Student Jess takes university award for successful Banks Group placement

January 21, 2014 | Community News

The contribution of a young North East undergraduate to the company with which she undertook an internship last summer has been recognised with an award from her university.

Jess Baker carried out an eight-week placement with Durham-based business The Banks Group as part in the University of The West of England’s 2013 Undergraduate Internship Scheme

And 23 year-old Jess, who comes from Crook, has now been named as the runner-up in UWE’s Green Intern of the Year Award initiative, in competition with the dozens of undergraduates across her faculty who undertook placements across the UK during 2013.

Jess, who is studying Architecture & Planning at UWE’s Bristol campus, carried out a wide range of tasks during her time with Banks, from drafting the policy section of a scoping report for a six-turbine wind farm and preparing a planning application for a security fence on a Banks site to reviewing conditions relating to wildlife habitat creation and species protection at a proposed surface coal mine.

The UWE Undergraduate Internship Scheme aims to bring together talented, ambitious young people with businesses operating in the sectors in which they’re eventually looking to work, and to then provide opportunities for both parties to benefit from what each one has to offer.

Jess Baker says: “I thought I’d spend most of my time just shadowing members of the Banks team, but I was very quickly involved in their day-to-day work and was given responsibility for different elements of a wide range of projects across the group’s renewables, mining and property companies.

“Working through the planning processes was extremely useful in bringing a lot of the theoretical work I’m doing on my course to life, and I’m already using a lot of what I learnt over the summer on the major project that I’ll be working on right through my final year.

“My time with the Banks team has inspired me and given me the confidence to make my mark in my chosen career.  The huge variety of work that I was involved with, the depth of responsibility that I was given and the appreciation of the work that I did within the company was totally unexpected, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I had.”

Justin Hancock, senior development planner at The Banks Group, who acted as Jess’s line manager during her placement, adds: “Providing opportunities for young people to see what working in our business is actually like is not only invaluable for them, but also gives us a chance to see how they might measure up as a future employee and to get useful fresh perspectives on the work that we’re carrying out.

“Jess jumped straight into the role of a student placement in the planning team with confidence and energy, and contributed hugely to the progress of numerous projects that were heading towards key deadlines in their development.

“We were extremely pleased with Jess’s contribution during her time with us – she undoubtedly has the potential to build a rewarding career for herself in the future, and think the award she has received from UWE is due recognition for the energy, enthusiasm and application she showed over the summer.”

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