Many of you will remember us talking about our work placement Jahyun Jang and his work setting up our BCT Supporters Group. Well, he is off to pastures new (well Tibet to be precise!) and we want to say a HUGE thank you for all his help, ideas, hard work and enthusiasm over the last 6 months. We asked Jahyun to write a blog about his experiences working with us at BCT. Here is what he had to say…
“It’s smaller than I expected. This is the first thing I thought when I actually met Simon at the Birmingham City Council building. I am a South Korean student at Warwick University studying for an MA in ‘International Cultural Policy and Management’, and in the spring I was looking for a work placement.
It was March when I started looking for the placement. I came across the BCT website. Since the work they show on the website seemed to be very big, I expected a big organisation such as the National Trust or the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. It was a bit shocking to know they have only two paid staff members and did not have their own office. However, even though the size of the organisation is much smaller than other organisations, as soon as I started working with them, I realised the BCT is an exceptionally structured, and I got a really lucky break to work there.
As I was just a work placement student, I did not expect to have real responsibility. However, Simon and Suzanne assigned me some very structured tasks so that I could be responsible for my own job. For example, Birmingham Conservation Trust was setting up a Supporters’ Group and I was in charge of the process, from market research to developing the action plans and actual scheme for the group. It was demanding to outline the assignments and implement them, however, it actually felt like the work I was doing was my work and, I am proud of its consequences : 36 page Report and Supporters’ Group scheme on the website.
Apart from the sense of responsibility, I have certainly learned a lot about work in real situations. It was completely different from doing research at university, and I had to learn how to convert my knowledge into actual reports and how thorough I have to be in order to carry out one task. Simon and Suzanne were extremely helpful giving me a lot of advice and supervising my work. In fact it felt like I was giving them more work since they had to look after me, with not only with my work but also with my poor English skills.
Finally, and most importantly, I am so happy to get to know the people who work for real change through their work – the staff and volunteers I met through the work placement gave me so much inspiration. As we say in Korea, they are the ‘crystals of purist intention’ in conservation and preservation, and I am honoured to be part of the group of volunteers.
It has been a wonderful six months working for the BCT, and now I am moving on to the next stage of my life by participating in a museum project in Tibet! Although I am leaving the BCT, I will always wish the organisation and people who work for it the best luck from wherever I am. Also, I would like to say thank Simon and Suzanne for giving me such a wonderful experience and taking care of me. Gomapseumnida. kkok Dashiolgeyo – Thank you very much, and see you again!”