If one word should describe my whole experience during the OCIS internship, I would choose learning. Learning new skills, learning more about myself, and of course the Festival of Learning. The internship was very well tailored to the course I am currently studying at the University of Derby, which is Creative Expressive Therapies. Almost all my tasks had a creative connection. Among other things, I was responsible for the artwork, design and video script writing for the CELT Festival of Learning 2019 (FOL). Just to name a few of my tasks, I created and designed diverse posters, floor maps, signs and a Spotify-Playlist for the Festival, so I gave the FOL a new and festival-like branding.
Not only preparing but actually experiencing the Festival of Learning (FOL) was another excellent and unique opportunity and the cherry on top of the OCIS internship experience because the FOL was not a conventional conference. The annual Learning and Teaching conference evolved to an academic conference with a festival spirit and theme with lectures, live music, game activities and wellbeing activities. The creative atmosphere during the FOL was very enjoyable and engaging. At the FOL, I was also supporting in the diverse wellbeing activities. I supported the Wellness-on-Wheels tent and coordinated and participated in the stress relieving morning stretching sessions. This experience was very helpful regarding to my future career and studies as it was highly related to my creative expressive therapies university course and it was interesting to see how a wellbeing workshop can be facilitated. I was delighted about the positive feedback after each session and that most attendees felt less stressed and more relaxed afterwards.
Besides all of the creative experiences and tasks, I also gained insights in the planning and management of an academic event. At the end of my internship, I also had the opportunity to capture all the interesting aspects and contributions by helping with the FOL publication. Another very essential insight was to get to know what is needed to successfully run an event like the FOL and all the details that need to be considered. So, for me personally, it was a festival of learning and a learning of a festival. And even more than that: a great chance to deepen my experiences, develop my creative and organisational skills, gain new ones and working together in an excellent and supportive team.
Julian Schmitz (Festival of Learning 2019 – OCIS Intern)