Posted on 1 October 2014
As my hours were flexible a day’s work was usually spread out over a couple of days. Therefore I will describe a typical week. It could start with a meeting with our internship hosts, discussing what they wanted from us as their interns, for example collecting testimonials from current students about how they felt studying history and living in York. Me and the other intern would then go away and individually plan ideas of how this could be achieved. A few days later we would meet up and discuss these ideas and begin to put them into action; for the collection of testimonials, we created an online survey to send out to students asking them about their experiences. We met up again to analyse the results of this survey. During this time we learnt the importance of making voluntary participation in a project as easy as possible to ensure that people respond. The outcome of this work and realisation was a bank of student testimonials that can be used for promotional material next year. We really enjoyed collecting the testimonials as they allowed us to see what was important to students and reflect on our own experiences.
We also considered what the client really wanted – in this case, the potential student. Therefore we decided to create a collection of photographs of the campus and the city to show off what York as a university and a city has to offer. This proved very popular with our internship hosts and prospective students when we previewed some pictures online.
What my internship did for me.
I chose to do this internship as it allowed me to gain experience in an area where I had none – marketing – and gave me the opportunity to develop existing skills, such as teamwork, independent work and communication skills. The internship also allowed me to develop several transferable skills relevant for the world of work on top of those I have already mentioned, such as IT skills and knowledge of the impact of social media in business. As a result of this internship, I have a better understanding of how much a university needs to sell itself, particularly as the market is getting more and more competitive. My understanding and skills within market research have definitely improved and will be necessary for my future chosen career in exhibition interpretation within the heritage sector – knowing the needs of your audience in this field is vital for success, and so this internship has allowed me to develop relevant methods. My experiences have also allowed me to improve my strengths, but also highlighted a weakness. My understanding of Twitter was poor; therefore, I researched it and am now able to use the site well.
Our Twitter Page
So, as well as identifying a weakness my experience of the internship meant I was able to address and improve this situation. Completing an internship at this stage of my academic career (final 2 formal terms of my taught master’s degree) was useful as it meant I could gain more work experience before entering the world of work, and allowed me to develop transferrable skills.
Public History Internship