Charyss gets busy with bees and much more with National Trust placement


Date: 10th Jun 2019

Second-year BA (Hons) Event and Festivals Management student Charyss Hedgecock gained so much from her placement at the National Trust's Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe it has influenced a re-think on her career plans.

As part of the course students are required to undertake 100 hours of experience and Charyss has told us about what she did and how her experience has impacted her long-time planning.Charyss Hedgecock

How long were you with the National Trust?

I started my experience at the beginning of April and though I completed the hours required prior to the school May half-term I stayed on for that week to help with activities too.

Did you know anything about the National Trust before starting your placement?

I had visited properties with my family before so I had a rough idea of the kinds of activities on offer.

How did you find out about the placement opportunity?

My lecturer had a contact at the National Trust and asked if I would be interested in a placement.

I’m a bit of a sucker for old properties so I went along for an informal interview, with my CV, and was taken on.

What did you do during your placement?

I really got stuck in. The first activity I supported was an Easter trail, helping lay it out, and delivering the event across the Easter holiday by processing payments and handing out materials.

I was also able to do the most heart-warming bit, giving the children their Easter egg at the end of the trail!

I was even given a leadership role when a team leader was absent, supporting the volunteers and making sure all the staff had everything they needed to make the day run smoothly.

I have also supported a ‘Bees & Blooms’ project and feel very proud that activities cards I created for this will be used in the future.

What most surprised you during the placement?

The extent to which the National Trust relies on fundraising and donations of artefacts from the public, which staff work hard to weave into the events they put on, especially for the children who come on school visits.

Do you feel the experience changed you and if so how?

I had volunteered for festivals previously and thought this was the direction I wanted my career to go in, but I’m now thinking much more about family-oriented opportunities.

I love seeing the pleasure that families get from the events I have been involved in. I also love the variety – working across children’s events, activities with a family focus, and themes such as the 1940s.

What other advice would you have after completing the placement?

I thought my CV was perfect until I took it to the Careers team for checking! I would also advise students to start thinking about possible placements as early as the first year. It’s never too early to start approaching people.

Charyss was talking to Kath Dunn, Head of Careers at Bucks New University. We would like to thank all the staff at Hughenden Manor for their support of Charyss and Bucks New University.


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