The Visitor Services team are able to offer a limited number of work experience placements for secondary school pupils each year. Pupils will be working in a customer facing role, engaging with the public, aiding tour groups and handling shop stock and money. The week may also involve some behind-the-scenes work with objects from the collection and representing the Trust at meetings with external partners. We are able to tailor placements to suit the needs of individuals based on the current projects being undertaken. Please contact Laura Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an enquiry.
Rory's Work Experience Placement (Secondary level)
In July 2013 Rory undertook a work experience placement with the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre. During this week, he helped with banking and cashing up; opening and closing the Visitor Centre; dealing with shop customers; delivering a guided tour; developing a Children’s Trail; research; collection archiving and till training, as well as attending meetings and participating in a tour of the bridge abutments.
On Monday I helped Laura (The boss) with the banking and restocking of the centre and after lunch I learned how to use the old till and helped run the visitor centre.
On Tuesday I sat in on a meeting about the new visitor centre and during the afternoon learnt about the new till with Laura, and then helped with the two till training sessions after that (we were teaching the other volunteers how to use the till).
On Wednesday I helped around the visitor centre in the morning (making sure nobody was finding using the new till difficult) and during the afternoon I went down under the abutments and we saw if it could be suitable thing to include in tours.
On Thursday I came in an hour earlier to sit in on another meeting about the new visitor centre, then I helped with a tour showing some years 3&4 around the bridge. During the afternoon I did some archiving which involved taking old post cards and carefully storing them away.
On Friday I helped in the visitor centre in the morning, making sure everybody knew how to use the new till, and during the afternoon I helped restock and cash up for the week.
Overall I would say that this work experience is quite fun, as I like meeting new people, and a visitor centre is perfect to do this. I also liked working on the till as working on a till is probably going to happen at one point or another in my career so this was good practice. Overall, I enjoyed my time at the Visitor Centre.
Joseff's Work Experience (Choosing A-Level options)
Joseff was interested in becoming a Museum Curator and already had a broad range of expeirence as a young volunteer in the museum in his home town. Hw wanted to broaden his skills, gain more confidence and think about his future study direction at University. Monday began with an induction and a chance to explore the exhibition. Joseff sat in on a meeting with a team from Bournemouth University who are working on a project with the Visitor Centre, and then spent the afternoon on the Front Desk where he learned about the role of our Front of House Team and how to operate our till system. On Tuesday, Joseff worked with the Education Volunteers to assit with the delivery of a programme of events for South Bristol Youth, which included a bridge tour, vaults tour and newspaper bridge building challenge. This was followed by another set of activities for a Summer scheme, during which Joseff was able to become more directly involved with the delivery. Wednesday saw a meeting with volunteers from the bridge who are conducting research for a new exhibtiion about John Hawkshaw and William H. Barlow - followed by chance to become involved int he research process and follow some of the leads generated in the meeting. On Thursday Joseff helped with delivery of a 2 hour public Vaults Tour, which goes into the space beneath the Leigh Woods Tower and assisted with general office admin, including designing and making badges for volunteers to indicate the languages they speak. The week ended with more project research and some assistance in stocktaking ready for the weekend.
Alessandro's Work Experience (Language Placement)
This experience of 5 weeks here at the Bridge (plus 1 week of English course) went really fast, probably because I enjoyed staying here in the city and working at this place, I didn’t mind being 1500 km away from home because it was really good here.
During this experience I didn’t really learn a lot of things but I have improved a lot of things.
My English is better, as when I began to start English I have always been good with vocabulary and grammar, the problem was to talk. The most important thing for me is how much I am fluent in a language, so in this case I feel I have improved a lot because now I can reply, I don’t have to think about the answer for some time I just say it and that’s it, I absolutely love it.
As a person and for my future and life in general, I learned to care for myself alone, I’m more independent and I proved to myself I can do it even if I have no help from my family or friends. I understand more the value of the money and life.
As a work experience now I can do many tasks better in English. I learned to manage the desk and how to interact with customers and, I now have more team-work skills because of the many volunteers.
Overall I found this experience really interesting and exciting, I recommend an experience abroad like this to everyone who wants to improve as a human being and add something to the curriculum, and obviously to improve a language and to gain experience in work.