The wonderful Akpene (a.k.a. Penny) joined the team as an intern, fresh from University of Leicester, back in February and the time has flown by! In this short blog, she gives a bit of an update of all the things she's been up to so far:
"I joined Solvers Studio on the 14th of February 2022. I was brought on as a community platform research and design intern. The role was created to help develop the Collective's community- building capacity, create new opportunities for the stakeholders involved to form partnerships, and learn how to associate, relate, and co-operate with each other. The aim of the position is to help the team explore different online prospects to facilitate the development and management of teams and communities which can be used by a variety of clients that Solvers Studio supports.
"My first week, focused on my induction into the collective - which involved reading and signing important policies and documents - and straight into my research and understanding of 'communities'. There was, and still is, a lot to learn! Thankfully I was able to connect with various associates of the company, including ones involved in a live project called the She Inspired Business Playbox, a series of workshops, presented over the span of 6-weeks, created to help women entrepreneurs in Leicester; particularly those in the BAME community. This project is a part of the Government's Community Renewal Fund, and helps members learn how to explore, design, construct and maintain various business ideas.
"The close work with this project has allowed me to practice a lot of skills, including research interviews, exploring communication tools, and even some marketing by writing copy for newsletters! It's great to work with a live project brief and being involved in real-world community building as I'm able to bring this learning into my development of the online space we're hoping to create.
"The Business Playbox community is small at the moment and it gives me the opportunity to speak to with people of varying backgrounds who shared a passion and enthusiasm to realise their dreams and full potential. Over this time, I've developed a real rapport with the women and have been able to dive deeper into my research. I've complemented this with studying several reports - both academic and non-academic - in order to discover more about community; the value of it and the processes involved in establishing true community behaviours.
"I've also taken part in networking sessions, including the She Inspired Global Network meetup, where I met different heads of the organisations in the network as well as hear from some great guest speakers, describing how they overcame many obstacles in order to start their own business. Not only are networking events like these important in helping to develop a community in this space, it also helps me develop my own local connections.
"My days as an intern see me doing research on relevant topics, conducting interviews, writing informative blogs, learning new skills, and learning how to use new software often. All the tasks I perform daily are focused on achieving the purpose and goals set when I was initially brought in as an intern, to assist in developing a comprehensive community platform. Even though my journey is far from over, I already see an improvement in my interpersonal skills as well as my technical ones. I know there is more in store for me. I anticipate more workshops, meeting more women, developing my network, and improving my technical skills. Hopefully, at the end of my internship with Solvers Studio, I will emerge a well-rounded individual capable of holding my own in the world of technology and research."