“An Extremely Rewarding Experience”: The M.A Work Placement in Special Collections
Jacky Hodgson (Library), Dr Jane Hodson (English), Dr Tom Leng (History)
What is this about?
The session will describe the M.A. Work Placement modules offered by the Department of History and the School of English, with special reference to the placements that have been offered in the Special Collections Department of the University Library over the past four years. Particular emphasis will be given to the experiences of the students and the benefits they feel that they gained in terms of new skills, increased knowledge, and ideas for future career paths, as well as the experience of carrying out ‘real life’ tasks in a subject area relevant to their academic discipline.
How will colleagues benefit?
The session will look at the experience from the point of view both of the academic departments offering the modules and of the Library department providing the work placements. It will enable academic colleagues to consider the transferable skills that their students can develop through a work placement, such as independent organisation of their workload, team working, application of their academic knowledge to practical tasks, outreach and public engagement activities. From the point of view of the provider of the work placement, the session will consider the balance between the staff time needed to host a successful placement weighed against the merits of engaging closely with students, of being able to contribute to their University experience and learning process, and of benefiting from their academic knowledge in the production of a piece of work. (We think it’s very well worth it!)