Placement Spotlight: BT Applied Research team

I recently completed an internship with the Applied Research team at BT – and to my surprise it was not only professionally valuable, but led to some important personal insights as well.

Working within the Behavioural, Organisational and Systems Science unit in BT, I was given a broad direction of the project but had autonomy over where I wanted to take the project, how to build connections between BT’s topics and my Philosophy education, and how to conduct the qualitative analysis that was involved.

Yet, what stood out to me the most was the incredible support I received at BT – from my supervisor to the wider team, to individuals who volunteered their time for the project: everyone was open, generous with their time and truly welcoming. At no point did I feel like a weird Humanities ‘outsider’, my perspective was valued, challenged, and taken seriously.

I learned a great range of new skills, largely because I felt supported, received helpful feedback, and felt safe to ask for help when I needed it. In this and many other respects, the internship at BT was immensely valuable professionally – it provided new skills, expanded my network, and gave me a clearer sense of where my interest lie when looking beyond the academy.

But this manifested, maybe even more powerfully, in personal insights as well. The great team at BT made it clear to me how valuable it is for me to have such a structure wherever I decide to work, that I thrive in supportive environments focussed on collaboration, feedback, and constant exchange of ideas. The placement made more confident in where I wanted my future to go and gave me a clearer sense of direction. So for all those who have an inkling that they may want to venture outside the world of academia, for me, stepping out of your comfort zone and into supportive teams made a real difference.