The Internship Office team

Dr Fiona Whitehouse, Head of the Internship Office

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As Head of the Internship Office at the Careers Service, Fiona leads on internships strategy, forges new global internship partnerships, runs workshops and seminars for groups of undergraduate and post graduate students and shares best practice with other universities. She also coaches students one-to-one with internship advice (her focus is primarily helping Crankstart Scholars find relevant work experience).

As an undergraduate, Fiona studied Fine Art and Italian at Exeter University and completed a Master in History of Art and Aesthetics at Oxford. Fiona also holds a Doctorate in 15th Century Painting Techniques. Previous to working at the University of Oxford, Fiona worked in the High-Tech Sector in the US and the UK.

Paloma Campos Da Silva, Summer Internship Programme Manager

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As Summer Internship Programme Manager at the Careers Service, Paloma is responsible for creating new partnerships with employers from all over the world to offer new and exclusive internships for Oxford students, making sure they are delivered to a high standard.

In addition, she assigns internship funding to students taking part in the programme, implements the Summer Internship Office marketing plan, runs workshops and provides one-to-one internship application support sessions to students.

Paloma holds a BA in Languages for Cultural Mediation and a MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Milan, and she can speak five languages.

Prior to joining the Careers Service, she worked as Conference Interpreter, Airport Ground Attendant for Alitalia Airlines in Milan, and she recently volunteered with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. Outside of work, Paloma enjoys playing sports, watching Simon Reeve's documentaries, and travelling to new destinations.

If you have a Single-Sign On, read more about Paloma’s role featured in the April 2023 Edition of the University’s AAD newsletter.

Aifsha Butt, Micro-Internship Programme Manager (Maternity Leave until 2025)

As the Micro-Internship Programme Manager, Aifsha is responsible for the management and administration of the programme. She is also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of global organisations and with colleagues and departments across the University. Aifsha also delivers workshops and internship support application sessions to students across the University.

Prior to joining the Careers Service, Aifsha worked for the Centre of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, providing operational support to academic staff on research grant applications and post-award grant management.

She has a BSc in Criminology and Psychology from Keele University and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development. Outside of work, Aifsha enjoys country walks with her family, reading and is an avid traveller.

Dr Joseph Thorne, Crankstart Internship and Mentoring Programme Manager

As Crankstart Internship and Careers Mentoring Programme Manager, Joseph is responsible for supporting Oxford students on the Crankstart Bursary to access exclusive internships. 

Joseph studied English Language and Literature at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and completed a Master's Degree in English Language and Literature at Cardiff University. He also holds a doctorate on late-Victorian Decadence and social networking from Liverpool John Moores University. 

Prior to joining the Careers Service, Joseph worked as a Senior Education Worker for the widening participation charity, IntoUniversity. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, walking, and cooking. 

Katie Hickman, Crankstart Internships and Careers Mentoring Programme Assistant

Katie primarily works on the Crankstart Internship and Mentoring programmes and assists with the Micro-Internship programme as well. Katie offers assistance to students and help secure internships and mentors. Katie has worked at the University of Oxford for nearly 7 years. She has previously worked for the Said Business School and for a department in the Medical Sciences Division. Katie is a keen equestrian and volunteers at local equestrian events. In her spare time, she likes to take on challenges to raise money for charities. Katie is also part of a choir and takes part in concerts throughout the year.

Alice Gable, Crankstart Internships and Careers Mentoring Programme Assistant

Alice supports the delivery of the Crankstart Internship and Careers Mentoring Programme. She provides assistance and guidance to Crankstart Scholars and connects with employers to develop internship and mentoring opportunities. She also assists with the administration of the Summer Internship Programme.

Alice studied French and Italian for her BA at the University of Cambridge, before completing a MSt in Modern Languages at Wadham College, Oxford – focusing her research on postcolonial francophone literatures.

She has strong interests in cultural dialogue and widening educational access. Her previous roles include teaching English in France and working in communications and events at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. She has also enjoyed volunteering as a university application mentor with charity Slipstream Education. Outside of work, Alice is a keen foodie and loves to explore new recipes and cuisines.

Katie Fletcher, Acting Micro Internship Programme Manager

Katie is responsible for the management and administration of the programme which includes building and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of global organisations and with colleagues and departments across the University. In addition Katie works with students across the University delivering workshops and internship support application sessions.  Prior to this Katie ran the Promentor Programme, an Oxford alumni mentoring scheme for foundation year and first year students on bursaries.

Katie has worked for the University for over 14 years and, prior to joining the Careers Service, she was with the Medical Sciences Division working on research projects focussing on young people and their mental health.

Outside of work, Katie volunteers for Pets As Therapy with her dog and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, travelling and cooking.

Dr Ilka Vari-Lavoisier, Acting Promentor Programme Administrator

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Ilka manages the Promentor Programme, an initiative aimed at broadening access and participation by offering mentoring to foundation year and undergraduate students on bursaries. Her responsibilities encompass all operational aspects of the programme, such as planning, budgeting, evaluation, and reporting. Leveraging her expertise in print, audio-visual, and digital content, she creates content to promote the programme across social media channels. Ilka also serves as the primary point of contact for student and mentors concerns and organises events and training sessions.

Ilka holds a BA in Political Science (Science Po, Aix-en-Provence), a joint master’s degree in Social Sciences (ENS/EHESS, Paris), and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the École Normale Supérieure de Paris. She held a Procter Fellowship at Princeton University (2013 – 2015) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania (2015 – 2017), before joining the University of Oxford, in 2018. Ilka has been collaborating with various constituencies of the University, including TORCH, the Migration and Mobility Network, the Department of Sociology, and the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, where she retains affiliations. She is currently a Kellogg College junior research fellow and teaches for the School of Anthropology.

During her free time, Ilka enjoys watching and creating documentaries, running, cooking French cuisine, and cultivating sunflowers.

Georgia Kogel, Apprentice Internship Office Assistant

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Georgia supports the Summer Internship Programme and provides administrative and marketing support in the Internship Office while completing her training at Abingdon and Witney College. 

Georgia completed an Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Abingdon and Witney College before following onto a Foundation Diploma. Prior to starting her Apprenticeship with the Careers Service, Georgia worked as a Primary School Teaching Assistant, often working one-to-one with students with SEN. Outside of work, Georgia enjoys walking her dogs, baking and drawing.

Sarah Kumari, Apprentice Internship Office Assistant

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Sarah supports the Micro-Internship Programme; she communicates with students and helps promote the internship through emails and social media channels. Additionally, she researches new hosts for the internship programme and provides administrative support.

Sarah studied English Literature with Film and Theatre for her BA at the University of Reading. For her dissertation she compared two collections of contemporary short stories by analysing the impact of immigration on the identity and belonging of individuals.

Outside of work, Sarah likes reading contemporary and fantasy fiction, and she also enjoys cooking new recipes and watching action films.

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