My Student Work Placement Experience

I had planned to volunteer at Teesside Archives over the summer in order to gain some work experience which is difficult to obtain through the year due to being a full time history student at Teesside University. Thanks to the careers service at the university I applied for a six week summer work placement at Tees Valley Arts which would allow me to gain the experience I wanted at the archives.

The main aim of the placement was to archive the document archive that Tees Valley Arts had amassed since the company was founded in 1982 as Cleveland Arts. It has to be said that the sheer amount of documents that can be accumulated over that time is frankly alarming and intimidating. Through the placement I split my time between Teesside Archives and Tees Valley Arts allowing me to see how both companies worked individually. I would spend most of my day at the archives, sorting through, cataloguing and archiving the approximate 100 boxes of documents from Tees Valley Arts. I would also spend time at the TVA office helping to sort through documents there, help add to their website and see how they ran their business on a daily basis.

The worst part of the placement would be the monotonous task of sorting though all the documents in order to know what is there before it can be archived. It is an incredibly time consuming but vital task when archiving. The best part of the placement would be the experience gained over the six weeks and the people I have met.

I have learnt how to archive and catalogue correctly and have familiarised myself with the archiving system CALM, a skill I am sure will be of use to me in the future. I have also been enlightened to the working sector that Tees Valley Arts is located in which is a sector that was previously unknown to me.

Over the course of my placement I have been kindly and graciously accepted into both Tees Valley Arts and Teesside Archives who have both endeavoured to help me in any way that they can and have both been a pleasure to work with. I would like to thank Peter, Rowena, Ree, Miki, Maurice, Ruth, Kimberly, Helen, Judith, Cori and Michelle who have all made my placement a pleasant experience and one I will surely learn from.

Beth Parsler