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Being on Work Placement at the Mary Rose Museum

Hello, my name is Kay Seago and I am currently in my second year of studying history at the University of Winchester. For the past eight weeks I have been undertaking a work placement at The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth.  The reason that I chose to carry out my work placement at the Mary Rose is because I am not only interested in the Tudor period, but find the history behind the Mary Rose really fascinating. My aim for the work placement is to get an insight into careers within a museum.


On my first day of work placement I was given a guided tour of the museum. As I walked around, I was absorbed in the artefacts found on board of the ship, and was eager to learn more about The Mary Rose. I was then given the project of creating a pack on the 1980s, the decade in which The Mary Rose was excavated. I found this project really interesting as I got to compare the 1980s with modern day and was shocked at the differences; for instance, inflation. The pack that I created consisted of a 1982 fact-file, a 1982 quiz and a picture match game.


I have had a great time helping in the education centre at the Mary Rose. The staff and volunteers have been so helpful and are really easy to approach. Moreover, I was fortunate enough to meet Chris Dobbs, a diver and now Curator for The Mary Rose Museum


Mary (a teacher in the museum’s education department) suggested that I interview Chris as part of my project. I found the prospect of this to be really daunting. There I was, a second year undergraduate interviewing a man who had the career that I was striving for. However, whilst I was initially really nervous, I soon realised that Chris was completely down to earth and more than willing to share his experiences with me.


As I spoke to Chris, I realised just how overwhelming the task of excavating the ship would have been. Chris and I discussed everything from his recruitment as a diver, to his underwater adventure with HRH Prince Charles himself. We spoke for a good hour or so and after the interview concluded I was left feeling really honoured to have gained even more insight into the story of the Mary Rose and one of its Curators.


My experience of working at The Mary Rose has shown me the importance of choosing a job that I will enjoy. Every person that I have met whilst working there, whether they are staff or volunteers, seem to enthusiastic and happy to be working at The Mary Rose. This quality is something which I hope I can find in whatever career that I pursue.


Kay’s interview with Christopher Dobbs will be posted on this blog Friday, 4th April 2014

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