Okay so this summer has been the best, as well as travelling to lots of different places, (some of which still need to be posted!) I also spent 7 weeks working for the National Trust. Not only did I have an amazing time but learnt so much during my time working in the Regional office in the East of England.
It wasn’t a traditional internship as such, as it was more of an independent project working alongside the Volunteer and Participation co-ordinator. The project ‘Volunteer Voices’, aimed to increase the number of volunteer stories told throughout the National Trust properties in the East. My role was to research what was happening already in terms of volunteer stories both internally and externally; I then had to come up with ideas and create examples to improve on this.
Through the research, I got to visit so many properties in the East of England. Although I’d visited many of these previously before the project, this was a great opportunity to see them in a new light. As part of the visits, I met with so many people working in the National Trust, which was great for the project, gaining an insight in how I could help and also for myself, understanding more about the operational side of an NT property.
Another highlight for me was the behind the scenes view I got of some of the properties, seeing behind those ‘Staff Only’ doors and exploring parts of the properties not open to the public. It really helped me realise that working in a country house is something I want to do in the future.
Working on the project has also helped me branch out more, trying so many new things I wasn’t confident enough to do before. As well as building an understanding of how to research and write for a non-academic report, the experience also allowed me to push my creative boundaries. I was able to use photoshop and movie editing software for a purpose, creating mock-up social media posts and a promotional video. I started this blog as part of that, trying to keep using both my writing and new creative skills for something non-academic.
The team I worked alongside in the East of England office were also so lovely. It was not only great to learn about all their different positions in the NT, but they were all so lovely and welcoming, which made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.
I had a great time volunteering for the National Trust. They are such a great organisation to work for, allowing me to make a difference to their cause, as well as learn so much to help me in both my studies and for future careers in the heritage sector.
To find out more about volunteering for the National Trust visit the Volunteer Opportunities website.