Mark Small, BA MA (2006-2011)

Mark SmallI was fortunate to be able to start an internship at the Churches Conservation Trust immediately after submitting my MA thesis, by working with the network of contacts I’d gained through research and study in Leicester.  My internship in London in 2009 soon turned into paid posts within the Regeneration team at the Churches Conservation Trust down in Bristol and the South West, where I could be found supervising a team of young volunteers to plan the regeneration of a closed 16th century rural parish church.  My Masters course put me in good stead for this work, as I’d already written up a project about the regeneration of a 16th century grammar school in central Leicester, which is now a restaurant part of the Highcross shopping complex.  I was also able to use my strong essay-writing skills to write a successful Heritage Lottery Fund grant application for tens of thousands of pounds.

Once my contract with the Churches Conservation Trust ended I began working at Bristol Museum, my work including a good mix of hands-on conservation of objects and public-facing front of house duties. On top of my paid duties I was also helping develop project plans and ideas briefs for the development of my particular part of the museums service.  The experiences I gained in giving presentations and receiving feedback during my Masters study came in very useful here.

My current role is a full time role with the Bristol Record Office, with a similar responsibility straddling the maintenance and conservation of documents, and working with the public to share their value.  The research parts of my study at Leicester have definitely shown their value with this role – I spent a lot of time on the public side of the archives in Leicester which gave me a great starting point to work behind the scenes in a Record Office.

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