This week has been a rather calm week compared to the last four weeks of my internship. This week has been a combination of deskwork and networking. Monday was an exciting day of meeting and greeting people. I had the opportunity to shadow Catherine as she gave her INTO presentation to a group of Russians visiting the British Council. The British Council brought these Russian Museum Professionals to the UK for education and learning on how British museums and sites are run. Therefore, INTO fit in perfectly with the discussions of sharing best practices and experiences. The presentation was being translated into Russian. That was interesting to hear and the translator did an amazing job. Later, that afternoon we received a visit from Don Jones, the US/ICOMOS director aka the man who made this internship possible, and discussed working more with INTO and its members to possibly set up more internships. Wouldn’t that be an exciting development?!
After Don departed, I got to meet another one of INTOs volunteers, Susan, who volunteers with events for INTO. The volunteer community that exists in INTO and the National Trust is so astonishing, and even more amazing that people love to do it and will give up their time for such a great cause. After all the meetings, I was working on my blog for the week before, and came across a review for the opera Catherine and I saw at the Grange. And I finally understand how Don Quichotte was being interpreted, well at least understand it a little better. Lesson Learned: if you don’t understand a play or dramatic production just look up the review.
Fast Forward to Thursday because Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty uneventful and am I sure you don’t want details about my research. On Thursday, I took the train out to Heelis, National Trust Headquarters in Swindon, and participated in an Intern Network Day. There were about 55 Interns at Heelis from different properties and different sections of the National Trust. It was very interesting to see what the day in the life was like for interns, particularly those ones working on a property. The experience of working within the National Trust network is so different for each person depending on their focus. At the interning event, there were conservators, gardeners, property managers, and education specialists. Of course, what I am doing is completely different from everyone else also. I met some great people and explained the purpose of INTO a lot, which everyone was interested in because most people do not know that there are International Trusts. The day taught me a lot, and I think I finally understand the point of networking and the real difference between a resume and a C.V. (shockingly, they are not the same).
On Friday, I had the surprise opportunity of getting to meet with a travel group from Myanmar and the Yangon Heritage Trust. Luckily, it worked out and I met the group at the Somerset House along with their guide, Zunetta. For those who don’t know, my thesis for my Master’s program is focusing on a World Monuments Fund project in Mandalay, Myanmar. It was great that I got to meet with some of the leaders of the Heritage Trust for a few hours on Friday, even if there was some translation issues. I also participated in their tour of the Somerset, which is a huge neoclassical house, which has been refurbished as an arts and cultural space and a series of offices for start-ups. It is a great example of adaptive reuse of building, which is very applicable to what is happening in Yangon today.
Till next week…