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Emily Powell is currently in her placement year at the Royal Air Force Museum and studies History at BU, this is a guest blog post about her experience.

An Aeroplane at the royal air force museum in North LondonChoosing a university is thought of as a notoriously difficult decision to make but for me, it came down to one question: where did I want my home away from home to be?

I knew Bournemouth had the course I wanted, it offers such a wide take on history and has so far, given me a chance to understand it in a way of the modern age. Then when it came to choosing to complete a placement year it was a no-brainer, education will get you so far, and experience is an opportunity to truly understand what kind of work you want to do.

To find my placement I used the Bournemouth University placement site, “My Placement”, looking through a variety of options – you can also look on sites like indeed. I found my current placement at the Royal Air Force Museum in North London via the BU team. I sent off a lot of emails before securing the versatile position of retail assistant.

The process involved writing and sending off a cover letter, updating my CV, and attending an interview. BU also must verify your placement as appropriate to your course. Once all this had been achieved, I was able to accept the job and look forward to starting work there.

Through studying history at Bournemouth, I have been able to apply knowledge from units such as historical evidence, history in the public world, and interpreting history. These units have allowed me to understand how history isn’t just one piece of the puzzle but for many, it’s deeply emotional and personal, especially when it comes to artefacts.

Throughout the last 8 months at the museum, I have gotten to work in the different departments and understand what each does. Ranging from archives to showcasing activities for school children. Currently, I am working within the archives department to experience more of what they do in the preservation and digitisation of documents, as well as showcasing the knowledge of planes, such as a Mark 16 spitfire, to members of the public.

After I graduate, I envisage myself taking the skills from both my degree and placement and continuing to research history. My ambition is to work at another historical site such as Hampton Court Palace and to further my learning of heritage work.

My placement has taught and affirmed many skills. I am excited to see how my experience from working full-time applies to my final year at BU. Especially, how my enhanced understanding of how history translates differently for everyone and how it is manipulated for certain target groups/audiences.

My advice to anyone considering studying History at Bournemouth is to go for it, you’ll have an amazing time learning from experienced and knowledgeable lecturers. They have a range of backgrounds and are always willing to help to make you a better historian.

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