Student Case Study: Axminster Heritage Centre

Name of Student:  Alice Walters

Degree Subject: BA English with Study Abroad

Type of Internship: Green Consultants Scheme

Company Name: Axminster Heritage Centre

Job Title: Green Consultant

Description Of Company: Axminster Heritage Centre has a vision to delight and entertain visitors through interactive and innovative displays. We hope to exceed expectations by creating both an online and a ‘hands on’ experience that young and old can touch and interact with. In addition, we have a unique collection of original Axminster carpets artefacts and aim to tell the story, from fleece to floor, of this world famous ‘brand’ name in an enjoyable and educational way.

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I worked for Axminster Heritage Centre every Thursday for five weeks – two of those days at the centre itself. Over the course of my internship, I assessed how well Axminster Heritage Centre was performing from a sustainability perspective. I then wrote a detailed report that gave recommendations about how they could improve their environmental credentials in the future. I found this to be both highly rewarding and an enjoyable experience.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

Within my formal report, I included background information about sustainability within the museum sector, information on waste management and energy usage, assessments of partner organisations, and case studies of best practice. When researching other museums in Devon, I noticed that none of them had an environmental policy published on their website. I brought this to the attention of my employer, and suggested that this represented an exciting opportunity for Axminster Heritage Centre to be the first Devon-based museum to prioritise environmental sustainability in this way. I also wrote an Executive Summary that summarised my full report for the benefit of the museum’s trustees.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Writing my report: it was 6000 words long, well-researched, and highly detailed.

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

My employer asked me to recommend some ways in which the museum could invest its money sustainably, but this was something that I had no prior knowledge about. I overcame this by completing some research, and ensuring that it was at least mentioned in my report so that it would be flagged up to the trustees.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Researching
  • Time and Work Load Management

Attributes Developed:

  • Personal Awareness
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Motivation

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

“This role combined arts and culture with environmental sustainability, and this truly reinforced the importance of taking a holistic approach to protecting the environment – it’s not just one sector’s responsibility to operate sustainably, but everyone’s! I’d recommend a similar role to anyone who is interested in both sectors, and wants to know how they might intersect.”