A nineteen-year-old student from London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus has been kept extremely busy for the last seven weeks on a huge artefact and historical exhibit cataloguing project with the Museum of London.
Hollie, from Sydenham, is currently studying on the College’s Supported Internship Level 1 Award and is required to spend much of her time undertaking work experience in a suitable job role with a real employer.
Since September, she has been travelling to north London, three days a week to help the Museum catalogue hundreds of valuable 17th Century ceramic medallions and bottles discovered in an archaeological dig in Fulham in the 1970s. Hollie has worked as part of a team of five to label and catalogue each piece and add them to a database. She also digitally photographs them using an iPad ready for online display on the Museum’s website.
Recently, Hollie took part in a promotional event at the Museum of London Docklands where she set up a display of exhibits and talked to visitors and guests about them. This was all part of a project in which she has learnt lots about museum collection management, public engagement and the promotion of archaeology.
Her line manager, Adam Corsini is one of the Museum’s Archaeology Collection Managers. The museum has held huge exhibitions over recent years that include High Street Londinium - an exploration of Roman London, Crime Museum Uncovered - a display of murder weapons from over 140 years of crimes committed in London, and a fascinating display of skeletons and other findings uncovered by the tunnelling work of Crossrail.
Adam says: “I think Hollie has caught the same infectious enthusiasm for the job as I did. When she first came to us she was naturally a little nervous and shy. Over the course of the project, she has come out of herself and become a real asset to the team. I suppose we have thrown her into the deep end with this work. It requires attention to detail and a very high level of accuracy and concentration. I think she is definitely cut-out for museum work; both front-of-house and behind the scenes. We are all very impressed.”
Hollie is still to decide where her future career will take her but she has thoroughly enjoyed this exciting work experience programme. She says: “Working in the museum is amazing. I am surrounded by rows and rows of shelves that contain so much of London’s history - some of it going back thousands of years.
“I have always had an interest in art and science and now I am hooked on history too. I’ve learnt so much here and I have loved it. The team members I have been working with are all specialists who have donated a lot of their precious time to me and I am very grateful.”
Tutor, Giles Delamare is the Employment Preparation and Supported Internship Leader at Bromley Campus. He says: “I‘m delighted for Hollie and I believe she has really gained from the experience. We have a great relationship with the museum and we worked hard to prepare Hollie - particularly with her employability skills. She certainly hasn’t let us down and has taken full advantage of the opportunity presented to her.
"London South East Colleges' supported internship scheme is growing bigger and stronger each term. Just last year, a stunning 43% of students leaving our SEND employability courses at Bromley Campus (against a London average of just 6%) have found meaningful employment. This is a great achievement and one that we aim to improve year after year.”