Over the past two weeks I have undertaken a work experience placement at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village as part of my Museum Studies module. Throughout this placement I have undertaken a variety of activities. Part of my main job was to help out with their educational programme, which provides information for primary school children on school trips. As a result of this I ended up designing an activity to do with the children within one of the Anglo-Saxon houses, which was concerned with identifying monsters from Anglo-Saxon mythology – important when schools tend to not only come to the Anglo-Saxon village for strict history and archaeological remains, but also for a sense of what an Anglo-Saxon felt like and cultural history as well. Creating an activity like this and carrying it out with the children has helped my communication skills with younger people, as well as enforcing my creative side.
Another of my roles was to help within the collections department. Within this I helped to record items onto their database [MODES]. This database is the same one that is used in museums around the country and so training in this is very helpful if I decide that I do wish to work in the museum sector. Additionally, I also undertook my own project in organising and recording all of their handling items – which were previously unsorted and just thrown into a cupboard.
This placement has helped me to understand what it is liked to work in the museum sector and help to consider whether this is the type of career which I would like to take up in the future. If it is, this placement will have provided me with the necessary experience which would put me further ahead in an application process. Furthermore, as a result of this placement I think it is likely that I will volunteer throughout the summer here whenever I am able to. This placement has also been necessary for me to be able to practically apply all the information which I have learnt in my Museum Studies module; I believe this has been extremely helpful to my understanding of my course and the matters at hand.
– Louise Gibson is a final year Classical & Archaeological Studies with a Year Abroad student.