Enterprise and Innovation Ambassador – September to November 2016

Charlie IcetonStudent Placement

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Placement Students, University of Portsmouth

Hello! My name is Charlie Iceton and I am the newest member of the Enterprise and Innovation (E&I) team within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCi).

Led by Professor Joan Farrer, Associate Dean E&I and Professor of Design and Innovation, E&I is concerned with the facilitation of innovative thinking and initiating research knowledge both in theoretical and applied fields. Over the next eight months, I will be exploring what life as an E&I Ambassador is about.

First things first, I am a BSc (Hons) Digital Media student currently undertaking a placement sandwich year September ’16 – July ’17. Industrial placement years are becoming more frequent, with many Universities encouraging four-year sandwich courses, and some programs making the placement mandatory. Although I was under no obligation to delay my third year, I saw it as an opportunity to advance my skills in areas that my course couldn’t, and prepare me for a future in the industry.

My placement is a bit different to most taken by others on my course. Usually, placement years are undertaken by a commercial business of some shape or size, whereas I am working within my University. Even better, I’m working within the same Faculty that my course – which I have studied for two years – falls under. I have a great understanding and enthusiasm for CCI which demonstrates why this position is suited to me. In the two months, I have been working here, my experiences have changed my outlook on what goes on behind the scenes and how things are run at the University. There is a clear focus on enhancing my abilities, illustrated by the fact I have been given the freedom to lead Innovolvement under the guidance of the E&I team.

Innovolvement seeks to encourage transdisciplinary engagement among students and academics of all levels, to foster a culture of innovation, and to create a positive societal impact. On Thursday 17th November my fellow CCI Student Ambassadors and I hosted the first event of this academic year’s Innovolvement community. The launch event, Icebreaker, and drinks reception were held in the Eldon reception space, visible to passers-by in the street.

Future sessions are open to all UoP year groups, post-graduates, and staff members and aim to take place on a monthly basis, allowing for open discussions, debate, activities and invited guest speakers explaining issues and opportunities in relevant sectors. The first of these sessions we hope will be taking place in January 2017.

The role within the team has been rather varied outside of Innovolvement. Different weeks bring different projects and new challenges such as general admin support, supporting the development of the EU Interreg funded project PONToon. There is busy days ahead of the creation of the E&I website. I am looking towards to the coming months with much enthusiasm and optimism.