My placement involves a variety of different roles: from auditing loans and providing front-of-house services to documenting archival materials, working with asbestos and conducting assessments of other museums. Essentially, wherever they need me; and as one of the Collections' Assistants said themselves, they would like to have me in four different places at once ideally, so I never find myself without a job to do. By the end of my placement I will have designed and set up a display case detailing my journey from when I first started working with them to my final day here. Training and instructions on how to approach each job is, of course, provided, and my health and safety is always their top priority.

Finding and getting your placement can be difficult. When it comes to the museum and heritage sector, they do not usually advertise their placements. It is up to you to go out and find something, as they will not go out of their way to come to you. I myself had sent off more than a dozen emails enquiring about placement opportunities with institutions as far afield as London and Norfolk before Sedgwick Museum got back to me, possibly offering a placement with them; and it was only through constantly pushing for it, as the Curator admitted, that they finally, concretely, offered me a place. Always push for these things until you get a definitive yes or no, and apply to as many places are you can to maximize the chances of you getting somewhere; your tenacity will pay off.

Getting a paid placement is great, but do not turn down one because it is unpaid, it says a lot more about you if you have contributed a large chunk of your life to a profession you claim you aspire to without seeing a single dime. I would, therefore, recommend getting a job whilst on an unpaid placement like mine to pay for food, rent, etc. Some placements offer to reimburse you for travel expenses: For instance, Sedgwick offered to pay me back for the train fare to and from Cambridge and London for the History Day event but I have not taken them up on this offer simply because I am happy to contribute my own money; the experience is payment enough for me.

If you approach your job with a sort of "Don't ask what they can do for you, ask what you can do for them" attitude, you will soon find all sorts of opportunities to enrich your experience with the placement open up to you. This attitude is how I got into representing Sedgwick Museum at the 2023 History Day event in the Senate House (hosted by the University of London), contributing to Sedgwick's Museum Code of Ethics meeting and helping with their temporary Earth's Traces exhibit; both of these events were held outside of my contracted hours, but I agreed to attend to both assist the Museum and gain as much experience with Museology as possible. Placements are, after all, a rare opportunity to put your foot in the door and to stand out from the crowd, so why not wring it for as much experience as possible so as to really shine.

I have the privilege of working with the Collections Assistants, the Archivist, the Education Coordinator and many others from all walks of life. I get to explore parts of the museum closed off to the general public, and rediscover fascinating artefacts simply by trawling through old dusty drawers and shelves. I get to partake in all sorts of activities. I can offer my own insights into different situations, and challenge myself with different obstacles to overcome. I can confidently say that I will come away from this experience better than when I started, with a whole host of new skills and knowledge under my belt. As could you.

I strongly suggest applying for and taking a placement. While relocating and settling in may be challenging initially, it paves the way for smooth sailing ahead. Placements offer new areas, friends, experiences, and career opportunities. Don't miss out! Contact the placements team at for more information.