During the summer of 2020, I undertook a virtual internship with the University of Exeter Heritage and Culture Team as part of the Pathways internship programme. Five months on, I am delighted to be continuing my experience with the department, now interning as a Heritage Innovation Communications Assistant.
My summer experience as a digital content creator for the Exeter Heritage website was extremely rewarding, as it equally enabled me to improve upon my existing skills and learn new ones. In creating news and blog content, I was able to implement editing skills that are intrinsic to my degree in English, while at the same time, I could experiment with new forms of writing. Through collating and adapting information and research pertaining to heritage-based academic research and projects, I considerably expanded my knowledge of the heritage sector in the South West, as well as my awareness of the University’s broad level of collaboration with other heritage and academic institutions. This initial work has provided me with significant basis for my current work, in an expanded new role.
In continuing my internship experience, I am looking forward to being more involved with the Heritage and Culture team, in supporting the Heritage Innovation website and its social media platforms. This year, in particular, there have been numerous new projects that have adapted heritage practice to digitally accommodate the constraints of the pandemic – for example, the aerial reconnaissance project co-lead by Exeter academic Ioana Oltean, that utilised drone technology to photograph previously unknown archaeological sites. I am especially looking forward to researching these new projects and am keen to investigate and present the ways in which academics and heritage institutions in the South West have continued their work during this time. Through the Exeter Heritage website and Twitter platform, I will be able to make both students and wider readers aware of this work.
In supporting the Culture Team, I am looking forward to connecting with other arts across the University. My first priority is to build the connectivity between internal departments and students through the website, in which news and blog items can be posted and made accessible to all departments and students. As a site of interest, the website and Twitter can expose students to research projects within their degree and outside of it and, in emphasising the university’s broad heritage network, students will be more able to seek out heritage and culture opportunities, as well as connect with academics about their research. Building on this internal connectivity, I also intend to improve the visibility of the University’s connections with external partners, featuring updates and news from heritage organisations such as the South West Heritage Trust and the National Trust. In using social media in conjunction with the website, sharing information can be more regular and quicker, and will improve interconnectivity through attached links to articles or sites of further interest.
In the new year, I am looking forward to continuing my work with my summer colleague, Frank Allen, and our collaboration in discovering new projects and publishing them on the Heritage website. In working alongside my degree, in my final year of study, I am keen to further improve my time-management skills, balancing my academic work alongside my work as part of the team. In working virtually, I aim to build upon digital skills which are becoming increasingly important as industries become more digitised.
I hope to gain even more skills than I did during the summer and am very excited for the work to come.