Written by Tom Hewitt, MERL Intern.
My name is Tom Hewitt and I’m currently working as an intern at MERL. The title of my post may be somewhat misleading, as I’ve actually been here for 40 days (and 40 nights!) already and have just been set the scary task of writing my first ever blog post.
1) What are you doing? (Why are you even here?)
Of course one of the first questions people ask, and it’s a hard question to ask without sounding rude! My week is split 3 ways, with 2 key aims: to develop MERL’s online presence and to help with researching for the new galleries. Two days a week I work on social media and marketing, tweeting, planning, and evaluating our social media impact, and 1 day a week I help plan and create video blogs and an accompanying schedule! For the remaining 2 weekdays, I research for the galleries as well as scanning interesting photos and indexing journals. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time handling objects and perusing the stores! Aside from that, there are plenty of meetings and of course mandatory coffee and cake time – or as it would be called in Sweden, Fika.
2) What are you going to do next?
Here at MERL, I’ll be carrying on with similar tasks, as well as helping to organise some fun events in the Museum, quite possibly involving model railways and remote controlled cars! Beyond that – who knows! It seems to be the most common question for all students or graduates, and must be one of the most avoided questions of all time (so that is precisely what I’m going to do here…)!
3) How are you finding your Internship?
I’m really enjoying working at MERL, particularly because the staff are so friendly and lovely to work with. It’s very interesting working with people with different interests and personalities, and different outlooks on various aspects of the Museum. The research side of things is fascinating too (as a History graduate, it would be somewhat out of character were I to say otherwise!), and the social media work is comfortingly familiar, but actually offers just as much if not more of a challenge than the research.
4) Is it what you expected?
To be completely honest, I was a mixture of nervous, excited and apprehensive when I started. Would I be any good at my job? Would it be exciting – was there actually anything in the Museum’s collection I might be interested in, and could I put up with this marketing business? Well, I actually think that the answer to the latter two questions was no – until I started working here that is. Since then I’ve found tons of items in the collections that interest me, and the challenge provided by the social media marketing is actually quite stimulating and interesting, not at all as boring as I worried it might be!
So I suppose my closing message has to be a cheesy one – don’t write something off before trying it out, you never know how exciting something might be until you try it out.