Last summer, Ignite Yorkshire employed two Digital Content Interns to assist with social media, the online gallery and all things digital! The paid roles were based at We Are IVE’s offices in Leeds and also involved remote working.
Emily Main and Eleanor Chesterton sat down to discuss their time during their internships, the ups and downs and what they have been up to since.
So, how did you first find out about the internship?
Eleanor: I discovered the internship through previously working on a project run by Ignite at Sheffield Museums. Once that project had concluded, an advert for the internship was presented to me and I applied through there.
Emily: In the summer I worked on a youth project funded by Ignite at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, where I met Eleanor! When I finished the project, the opportunity of the internship at Ignite presented itself, and the rest was history!
What made you want to apply?
Eleanor: I am currently studying Archaeology as an undergraduate and I’m very interested in public work and museums. This internship really appealed to me as I would be working to help with heritage and museum projects with young people, providing some work experience to help me post-graduation. I also applied to further develop my skills working with others and leading small projects of my own.
Emily: I have always been interested in heritage, history and charity: for me, Ignite encapsulates a lot of these passions. I really loved the fact that I could respond to a brief whilst also tapping into my creative side and work independently.
How was your overall internship experience?
Eleanor: I found the internship experience extremely fulfilling – so much so that I continue to work with Ignite part-time. The people I worked with were extremely welcoming and accommodating, making the experience overwhelmingly positive, and we continue to work together now.
Emily: Really positive. I have been fortunate enough to be able to continue working with the team at Ignite and further develop my skills in the workplace. It is really rare to find a paid internship in this sector, and to also enjoy it and want to continue is the cherry on the top.
What has been the most important thing you have learnt during the internship?
Eleanor: The most important thing the internship has taught me was to trust and take pride in my own independent work, and how my own personal skills can benefit the people and projects I am a part of.
Emily: Collaboration and co-production are definitely my biggest takeaways from this experience. I have really enjoyed working in part of a team, responding to a brief in collaboration. I find this a really rewarding way to hear other people’s opinions and work on individual strengths.
What is the thing you are the proudest of?
Eleanor: I am extremely proud of my how-to guide that educates museums on how to utilise the app TikTok to their advantage. It included how the app works, case studies of museums using the app to increase interest, and a section to inspire ideas. I hope it has gone on to be used by museums within Yorkshire to benefit them and influence more young people to become involved with history and heritage.
Emily: I think I’m probably the proudest of the connections that I’ve made with our projects and project team leaders. I have loved getting to know the people behind the projects and see behind the scenes of the work that they are doing in the sector. It really brings the human element to the forefront of the work that I do.
Have you learnt any new skills?
Eleanor: The internship allowed me to develop my skills such as teamwork, independent work, and communication. And I guess it also taught me how to work in an office, which was a brand-new experience for me!
Emily: WordPress! We did some really invaluable training with Maraid, a web development company – who gave us an incredible beginner’s course into the behind the scenes of working with a website. It has given me valuable insights into how much work goes into each aspect of the projects at Ignite.
How has this changed your mindset moving forward into other roles?
Eleanor: This internship has given me a more positive outlook on the value of my own skills and work. I now continue to offer these skills to Ignite, working alongside them to keep young people engaged in heritage.
Emily: Like Eleanor, I have definitely found value in what I bring to a role, alongside increased confidence in my own ability. I think internships are a really valuable time to grow in an environment that encourages individuality and learning.