My Work Experience with Daventry Museum July 2021
By Maisie Spence
My first day of work experience was different to the ones my friends had and it certainly exceeded my own expectations. Being a socially incapable girl of just 15, I expected to be uncomfortable (as I usually am all the time) and not talk to anyone unless I had to. I am not gifted with natural charisma, is what I am trying to say. But, when I entered the museum and got myself acquainted with everyone, I was quite at ease. The people I met were all friendly and welcoming. I could tell you honestly that not one person in the museum was rude or cold towards me.
The unusuality of it all is that the first plan of action was sorting through 176 items of Mr. Men merchandise. Sophie (the Museum Officer) and I spent that first day organising a few shelves and sorting all the items into subcategories.
Was I disappointed with the work I was doing? Certainly not. Organising shelves and displays happened to be a favourite pastime of mine and knowing that people would be looking at those shelves made me weirdly proud to be doing it. I was thoroughly enjoying all the work I was doing.
The second day followed in a similar fashion, except that I got to meet Clare Sherwood, the woman who had loaned the museum all her Mr. Men collectables.
We set up the displays and when she left, I wrote a few pieces on the exhibit. Writing also happens to be a hobby of mine, and it was certainly an experience to have to write things that people would read and gain information from. But I had fun doing it, even if it was out of my comforts of my English classroom.
Wednesday mostly consisted of me writing pieces such as information for the history of Mr. Men and the story of how it all began. I gained a lot of information from that.
We then hid Mr. Men and Little Misses around the museum, which gave me a bit of a laugh. When I had first come to the museum at eleven years old, I never would have thought that four years later I’d be hiding Mr. Men plushies in different spaces for people to try and spot.
Thursday was when I wrote quizzes. I can now tell you a lot about the Mr. Men history, characters, author, and which Mr. Men character I am (I got Mr. Dizzy). My family and friends were certainly finished with me telling them facts and asking them questions such as “if you were a Mr. Man or Little Miss, what would your name be?”. I think mine would be Little Miss Obsessive.
Friday, my last day, is what I am in the middle of right now. It is safe to say that I have certainly had the best work experience out of all my friends. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, and I’ve had routine. I talked to people I didn’t know, woke up early in the morning and walked into town. These small things have given me a taste of what having a job would be like, and I’m very grateful for that.
One of the best things about doing work experience in a museum is that you also have an excuse to wear smart clothes and not get called overdressed. Yes, I did dress like an old man, but I loved that.
I’m glad that I picked Daventry Museum to do my work experience in, I really am. I don’t think that I could’ve gotten a better experience anywhere else, and I’ll be sad when this day is over. I think that I’m definitely going to be volunteering over the summer and dragging everyone I know to the museum to look at the Mr. Men displays.
Thank you very much to Daventry Museum for allowing me to do my work experience here, it has truly been a pleasure.