Placement spotlight: An education initiative with the BBC

I have recently completed an exciting placement with the BBC, working on the research and development of a confidential education initiative.  The project is still under wraps, so I can’t share any details yet – keep your eyes peeled for the project launch in the near future!

In my role, I assisted with research for the project, applying my academic research skills to an area very different to my usual medieval history.  I also gained an insight into the management of a large-scale initiative by attending meetings with team members, academics, and external partners.  I’m particularly interested in public engagement, so it was very interesting to see how large-scale projects gain buy-in and support.  I definitely learned a lot about developing partnerships and managing relationships with team members and stakeholders.

I drafted communications across the project, developing my ability to write for a non-academic audience.  I was very lucky to be given support and advice from my project supervisor, an experienced and senior member of the BBC.  This was a fantastic experience, and it’s very exciting to think that the communications I drafted will be a lasting part of this impactful and unprecedented initiative.

Undertaking a placement at the same time as a PhD was challenging, particularly in terms of balancing the workload.  It’s important to create a clear distinction between your placement time and your time for research – and any other commitments, such as conferences and seminars.  Despite the challenges, the opportunity to work on such an exciting project was a valuable experience.