Digital Communications internship – Olivia Gray

Olivia Gray
Thursday 4 August 2022

Hello! I’m Olivia, and I’m currently in the middle of my web content editor internship with the digital communications team. As a biology student, I haven’t had much experience in web content at all. But I applied for this opportunity because I am really interested in written communication, whether fiction, non-fiction, literary, or digital. The special thing about web content is that we can analyse how consumers use information on their computers and phones. Users do read digital content in a very specific way, different from reading any other content. The fact that we can tailor digital content for this purpose is very interesting and exciting to me.

The team mostly works online and from home. But daily Teams video meetings make the group feel collaborative. Everyone shares what they worked on the previous day, and their plans for the day ahead. I feel so grateful already for all the help with training – everyone has been so friendly, and any time I had a question (which I have to admit, was often) somebody was there to talk me through it.

Digital prospectus pages

The first task for myself and Laura was updating the undergraduate prospectus pages for September 2023. This involved migrating all the edited course information from word documents into the new version of Terminal 4. This software is used to build most of the University’s webpages. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this work, especially learning about all the other courses offered at St Andrews. As a science student, I didn’t have much opportunity to explore modules offered in other departments. I found myself retrospectively jealous of all the amazing topics included in courses like Art History, Ancient History and so many more.

A screenshot of the backend of T4v8
An example of how the backend of T4v8 looks

Web content editing

Next we got to try some web content editing. This involved checking pages to make sure they comply with the University’s house style. Content needed to be formatted in an accessible and usable way. I’ve loved learning about how people use and read websites, and so how to optimise them for users’ specific goals. I’m so thankful especially for how much I’ve learnt about digital accessibility. I feel like this is something I can apply to the rest of my career and life in general. It is also really satisfying working on a large chunk of text and ending up with something concise and informative.

The ACE website

Most recently, we have been able to apply our Terminal 4 and web content editing training to start rebuilding the Accommodation, Conferences and Events (ACE) website. It has been really fun to try out different content types and see the website come to life again. Working with Laura on site structure and content was so nice because there was a lot to organise! I’ve never made any kind of website, and there has been a lot of trial and error! But I think the end product is definitely worth it in terms of accessibility and design.

The time has gone by so quickly and I feel so grateful for all the skills I have gained already. This kind of work was completely new to me, but I feel loads more confident about digital communication just from the short time spent with this team. Thank you so much for having us!

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