Rebecca Hayward – Student Engagement and Public Programme Intern for Heritage Collections

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Programme of Study and Year: 3rd Year History MA

Intern Position: Student Engagement and Public Programme Intern

Hobbies:  Reading and ballet

Favourite song right now: Pluto by Jake Wesley Rogers

Describe your role in 4 words: Something new every day!

As I write, I am about to complete my six-month journey as an intern with the University’s Heritage Collections. I have been introduced to a host of new experiences, which will benefit my studies as well as my future career.

I am grateful to my supervisor, Serena Frederick, for supporting me in the day-to-day activities my internship has entailed. In this flexible role, I have been able to take on a hybrid schedule that weaves into my studies, job, and extra-curricular activities. This has allowed me to learn as well as earn.

I have been introduced to many different members of Heritage Collections, and with aspirations to work in heritage after I graduate, this has allowed me to narrow down my scope of interest and explore alternative pathways I can take to get where I want to be. While the experience has definitely been an eye-opener, it has furthered my passion for heritage and given me goals to focus on for the future.

Student Engagement

My primary purpose during the internship was to come up with a programme of events for the new academic year with a focus on student engagement. Finding the Centre for Research Collections for my interview was the first challenge! The Heritage Collections are hidden away on the 5th and 6th floor of the library, and not many students know that it even exists, so I hoped to create a programme that was inclusive of all new students, whether they were undergraduate or postgraduate, history or science students. Over the next few months, some of these plans will be put into action, and I am excited to see the outcome.

I have also worked with a variety of external partners, from marketing firms to artists, attending meetings and surveying content. This has allowed me to meet people beyond the office and understand better the mechanism of heritage engagement.

And Beyond…

Through my internship, I have also been given the opportunity to attend conferences, such as the one here at Edinburgh, the Learning and Teaching Conference. It is an intimidating prospect, especially sitting alongside members of staff, but it allowed me to explore new ways of thinking and meet new

I also attended the Summer School run by Serena at the Centre for Research Collections, where I was able to meet like-minded students and adults where we transcribed some letters from the Charles Lyell Collection. From this, I will be continuing helping with the transcription efforts as a volunteer.

Just this morning I was given the opportunity to explore the storerooms during a session with Sutton Trust students looking at Islamic manuscripts, some dating back to the fourteenth century!

No day was ever the same, and I am incredibly grateful for how this experience has shaped me and my future.

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