Grads4Nottm Placement Student Louise Meiklejohn

I’m Louise, a Museum and Heritage Development student at Nottingham Trent University and one of the Grads4Nottm interns with Nottingham Castle Trust.

Louise

I worked alongside my teammate Lucy, to develop possible events for the castle using the caves as the focus and inspiration.

Research creates ideas

During the first couple of days, we did non-stop research – exploring the history and geology of the caves as well as taking inspiration from other organisations, to use as a jumping-off point for our event ideas.

With our initial ideas agreed, it was important to assess the possible scope, audience and partnerships related to each event while also exploring the sustainability, inclusivity, accessibility and diversity of each event. We needed to reflect Nottingham Castle’s values. In this section, I felt I could feed off my existing interest in co-production and community engagement, enabling me to develop hands-on skills.

We even took to social media for some twitter polls:

twitter poll

Pitch-ing perfect

Having done cost-price analysis for each event we participated in a Dragon’s Den style pitch to Sara, CEO and Debbie, Director of Commercial and Customer Services. This enabled me to see the planning and editing process that goes into the Castle’s event offer, as well as gave me experience in pitching ideas to a panel – a new skill that I can now take forward and develop further.

The final report enabled me to reflect on the work we had done over the last two weeks while also allowing us to be creative and experiment with different presentation styles and formats.

View of a laptop

Conclusion

The internship has given me increased professional confidence and given me a chance to explore an aspect of the heritage industry that I was not familiar with. The constant support and encouragement enhanced the experience and made it a pleasure to work with the Castle. The internship has helped develop my presentation and pitching skills as well as helping me develop my existing research skills, yet still promoting my creativity. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful experience within such a supportive work environment, with the last two weeks spurring on my passion and desire to work within the museum and heritage sector.