27 Mar 2017
Third year business management student Anthony Abbott has come a long way since joining the university in 2014, taking advantage of regular one-to-one academic support to manage his dyslexia and improve his report writing skills.
Encouraged by his tutors and his new academic confidence, Anthony got involved with the Change100 internship scheme in the summer between his second and third year. Change100 seeks out talented students who are affected by disability and connects them with valuable paid internship opportunities.
We caught up with Anthony, who is now midway though his third year, to find out more about his experience as a Change100 intern.
Tell us about your Change100 internship at Simplyhealth.
I was a change analyst working in the 'IT and business change' department. I was given real responsibility in my role, with the freedom to manage my part of the project and decide the best option. I learnt how to manage my time better and the results are really showing this year.My placement at will also enhance my graduate prospects because I can show to future employers that I can manage parts of a project successfully.I loved working at Simplyhealth, it was great! It's just such a shame that it ended so quickly. The culture at the company is so open and friendly and I was warmly welcomed into the business.
You had a mentor while you were working – how did this help with your placement?
The Change100 programme requires all interns to receive mentoring. I was paired up with Sarah, who is dyslexic like myself. Having a mentor was great because I was able to present my ideas to her and she could provide me with feedback. Also, it meant I had access to the team she managed and I was able to ask them for their opinions and thoughts on the project I was working on. Now that I am back at university I return to Simplyhealth once a month for a mentoring meeting.
Have you had much contact with the support services on offer at Solent?
As I am dyslexic I receive weekly one-to-one support from a study skills tutor. I have been receiving this support from Access Solent since my first year and now it is really starting to pay dividends. When I first started at Solent the structure of my reports was poor and it made them difficult to read. This has greatly improved thanks to the help from my tutor.
Do you have any advice for dyslexic students who may be considering University?
Start writing your personal statements now! Do some research into the universities that interest you and see what their support for dyslexic students is like - some will be better than others. That's why I chose Solent! Some of you may question your own capabilities and wonder: will it be too challenging for me? Will I be able to cope with the workload? Let me share a little story with you. About five years ago a teacher at school told me university will be too hard for me, and I wouldn't be able to cope. Five years later I'm at university - I'm coping well and I've achieved a 2.1 for my first and second year.
Read more of the interview here