Category Archives: History

Volunteer Opportunities Officer – Wheal Martyn

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My role for the week was to create four volunteer role profiles. In order to do this I had to speak to people including: the Museum Manager, Curator, Exhibition and Engagement Officer and the Project Manager to inform these roles. I also created promotional material for the new volunteer roles and amended existing application and induction forms to make them suitable.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Over the course of my internship I had to arrange meetings with a variety of people both face to face and over the telephone so my biggest achievement was gaining the confidence to talk to these new people in order to complete my work. I think this will be an advantage in any internships or jobs I have in the future as I will have the confidence to speak to a range of people.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Wheal Martyn have recently been awarded a funding by the Heritage Lottery for a new project called the Clay Works! Project. Due to this, there are many new opportunities for volunteers which need to be communicated to the public. The creation of volunteer role profiles and promotional material will be helpful to Wheal Martyn as these materials will enable the museum to recruit a diverse range of people to become volunteers. Creating these materials can be time consuming and the office is very busy due to the commencement of this new project so the work completed during my internship will help to lighten a small part of the workload the museum currently has.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, research, networking

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, perseverance, professionalism

 

Archive Assistant – Beaford Arts

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main roles during my internship were: repackaging Roger Deakin’s photographs that were taken in the 1970s, listing those photos and labelling them, listing oral history interviews, researching those in the interviews using ancestry and find my past, cataloguing photos by James Ravilious ready for it to go up on the website, using EXCEL to list and catalogue photographs and learning archivist skills, techniques and conservation techniques.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt loads of new skills that increase my employability. I also explored a new career, one I never would have considered and completed all tasks independently and to a high standard.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to assist with the wider ‘Hidden History’ project, decreasing the workload of the archivist and helping the project to keep to its time schedule. I also helped to sort, label and list all the photographs which will make searching and researching of the photographs much easier.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, leadership, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Commercial awareness, motivation, work ethic

Curation Intern – University of Exeter College of Social Sciences and International Studies

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was responsible for cataloguing artefacts and putting them on the museum database, preparing history files for some objects and sorting out the store. It was crucial to prepare the collection for the opening of the museum in 2020. My work mostly focused on Roman, medieval and Elizabethan coins as well as some pottery pieces from Devon area. Cataloguing them required me to find information not only about history of the object but also funding, acquisition, rights field collection etc.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I managed to complete all initially planned tasks ahead of time so I had time to help further. I also gained sector specific knowledge as well as historical one, which I was not aware of before.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped to sort the stores and lightened the workload of the curator, who was relieved to focus on other important tasks. I also made it easier to move around the stores.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, organisation, research

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Logical thinking, independence, professionalism

Student Researcher – University of Exeter Education Incubator

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

  • Offering administrative support to three Chinese fellows on MOOC course on contemporary Chinese culture
  • Planning and drafting a social media campaign
  • Proofreading and editing of English texts written by non-native speakers, and adapting these to an online context
  • Recruiting student and non-student volunteers for the trial version of the course

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

The independent nature of the role meant that I was able to really strengthen my skills in taking the initiative and working autonomously and independently.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Administrative support, lightening my colleagues’ workload, and ensuring that all course content and materials were adapting and appropriate for an English-language audience.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, leadership, decision making

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, perseverance, independence

Museum Assistant – Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities included cataloguing museum exhibition objects, researching museum objects, and updating the database. The cataloguing and research generally centered on the current Ritual Magic exhibition called ‘Dew of Heaven’. The bulk of the cataloguing material included a donation of various 20th century occult materials, which required further research using the museum library and the internet, and making links to other objects in the museum’s collections. Another main task involved scanning in object labels made by the museum’s founder and matching them with their corresponding objects where possible. Some of my minor tasks also included setting the museum up in the morning – sweeping and lighting incense, as well as operating the till.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement over the course of my internship included using my research skills to uncover information about the members of the late 19th and early 20th century occultist Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Various sources revealed fascinating and enlightening information about the order’s then-secret members. This task was a part of the cataloguing project that was one of my responsibilities, which I successfully completed by the end of my internship, which I then outlined in a blog post on the museum’s website.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to finish a whole box file of labels which needed scanning and cataloguing on the online database, and I helped with research regarding the cataloguing project which lightened the workload of my colleagues and ensured that anyone seeking information about the objects would find a comprehensive description of them with links to related objects at the museum, as well as the sources that could provide further data.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, customer service, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, independence, work ethic, professionalism

Simon, Higher Education Project Officer

Degree: BA History and Politics 2017

Job Role: A Higher Education Project Officer provides support for projects in the Exeter Education Incubator, supporting academics who are working on projects to reimagine how university education can be delivered.

Simon’s Experience: I applied for this GBP because it was an exciting chance for me to learn a variety of useful employment skills in quite a short time, whilst also earning money. The fact that the GBP is only 6 months is actually convenient for me, as I am planning on doing a Masters in September. I graduated summer 2017 in history and politics, and I would absolutely encourage any other graduate to take up a GBP, particularly those who don’t know exactly what they want to do career-wise, but still want to do something that will significantly improve their employability. Beyond doing a Masters my own long-term plans are still quite vague, but what I do know is that whatever I end up doing, the skills and experiences I have picked up here will definitely prove relevant.

