Blog, Case Study December 2020

Internship reflections: Stephanie Martin

Earlier this week, we put out a call to organisations interested in hosting a Robertson Scholar for our 2021 Summer Internship Scheme. In this blog, Stephanie Martin tells us about her experience with the National Library of Scotland in summer 2020.

"This experience has really enabled me to evaluate my abilities and get to know myself as a worker."

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores in March this year, and the country went into lockdown, I was incredibly worried about my employment prospects over the summer holidays. Thankfully, the Robertson Trust and the National Library of Scotland were able to host an online internship for me to experience working in the Public Programmes department!

The internship lasted for six-weeks and in liaison with my line manager I developed an outline for an online learning resource on Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic book, Sunset Song. The resource focuses particularly on highlighting working class women’s voices, which was highly relevant and important to me personally.

By the end of my internship I produced a brief that will be used to commission the learning resource, a reflective piece of writing on my experience as a working class woman in modern Scotland, and a poem which responded to the book as a stimulus.

I also contributed a lot of research and design suggestions, including a carefully considered selection of gallery resources from elsewhere in the Library. The learning resource itself will go live on the NLS website in March 2021, and I am very excited to see all of my work come together!

Every second week I was part of online team meetings, at which I made a couple of presentations. These meetings enabled me to develop confidence in public speaking to an online audience. This will be extremely valuable in the short term, as part of my final year assessment at university involves presenting online.

I received research and employability coaching from a member of the HR team at the library during my time working with them, and through this learned some very valuable tips and techniques that I will take with me into any future job roles I obtain. In particular, I learned to be confident in my abilities and to be more forthcoming with my ideas.

This experience has really enabled me to evaluate my abilities and get to know myself as a worker. Having the opportunity to work online was initially worrying to me, as I’m not the most computer literate person, but having this opportunity allowed me to develop resilience and increase my IT skills.

I cannot thank the National Library of Scotland and The Robertson Trust enough for enabling me to take part in this fantastic internship! Looking to the future, I plan to investigate the field of online learning as a possible career opportunity and will certainly make the most of the skills and abilities I have developed this summer.

Could you benefit from hosting a Robertson Scholar in 2021?

The scheme was established in 2014 to help our current 3rd year Robertson Scholars to enhance their C.V and gain valuable experience in the workplace before entering their final year of university.

We are keen to hear from potential hosts from all sectors. Key information includes:

  • We can fund up to 225 hours of work for each scholar and this can be completed full-time or part-time. We are completely flexible and leave it up to the host organisation and scholar to agree the working pattern. It can be part-time or full-time and has no fixed dates - we ask that you decide this with the successful candidate
  • Fully funded by TRT based on the Real Living Wage (£9.50 per hour)
  • Hosts can interview interested scholars and choose the most suitable candidate for the role/organisation

If interested in hosting an intern you would be required to complete a job/role description for the potential internship, please email to request the template required for this. Download our flyer for our internship scheme here.