Category Archives: Archaeology and Anthropology

Heritage Innovation Researcher – University of Exeter Culture Team

“I cannot express in words how unbelievably enriching both personally and professionally this internship has proven to be, and I would highly recommend it to anyone to apply and give it your best shot”

Name: Ellie Speechly

Degree Programme: BA Archaeology

Year of Study: 3rd Year

Pathway Programme Completed: Pathways to Arts, Culture, and Heritage

Internship Role/Job Title: Heritage Innovation Researcher

Internship Employer: University of Exeter Culture Team

Please outline the project you worked on during your Pathways internship. What achievements are you particularly proud of? How will your work be helping others?

Going into 2020, I was fortunate to have been involved with the University of Exeter’s Professional Pathways scheme, an internship programme designed to give students an authentic workplace experience, along with specialist training in a field of their choosing. I was privileged to have been offered a role at the University itself in the Culture team with the Heritage Innovation department, a team that ensures the University has an extensive pool of partnerships and collaboration networks, operating on an international scale. I gained infallible insight into the networking skills required within the heritage sector, in addition to learning how many large-scale organisations such as the National Trust operate. A fellow student and I were entrusted to assist in researching and constructing a compressive report, containing all ongoing and completed partnerships, operations of a memorandum, and projects that the Humanities department was/are undertaking, in addition to the staff involved. This will later become a digital tool for students, staff, and external parties to consult in order to better understand the vast number of projects the University has had a hand in. I was particularly proud of the sheer quantity of information my colleague and I managed to read and research; it was all so interesting and engaging that I could easily have spent days at a time reading about a single project, such as those ongoing with Powderham Castle or the fascinating upcoming project on Vivien Leigh being untaken by the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

How did you overcome a particular challenge during your internship, for example, challenges linked to working remotely?

As an archaeology undergrad, I was over the moon to have been accepted and was waiting with anticipation for a heritage-related placement! But much like the rest of the world, all these plans were put on hold thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the efforts of the Pathways team and the wonderful collaborating organisations, remote working positions were arranged so no one missed out on gaining from this worthwhile and professionally enriching experience. Though working remotely had its setbacks, with interaction being limited to the video chatting format, with which we are all so familiar now, I couldn’t have asked for better employers or co-workers. I cannot express in words how unbelievably enriching both personally and professionally this internship has proven to be, and I would highly recommend it to anyone to apply and give it your best shot.

How has your Professional Pathways internship helped you in taking the next steps in your career, for example, have you gone on to secure another role, or has it helped you decide the sector you want to work in?

The internship proved to be great practice in contacting those within the heritage field, in addition to building relationships with those in the sector that has proven valuable as a new graduate, particularly in these difficult times! Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, my internship was a wonderful experience as it provided me with realistic skills needed in the heritage sector today, such as effective communication and research through more innovative means. I’m now fortunate enough to be involved with the SS Great Britain as a direct thanks to my wonderful employers, who have continued to support, mentor, and provide invaluable insight and advice into the world of work. Good luck and all the best in all your upcoming endeavours!

Student Case Study:  Digital Humanities Lab

Name of Student:  Ollie Anthony

Degree Subject:  BA CH Archaeology and Anthropology

Job Title:  Advisory Intern

Company Name: Digital Humanities Lab, University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?  

As an intern, I actively contributed to current College of Humanities research and teaching, by engaging in: digital photography, 3D printing, 2D and 3D imaging of artefacts and visual/audio media production. I also supported staff, partners and students of the University of Exeter to engage with the Lab’s facilities and equipment from the advisory desk. 

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I successfully contributed to the running and delivery of three conferences, multiple seminars, two open days, numerous group tours and a digital exhibition. In large, this was hugely beneficial for the lab in contributing to their outreach to other parts of the University, including, though not limited to, prospective students, academics and alumni.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I led a collaborative project between the Digital Humanities Lab and The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. The project included digitisation of a panorama dating to 1845, forming part of the museum’s collections. The end goal was to create an online, interactive version of the panorama to increase interest in the collections within the museum. To undertake this task I utilised the Digital Humanities Lab spaces to take high quality photographs of the panorama, following this I created a .html webpage to display the digitised images. The result of this is that viewers on The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum website are now able to successfully interact with part of the panorama collection, increasing accessibility and interest in their broader collections.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

Being the customer-facing team member of a highly technical field, I was often faced with difficult or highly specific questions related to parts of the lab spaces. I committed a lot of time into learning as much as I could about Digital Humanities, but the key is to acknowledge when you don’t know something and to ask those who do know for next time.

