Volunteer Spotlight: Work Experience

Maddy Clarke, sixth form student from The Rochester Grammar School, describes her work experience placement with the museum.

As a student with a love for history, completing my work experience in a museum was an obvious decision, and I have had the opportunity to shadow the employees within the Huguenot Museum for the week. In my seventeen years, I have explored many museums all over the country, yet when working in one for the week, it opened my eyes to the versatile roles that those who work here have and gave me a great insight to the working environment for such an institution.

There were two distinctly different routes within the museum, the front of house work, which emphasised the more practical skills needed in order to keep the museum running smoothly, and the behind-the-scenes job, such as the marketing of events, and creating effective workshops to enhance visitor’s learning and skill set.

The opportunity I received to shadow the team here at the Huguenot Museum was one that was incredibly insightful, and I gained a large amount of knowledge about the Huguenots and the persecution they faced, as well as being able to understand the different roles which help to organise the museum in an effective and successful way. The role which interested me the most was that of the Learning and Education Officer, where I was able to shadow Hannah. The marketing side of the museum was incredibly fascinating, as it is the driving force behind showcasing the multitude of events here at the museum. This element of the work shadowing opened my eyes to the different techniques used to advertise an event as well as sell it to the public.

Workshops are a key element to the Huguenot Museum, as they are a great tool to teach the public new skills, as well as enhance the ones they already have. To be able to learn about how a workshop is developed was interesting, as it allowed me to see how a starting idea can be transformed into something so engaging and successful.

Truthfully, at the beginning of the week I did not know what to expect. I loved visiting museums but to work in one I knew was going to be a very different experience. Throughout my time at the Huguenot Museum, I have learnt more than I could have imagined- not just furthering my knowledge of the Huguenots but the work shadowing placement opened my eyes to how a successful museum is organised and the contrasting roles each employee has. The opportunity to carry out my work experience here was brilliant and I am incredibly grateful to all the staff and volunteers for making my week so fascinating and enjoyable.