Museums at Night intern Holly Parsons shares what she’s learnt

crowd beneath figureheads

The Culture24 team at the Museums at Night 2013 launch party on the Cutty Sark – Holly’s on the left in the blue dress. Photo courtesy Aniko Boholy.

Wow! Six months have gone by so quickly. It feels like only yesterday that I walked in, an innocent and nervous intern on her first day. So much has changed: I now leave Culture24 with greater work experience and the essential, elusive office experience so many jobs require. But what exactly have I learnt?

Firstly, I really appreciated the opportunity to work in an office: something I have never done before, yet some of the jobs I was applying for required office experience. Having spent time in this busy environment with my lovely and slightly alternative Culture24 colleagues, I now feel I could work in any office.

From looking up event details and talking to museum staff on the phone and over email, I’ve also learnt a lot about museums across the UK. On my first day I was given the task of calling museums to promote the Connect10 competition, and spoke to museum staff in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. Not only did the change of accents disorientate me but it was just immense to be talking to people across the country. Those of you who spoke to me on the phone that day may have noticed how nervous I was – it’s amazing how this does not affect me as much any more, and it now seems natural to pick up the phone for a lovely chat with museum staff from the far reaches of the country.

Part of my work here has involved using some computer programs which I’d never heard of before, let alone used. Beyond Excel (which I now feel I should have a degree in) I have learnt to use the Highrise customer relationship management system, Wufoo to retrieve competition submissions, and Culture24’s Direct Data Entry system to work on event listings.

My social networking skills have also been put to use, using Twitter to promote festival events, Storify to track conversations about Museums at Night and WordPress to publish blog posts.

The key thing I have learnt is about the importance of marketing. Through working with thousands of photos, I now understand the types of images that are best for museum publicity. I have also improved my communication skills by writing blog posts and tweets.

Overall my time with Culture24 has been brilliant: I’ve met some lovely people; learnt lots of transferable skills which I can apply to future jobs; and most importantly I now know about an unbelievable number of UK arts and heritage organisations, which will make me invaluable at any museums pub quiz.

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A girl in blue smiling

Holly our intern

Holly Parsons studied History and Politics followed by Heritage and Museum Studies at the University of Portsmouth. She lives in Brighton and has a keen interest in museums, volunteering in several and visiting as many as she can.

Now she is leaving Culture24, Holly plans to carry on her current museum work while seeking paid museum employment. Find out more about Holly through her LinkedIn profile.  —————————————————————————————————-

2 responses to “Museums at Night intern Holly Parsons shares what she’s learnt

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