My primary role within the department – combining long-term strategic planning, policy making and audience experience and my keen analytic eye on history and heritage within more quantitative spheres – to decide TVCA’s new directions in heritage, which is yet to go to tender, aligns fantastically with my interests and both my professional and academic training. As a recent graduate, that level of trust in my background has been inspiring from all my team members.
A spate of COVID-19 lockdown extensions from 2020 – 22 left me with a combination of degrees in Film and Media Production, Media, History and Politics, and most recently, War Studies. Throughout this time, I have been lucky to have worked the length and breadth of Britain’s history and heritage institutions from the Imperial War Museum to our very own Heugh Battery in Hartlepool.
Whilst this was initially fulfilling, I often found that my skills were being compartmentalised amidst the wider spectrum of struggles that many of these sites faced. Tees Valley Combined Authority, on the other hand, promised to flex all my cross-disciplinary interests.
I was on ground zero with Dominique as TVCA began to formalise and re-connect its impressive network of connections across the heritage industry in Tees Valley to identify a common thread amidst indoor and open-air museums and heritage walking routes. I was also given responsibility for auditing the resources available across all the supporting organisations, including the Teesside Archives, the Dorman Museum and Kirkleatham Museum.
Furthermore, working with Heather and Chris to aid in creating new powerful consortiums for successful community clusters proved beneficial to my understanding of regional development and gave me the opportunity to improve sustainability and economic feasibility in the Tees Valley. In my final week, these experiences came to be useful when I was tasked with formulating a strategy for cycling and tourism in the Redcar and Cleveland district.
Thanks to my internship, I learned to concentrate and essentialise my analytical skills in a way that unlocks my potential across all my degrees and training, especially when responding to official or time-sensitive treatments and client briefings. I have also learned a lot about the transferability of my skills across both market analysis and business development thanks to a combination of backgrounds from my team that have bled across into my thought process during my internship.
Through working with the TVCA’s Creative Place team, I have gained excellent experience on the other side of application processes for grants and projects that I had previously been applying for while working with singular heritage sites.
I am excited by this fresh opportunity to bring my skills as a commissioner and strategy consultant, learned through my work on this internship, to the wider heritage industry, while attached to official offices which will carry me far in my previous roles, instilling greater negotiation capabilities into my working routines.
I have found that my skills have been appreciated more and sharpened for the world of work far better than my previous employments. If I do find myself working in-house again, however, with a museum or institution, I will be able to provide invaluable insight in maximising our spaces and resources to better engage with the rest of our sector, thanks to my internship with the TVCA.