’t realise are there. It’s important to give guidance to the future generation and make them feel valued.

T: Sumayyah’s pretty much summed it up really. They’re the most vulnerable within society and sometimes they’re not given a voice. Organisations like The Children’s Society give them the help they need. 

S: They have so much talent that they don’t realise. I often think ‘Wow, you don’t even know how good you are’. They’re used to being put down. 

Have you worked in this field before then?

S: I’ve worked in a youth centre. I was only there for a short time but I met some really good kids.

T: I worked as a mentor for bright students from disadvantaged areas. I wanted to help them strive to do more and reach their full potential.

Is this where you see your future then?

S: If I had the chance, yes. 

T: I like to do work similar to what I’ve been doing here. 

S: The charity environment has been really friendly so far, especially here. If I had the chance to work here I’d definitely take it. 

T: Everyone is so supportive here.

Any last words on your internship?

S: It’s been such a fun, worthwhile experience…

T: Yes definitely. It’s also been a great insight into working in the charity sector. #

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