Employment Services Administration Assistant – University of Exeter, Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Latterly my main role was to oversee and organise follow up for the Employment services team, and deal with any queries that revolved around this. Previous to this I also helped with returning signed contracts, advertising new GBP placements on external University sites, finance and help with careers fairs.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was likely the ability to run my student workload alongside my Employment Services work. This particularly helped hone my time management skills. Furthermore, the way in which the role was situated ‘within’ the university helped me to better understand the different degrees of professionalism necessary for work within and outside of the job.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The way in which I came to be solely responsible for the follow up process meant that I had full ownership for it which meant I was usually aware of any ‘exceptions’ or predicaments that arose. In this way the follow up process was largely taken away from my employer’s remit and I hope they felt able to trust me with the process as it was ‘my baby’ to that extent. This lessened the workload of my employer and, I believe, increased the efficiency of which it was done. Furthermore, this ownership meant that I felt able to build more of a relationship between myself and the interns, and could be colloquial in my approach and relationship with them, which I think got better results when asking for feedback.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Occasionally there would be slight delay in communication between updates (such as extensions and resignations) and my emailing. However, this was solved by making a structured approach to follow up, such that I would create lists on Mondays and send out emails on Thursdays, which generally gave a ‘buffer’ for unexpected changes.

Employment Services Support Assistant – Employability Services, University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

The main purpose of my role was to ensure the delivery of professional and helpful administrative support within the Employment Services Team, in particular for the Graduate Recruitment Team. I played a key role in supporting the arrangements for the careers fairs and a wide range of employer events, in particular showcase/drop-in events, recruiter in residence and mock interviews. I assisted the team in developing relationships with local, regional and national employers, institutions, Alumni, internal Colleges and Services for the benefit of the University and its students and graduates.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Throughout the course of my internship, the team was faced with a number of issues and obstacles out of our control that potentially threatened the organisation of successful events, such as double-bookings and extreme weather conditions. One of my biggest achievements was dealing with unexpected problems calmly and smoothly, always making the employer a priority and quickly creating contingency plans. My confidence has significantly increased as a result of this and I now feel more equipped and capable of dealing with the unexpected.  My internship offered a fantastic opportunity to put my skills into practice and gain invaluable office experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I played a key role in the organisation and delivery of four major careers fairs and a large number of smaller employer events, such as presentations and showcases. I coordinated the arrangements of several events from start to finish, taking the original booking, making the necessary arrangements and hosting the event on the day. I feel that my work helped to ease the workload of my colleagues in what was an extremely busy autumn term and was crucial to the smooth running of employer events.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

The main problems that I encountered during the course of my internships were relating to procedural/system changes, such as alterations to evening event bookings and changes to the newsletter format. I worked closely with colleagues to ensure that transitions were smooth and asked further questions where necessary. I created a comprehensive document detailing the new procedures to guide others in future.

“Jess was brought in to cover maternity leave of a permanent member of staff.  She was an excellent team player, flexible and hard working.  She was keen to ensure she understood what was required of her and wanted to learn.  Her positivity was a delight to have in the office.  As part of her role she had to communicate regularly with employers wanting to work with the University in promoting their internships and graduate role.  Her interpersonal style and customer service were excellent and I had no hesitation in leaving her to get on with it.  We would have offered her a permanent role had she not already secured an alternative role at the University!” – Line Manager.

Research Assistant – South West Heritage Trust

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main responsibilities as a intern with the South West Heritage Trust were cataloguing material dating from the First World War, for a HLF-funded scheme called the ‘Devon Remembers Heritage Project’. My role involved organising and attending meetings with local heritage centres across the county, as well as compiling the results of volunteer research groups into accessible formats such as Excel or Word.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement during the internship was securing an additional three months of employment with the company, which commenced immediately after the initial contract was due to finish. I was really pleased to see that my work and contribution to the company had been so highly valued and a contract extension will allow me to become more heavily involved in various aspects of the Devon Remembers project.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I saved my line manager a great deal of time searching through archive collections and driving around the county to visit other local archives. I was able to compile large amounts of information into a usable form for Katherine and the company’s archivists.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Whilst not directly related to the content of my work, the most major problem in my internship was the hour-long commute by car. I overcame this by downloading audio books to listen to whilst driving and it made the travelling much more bearable.

“Ciaran is an excellent member of the team and we have offered him further employment as a result of his internship. His skills, attitude and aptitude for learning all make him an asset to the organisation” – Devon Remembers Heritage Project Officer

Career Zone Website Intern – University of Exeter

website

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Working with T4 Site Manager software to update and refine the Career Zone section of the website. I created graphics, logos, new content and a range of other videos to help make the site more appealing to students.

I was also tasked with updating various documents associated with the website, to ensure it remains up-to-date and looked after.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My biggest achievement was being able to learn T4 and use it effectively.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My employer now has a new section of the website they can bring live, with a range of new content that I have created for them.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

I mainly struggled with T4, but was able to innovate and figure out solutions through the process of trying and failing.