Skills Learnt:  

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Time and Work Load Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes

Attributes Developed: 

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

 

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?  

“I would highly recommend anyone to uptake an internship with the university or another organisation. The experience I gained was amazing and it has really helped me going forward in my career.”

Student Case Study:  Mental Health Intern

Name of Student: Emerald Hughes

Degree Subject: BA Archaeology 

Job Title: Mental Health Intern

Company Name: Young Devon

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Young Devon is the largest young people’s charity in the South West. Our mission is to make Devon a better place for all young people. Each year we work with over 2,000 young people, building quality relationships to help them thrive.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I had a variety of roles including supporting my manager in the development and running of a social media campaign called Minds That Matter. This included building a website and creating social media/website content, as well as scheduling posts and attending project meetings. In addition to this I took up the role on Mentor, and currently have two mentees who I will continue to work with following the completion of my A2I internship for free as I enjoy this role greatly.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

I created a website and a vast amount of social media content which is ready to be put out over the next month. I collected a series of mental health stories from young people which are being placed online periodically.

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My success with my mentees, this has really helped with my career prospects and has allowed me an invaluable insight into working in mental health. I believe this has helped me understand the difficulties of working with vulnerable individuals.             

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Time and work load management
  • Strategic planning 
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“I would not have been able to afford to have given this time voluntarily and therefore receiving help from the A2I fund was of great value to me. The application process was simple for both me and my employer, and once my employment had begun there was little else to worry about. My internship has really helped better my career prospects and given me a great insight into the field. Since graduating in 2019 I’ve gone on to be employed full time at Young Devon. The internship that I had there gave me a great foot in the door and I’ve now been working there for almost a year and am loving the role.”

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

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

Global Employability Support Assistant – Employment Services, University of Exeter

globe-indonesia-equator-80467

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

Helping to run the Erasmus+ work abroad scheme by creating Internship Forms and making sure they are signed off in good time, giving students advice about how to find placements all around the world and dealing with queries and issues from both employers and students while on placement. Working within a very small team, I shared the responsibility of over 250 student placements with my manager. As well as this I held student one-to-one’s once a week to give advice about finding work abroad and organised any global events on campus, including employer presentations and small fairs.

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

My GBP role has allowed me to gain a confidence within a graduate role, that I did not have when I first finished University. As well as this, by working within a small team I have been able to streamline our internal work abroad paperwork processes to make sure that we can better keep on top of each student’s current situation. I have had just the right amount of freedom and direction to really improve my employability, which was the ultimate goal of my internship.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I believe that my internship enabled my team to improve some of our processes and resources, such as our ELE page and online webpages. I believe that my administration role helped lighten the workload of my manager and enabled them to work on projects we may not have previously had the time to undertake. By organising all of the employer and internal events for the Global Showcase for example, meant that my manager could concentrate on the marketing and advertising of the event in more detail.

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

Quite often I had to work independently, which to begin with was a challenge but in hindsight really helped me to get to grips with my role as I was forced to learn the huge amount of knowledge needed quickly. Another difficulty within this role is that almost daily I encounter queries that I had never come across before. A good knowledge of what other teams within the University did, and of what reliable online resources there were available meant that I learnt to think on my feet and find answers to these problems quickly.

Research Intern – Healthwatch Cornwall

healthwatch

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

My main responsibility was to create a report on Advanced Care Planning- this involved researching the options available to individuals throughout end of life care, researching the main benefits of ACP, and formulating some plans to increase ACP within the county.

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

My biggest achievement was gaining confidence in the fact I have a versatile skill set that can be applied in different scenarios and in different lines of research to achieve strong outcomes.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to help them promote internship opportunities within Healthwatch and allowed them to follow up on a previous report the published into end of life care.

Postgraduate Research Administrative Assistant – University of Exeter

research

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

Managing PGR admissions for all the departments in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences. I processed all applications, managed studentship advertisement, interviews and appointments and arranged meetings.

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

I learnt a lot about how a university runs, how studentships are funded and people are appointed.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped lighten the workload for the other members of staff.