Adding Value: Internships at the Social Value Portal
Rory Kemp – Research Intern
We’ve been delighted to host Rory as a Research Intern at the Social Value Portal for the last two summers. He has primarily been contributing his skills in GIS and social research and getting the opportunity to develop them further, as well as getting experience of working directly with clients. Here is a recap of his experiences, in his own words.
This 9-week internship is the second stint I have completed as a ‘Research Intern’ at Social Value Portal, the first being a 10-week internship I completed last summer before completing the final year of my undergraduate degree in Geography BA (Hons) at Newcastle University.
It has been amazing to see the huge strides forward that the company has taken in the ten-month period that I was away and to see the same familiar faces and many new ones!
What I have worked on…
My official job title is ‘Research Intern’, although this doesn’t do justice to have huge variety of work that I have been involved in over this 9-week period.
The ‘legacy’ of my first internship was the Local Needs Analysis reports that I designed, and the primary objective of my internship this time around was to give these reports a ‘face-lift’ to make sure that we can recommend targeted social value initiatives that are aligned to the needs of a local community in the best possible way. This involved designing a new comprehensive data collection process and presenting the research findings in a more structured way.
Aside from my work on the local needs analysis reports, I have had the privilege of gaining experience in the array of services that the Social Value Portal offers, with exposure to the consultancy, account management and planning sides of the business.
A particular piece of consultancy work that I enjoyed was the project that we completed for the Royal Marines Association Charity (RMAC). This involved creating a bespoke social value measurement tool which captured the unique work that the charity is undertaking to support existing Royal Marines and veterans. It felt very fulfilling to be able to support that great work that the charity is doing.
What I liked about the internship…
I’d have to say that the thing I liked most about this internship is the environment that has been created by the Social Value Portal where all innovation is encouraged, respected and supported. As an intern, I have always been encouraged to explore new ideas and ways of doing things. I have also been given the responsibility and confidence to take my ideas forward and develop them into something which can add real value to the business and the services that we offer clients.
Challenges I faced during my internship…
The biggest challenge, yet also the biggest opportunity that I faced during my internship was the responsibility that I was given. This responsibility ranged from dealing directly with clients, pushing forward with a new research proposal, leading a discussion at our company strategy day and giving presentations at important meetings. All of these different responsibilities exposed me to new experiences and helped me to develop new business skills.
Being given this level of responsibility and first-hand experience all the way throughout my internship is something that I am immensely grateful for.
In the next couple of weeks, I am excited to start on my Sustainable Urbanism MSc course at University College London using the knowledge and skills that I have developed from my undergraduate degree and my two internships at the Social Value Portal.
I am looking forward to tackling the key challenges facing urban sustainability with a social value hat on and researching how social value can contribute to sustainable urbanism as part of my dissertation.
If you are interested in working with the Social Value Portal, please see our vacancies page for current job and internship openings. We also welcome speculative applications from enthusiastic individuals for all roles (internships, sales, accounts, research, technical) – please send your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.