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09 Apr 2013

My Work Experience - A Wonderful Two Weeks!

My name is Nora Koch, I am 16 years old and I am from Bielefeld, Germany.

I am in Year 11 and as we are supposed to do two weeks of work experience, I decided to take part in a work experience exchange with the Latymer School in London.

When I arrived at Forty Hall for my first day of work, I did not know what to expect. Furthermore I was scared, that I would not understand anything, that the people working with me would not like me, that the work would be boring, that I would make a fool out of myself, and so on…

But as soon as Frances opened the door and welcomed me, showing me around and introducing me to the other staff members, I knew, I made the right choice in applying at Forty Hall.

And luckily, I was not the only one doing work experience here. It made my first days much easier, knowing that there was another person with the same problems as me.

Although it was only our first day, we had a lot to do: At 10:00 am 90 children from St. Georges Primary School arrived, excited to explore Forty Hall and the “Maths in the Magnificent” – Trail together with us. It turned out to be an exhausting and noisy, but more important, a very funny and interesting first day! We showed them around the house, helping them with activities in different rooms, trying not to get lost as we barely knew all the rooms and corridors ourselves.

Due to the sunny weather, we got the chance to spend our lunch break outside and thus see the beautiful park around the house. Unfortunately, the typical English weather came back soon, so that our breaks from then on took place inside the building. The good thing about that was that we got to know the rooms, corridors and exhibitions quicker and had time to read about the house, the area and the former owner Nicholas Rainton.

The following days I met new members of staff, was introduced to the different working areas of Forty Hall and got an insight into the work behind the exhibition. Apart from preparing for the classes and scanning or sorting folders, we were allowed to dress up as Nicholas Rainton and his wife Rebecca and walk around the house, giving tours to visitors, or simply having a conversation with them about the museum, the park, the shop and so on.

We Also Got The Opportunity To Share Our Ideas About Possible Improvements At Forty Hall.

Not only this, but also the friendliness and the understanding for me and my – sometimes quite funny - language problems made me feel welcome and gave me the chance of enjoying my (short) two weeks of work experience.

While writing this I already start missing the work at Forty Hall, knowing that this is my last day. But I am happy to say that my work experience was more than just making coffee and tidying up, as it was for many students in my year.

Within those two weeks I learned, that working at a museum is more than just talking to visitors, but contains a lot of organization and paperwork. And I learned that even this kind of work can be funny as long as your working environment is friendly and nice – just as the one at Forty Hall.

I really enjoyed working here! Thank you for two wonderful weeks!

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