Despite not being granted any of my initial work experience choices, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed working at the Marshall Library of Economics.
Conveniently my parents work in Cambridge, and were able to pick me up and drop off at their work on Hills Road, and from there it’s a 15 – 20 minute walk to the Marshall Library. My break and lunch hours were flexible - typically I took a half an hour break at 11:00, and an hour lunch break from 1:00 – 2:00. For lunch I either walked into the city centre to meet friends, or grabbed lunch at one of the restaurants along the river with my parents.
I particularly enjoyed myself on Friday of the first week. In the morning I worked with Sue on end of week banking procedures, was shown the university bank, and was given a tour of the University Library. During the induction I expressed an interest in English, so Sue kindly arranged a visit to the English Faculty Library for me in the afternoon; where I was given a tour of the library by a school classmate. Everyone was again very welcoming in the English Faculty, and I was given the opportunity to ask questions about the undergraduate English course.
During my time at the library I was made aware of the library’s presence on social media, and the importance of maintaining a creative and contemporary business via advertising their services. Although the library has a smaller building and less storage space than those of other departments, the Marshall Library is an essential faculty for the economics students to have as a primary working space and resource.
I’ve never had a ‘proper’ job before aside from babysitting, which evidently is nothing at all like working in a university library for ten days. There were a few very quiet times during the two weeks, but ultimately I grew to understand the challenges and advantages of working in a library. I am now encouraged to persevere with my own academic aspirations for the future.
I have undoubtedly learnt a lot during my placement at the Marshall Library. I feel as if I’ve gained a lot more independence, confidence and developed an understanding of university life. I now have a further appreciation for libraries – particularly Marshall Library – as I now know first-hand how much work and dedication it takes to sustain a library that is, perhaps, a little overlooked.
Selin (work experience 1 to 12 June 2015)