Intern Case Study: Jonathan Petre

From January 11th – March 12th 2018, the Modernist Podcast ran a Kickstarter funding drive, raising money to help us cover essential costs. We smashed all our initial targets, allowing us to hire two student interns. In this blog our research intern Jon reports on his time working for the podcast.

How was your overall experience interning for the Modernist Podcast?

I enjoyed my time working with the Modernist Podcast. Because the nature of my role (research intern) was distance-based, I had little face-to-face contact with the Modernist Podcast team, but communicating with my colleagues has been a very easy and reliable way of liaising. Any problems or queries that I had were resolved very quickly through this method, so I ran into very few difficulties in the course of my research. I found my colleagues at the Modernist Podcast to be welcoming and supportive, and overall my experience was extremely positive. I was given the chance to work independently and with a lot of responsibility (re. how I carried out my research, how I managed and used my time) which gave me the freedom to take my research in the direction I felt was best, without fear that, if I did run into any confusion or difficulty, the rest of the team would be unavailable to ask for help.

Do you feel that your time interning for the Modernist Podcast has been useful to you?

Interning for the Modernist Podcast has been extremely useful to me in many ways. As a prospective Masters (and possible PhD) student, the internship gave me a wider experience of working in academia and with academics, which has given me more perspective with which to view my future prospects within the field of academia. Outside of this academic side, my main career goal is to work in the heritage or arts sector, and so the actual work of researching Nottingham’s cultural heritage has been invaluable in giving me experience of the sort of work that I’d like to be doing professionally. I hope in the future to be involved with many more projects like ‘Walking with Lawrence’ and the Modernist Podcast.

What were your favourite parts of the Modernist Podcast? Why?

I very much enjoyed meeting Sean Richardson, my main manager at the Modernist Podcast. It was great to talk through what needed to be done for my internship and to gain an insight into both how the project was being run at the other end, as well as to discuss the field of academia in general and how the cultural sector in general operates as a form of employment. As for my actual research, I divided my work into two halves: one focused on biographic and epistolary material, all of which was found quite easily at my University’s library; for the rest of the time I worked with more unique resources, including rarer monographs and existing (though outdated) heritage pamphlets and guides, at the Manuscripts and Special Collections Library of the University. Working with in the manuscripts library was probably my favourite part of the internship. I have used specialised archives and libraries before, but only minimally, and though my time at Manuscripts for ‘Walking with Lawrence’ was short, it still gave me more practice and more experience in dealing with archive material.

Interns were paid above living wage at a rate of £9.00 / hour.