Hayley Duncan

“I interned on the VIFM’s one-punch assault research project, which aims to use data from one-punch assault trials to develop prevention policies and community awareness. My role in the project was to extract data from one-punch trial documents and create monthly summary reports. Every week I would receive five to ten trial documents from my supervisor. I would first determine whether the trial should be included in the project analysis according to pre-set criteria. If it was to be included, I would extract data about the offender/s, victim/s, and the circumstances of the attack and I would put that data into an Excel spreadsheet. Further, at the end of every month, I would create a summary report based on that month’s data, and send it to my supervisor who would then use that summary data to create an update report for the project higher-ups.

I learnt a variety of skills throughout the internship. I had a high degree of autonomy and so I had to learn how to balance my time between the internship, my studies and my personal life. This required pre-planning my weeks to accommodate everything, and reaching out to my supervisor when I was struggling with the workload. Further, as my internship was online, I had to adapt my pre-existing communication skills to online working such as by developing stronger email etiquette and ensuring I maintained regular contact with my supervisor. Finally, I learnt a lot of technical skills particularly in relation to Microsoft Excel. These are skills that I will always carry with me, and will be incredibly useful no matter what career I pursue post-graduation.

The internship was incredibly valuable to me as it was a fantastic opportunity to see what I could do with my Arts degree after graduation. While I had done a lot of research during my criminology major and knew postgraduate study was an option for me, I did not know what exactly a career in research entailed or if it was something that would interest me. The internship was a great way for me to connect with people who had gone down the research or PhD pathway, and to get first-hand insight into the benefits and drawbacks of a career in research. I have left the internship with a clearer idea of what I can do with my criminology major, and what kind of career I may want to pursue. That knowledge is absolutely invaluable and I would highly recommend any student do an internship so that they can get the same insights I did!”

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