As we begin with recruitment of our new interns for our 2022/23 Internship Scheme, we had a chat with our current Development Intern, Saskia, to find out about her journey to the Trust and what she has got out of her internship.
Can you describe your journey to the Sutton Trust?
My journey to the Sutton Trust was really borne out of my interest in education and access more widely. When I was at university I spent a lot of time working in student organisations, trying to make them as accessible as possible in a range of ways. I stayed on for a sabbatical year following my degree and it was there where I really began to get my teeth into organising for change and recognising the impact that programmes like the Sutton Trust runs, which give students the tools to make informed decisions about their futures and the confidence to push for their aspirations, can have. When I left that job I applied for an internship at the Trust because I felt I had done a lot of work on the post-18 side of access, but hadn’t really touched pre-university – in my job I had no say over who came to the university, only what their experience was like when they got there. Getting stuck in to making an impact on the other side of that was something that felt like the right next step for me and my interests!
Why did you choose to apply to the Sutton Trust?
Aside from wanting to touch on the pre-university side of access, the Trust for me just offered such a unique opportunity for learning. Because it has both a practical interventions side on the programmes and a more ‘think-tank’ style policy & research team, and because interests in the Trust range from early years to alumni work and from university access to apprenticeships, it offers a really unparalleled view on education and social mobility, and it’s a unique place to develop an understanding of the sector.
How/where did you find the internship?
I found the internship on a jobs website specifically for charity-sector jobs (https://www.charityjob.co.uk/)
What has been the highlight of your internship so far?
The highlight for me has just been building my knowledge around such experienced and passionate people who are so generous with their time and expertise.
What are some of the tasks/projects which you have been supporting with?
In the Development team we touch on a whole range of things including impact reporting, prospect research, and managing and developing relationships with partner organisations and donors. For me this has largely meant developing a way of looking after our regular givers, identifying new law firms and trusts & foundations to work with, setting up some analysis on our donors to help steward them and also to identify any patterns and gaps, and supporting with the writing of grant proposals and reports. I also do a lot of briefings for senior members of the organisation, which is a great way to get to know the Trust’s key relationships and history!
Has there been a key skill/topic which you have learned about since starting the internship?
I find it hard to just pick one out – I think for me it has just been the rapid increase in knowledge about social mobility and the education sector more broadly that has been really beneficial for my work at the Trust but also just for my own personal interests! Development work is very solution-focused in a way- it’s about recognising the impact the charity is having and seeking to build on that, and I have really enjoyed that pragmatic way of thinking and working.
Share a fun fact about yourself?!
I have an identical twin!
What are you most looking forward to for the upcoming months of your internship?
Learning more, getting to know the amazing team better, and hopefully improving my contribution to the amazing work of the Trust!