In the second blog about the Heritage Internships we hosted over the summer, student Kate Debling reflects on her experience…
During the summer, I undertook an internship with the University of Exeter Culture and Heritage Innovation Team as part of the Pathways internship programme. As a digital content creator for the Exeter Heritage website, I created news and blog content pertaining to heritage-based academic research and projects led in the South West.
The University of Exeter Culture Team seeks to protect heritage through continuous academic research and projects, led by both the University of Exeter and Heritage Exeter’s partners. Throughout my internship experience, there was a strong focus on building connections between the university and external heritage bodies, as well as the collaboration between university campuses. The projects and research that I covered were broad, operating on a campus-based level, through collaboration with the Penryn campus, a national level, with heritage bodies such as South West Heritage Trust, and also an international level, with the European Commission.
The variety of content that I was creating emphasised the extent of the Culture Team’s Heritage network and, as an English undergraduate, experimenting with both news articles and blog posts meant that I had the freedom to find creative ways to convey the work. The experience not only enlightened me to new written mediums, a break away from the academic essay, but also exposed me to current research endeavours pertaining to my own undergraduate degree.
Being able to work effectively from home, creating my own timetable and collaborating with my internship supervisors digitally, were all new skills that I gained as part of my internship with the Culture Team. In order to create quality content, and cover as many new projects as possible, it was integral to be able to gather information, follow up stories and write efficiently. Through this I was able to improve upon my time management skills. Having a flexible work approach, as well as open communication channels between myself and my supervisors, meant that collaboration was smooth, and we were able to meet targets.
My internship experience with the Culture Team taught me some invaluable collaborative, management and creative skills and I would, therefore, strongly encourage students to participate in the Pathways internship scheme.