During June, we were lucky enough to be joined at IP Inclusive by Susan Nelson, an intern funded by law firm Clifford Chance as part of their “LIFT” scheme for newly-appointed trainees. Susan was involved in a range of IP Inclusive and Careers in Ideas projects and proved a valuable ally for many of our volunteers. We are delighted to report that she has agreed to stay on with us, as a part-time IP Inclusive-funded intern, for the next four months.
In this post, she reflects on the time she’s spent with us so far, what she’s learned and the people she’s enjoyed working with.
Hello, I’m Susan, a future trainee solicitor at Clifford Chance. For the past four weeks I have been participating in the Clifford Chance LIFT scheme and interning here at IP Inclusive.
I have loved my time at IP Inclusive. It has been a great opportunity to learn how a not-for-profit organisation operates, to build my professional network, and to develop the key skills that are expected of a trainee solicitor.
During the past month, I have been involved in a wide variety of exciting work. One of the main projects I have been working on is producing IP Inclusive’s first impact report. The report looks back at the past year and evaluates the impact IP Inclusive has had on its stakeholders and the wider UK IP professions. Being given a large amount of autonomy during this task enabled me to develop my project management skills. I also enjoyed having the creative freedom to design the impact report and make it visual and eye-catching. Above all, it was extremely rewarding being able to see the project from start to finish and have a final product at the end of my internship, which reflected all my hard work.
Alongside the impact report, I have undertaken various other tasks. These included writing content for the News and Features section of the IP Inclusive website; creating mailshots to be distributed to newsletter subscribers; writing up meeting outcomes which will be sent to delegates; preparing content for the IP Inclusive Twitter page; and setting up a Careers in Ideas Instagram account.
The best part
Whilst I have had many highlights over the past month, the best part of my internship has undoubtedly been the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of highly successful IP professionals. I am extremely grateful that everyone I reached out to was willing to speak with me about their career, answer my questions, and offer me helpful guidance. As someone who is at a very early stage in their career, these conversations have been invaluable. I know that I will carry the advice I have gained throughout my legal career.
The most challenging moment
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my internship was delivering a presentation to both IP Inclusive Management and Advisory Board members during my final week. The purpose of the presentation was to discuss the impact report I had written. Initially, I found the prospect of presenting to a group of well-established IP professionals daunting and somewhat nerve-wracking (particularly since I have limited experience presenting). However, it was a great opportunity to improve my presentation and public speaking skills. In fact, this ended up being a true highlight of my internship. I am proud that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I was very happy with the feedback I received.
Skills I have improved
Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to participate in meetings with different facets of IP Inclusive. Through actively listening to the discussions, I developed my commercial awareness and business acumen. I learned more about how a not-for-profit organisation like IP Inclusive operates, its strengths, its challenges, and the opportunities it faces.
Equally, I gained experience of adapting to a new working style. Working remotely rather than in an office meant that I learned to take initiative and work well independently. Also being given tasks with different levels of urgency greatly improved my time management and organisational skills.
Finally, I believe that I have developed my written communication skills whilst at IP Inclusive. During my internship I was tasked with producing different types of written content. For example, I wrote a formal report, a casual news post for the IP Inclusive website, and even social media content. This has taught me to a consider my audience when writing and decipher the type of information that really matters to them. Ultimately, this has improved my confidence in writing in different tones and styles, which will be useful throughout my career.
I would like to thank Clifford Chance for funding my internship at IP Inclusive. I believe the skills I have gained during this time will be invaluable when I commence my training contract at the firm. Equally, I feel very lucky to have spent the past month working so closely with Andrea Brewster. She has taught me a great deal and I am grateful for all the effort she put into ensuring I had the best internship possible.
I am now looking forward to extending my internship with IP Inclusive and continuing to support them on their mission to promote diversity, inclusion, equality and wellbeing within the UK IP professions.
Page published on 27th June 2022
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Your presentation was fantastic. Thank you for all of your hard work Susan!