Do something special – interning with the National Trust external affairs team

The National Trust has 61,000 volunteers. 33 of them are interns. And we’re very pleased that two of those interns are based in our External Affairs team. The post below is from our most recent Campaigns and Policy intern Emma Gill about her time as an intern with us (Emma has now moved on to a job at the Trust).

We want to make our internships open to a wide range of people. That’s why we limit the roles to part-time hours to make sure people still have the time for paid work, look for new roles or alongside on-going studies. We cover all out-of-pocket expenses, including lunch costs and travel. If you’re interested in taking part in our next round, you can apply here.

Three months into my internship, I have already project managed a campaign on climate change alongside a new partner. My role meant I regularly had conference calls with the partner organisation, liaised with marketing, social media, properties and press office. I also helped organise two artists to create artwork at National Trust sites. One was a sand drawing on a beach, the other a solar-powered light installation, both with the aim to raise awareness of climate change.

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  • Liz Mcgowan’s sand installation on Brancaster Beach (Chris Taylor)

Unfortunately the second installation had to be rebuilt after the first day when it was blown down in a storm. The irony wasn’t lost on me. In fact, the solar panels were the only thing to survive.

I’m half way through my time as an intern, working within the external affairs team. Unlike many interns, I made the move after a career as an account manager and not straight out of university.

Why, I hear you ask; simply because I had the opportunity to work within an organisation I cared about, in an area I was interested in.

Ultimately, my hope is to come out of the internship with the chance to gain a job in an area that interests me. Having met many ex-interns at the National Trust, it has merely proved that it’s possible. The skills I’ve developed will help me in the long run and, above all, I’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve had the opportunity to involve myself in the campaign, cause-led side of the National Trust and it really has opened my eyes to what they do and why. Throughout the internship I’ve been given responsibility over projects and always have tasks to do. They create a development programme tailored to each intern to ensure that they gain the experience they want and need to progress, whether that progression is within the Trust or externally. There are plenty of opportunities to go to trainings and people are always happy to give you their time to help out in whatever way they can.

It’s a happy place to work, there are endless cups of tea, always offered by friendly colleagues and if you’re lucky, some of them are brewed well too!

I would say that I’ve been fortunate to have had the chance to be part of something very special and will always encourage people who wish to, that the National Trust is a great place to intern, even if the tea is too milky and your art gets blown apart.

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