Sonali Misra

HEI: University of Stirling

Host organisation: The University of Edinburgh Museums

Duration of the internship: Part-time between March and August 2021

My PhD is titled British Trade Publishing and India in the 21st Century: Cartelisation and its Postcolonial Impact’. In it I explore the postcolonial impact of British trade publishing upon the Indian trade publishing industry as well as the country’s writers and readers.


 

Why did you decide to undertake an internship?

I wanted a chance to focus on a project that was not my PhD; that shift in my thought process was important so that I did not feel oversaturated with my PhD topic. Also, I needed paid part-time work, and this seemed like a great opportunity for it. 

What was your internship and what did you do?

In my artist residency at The University of Edinburgh Museums, I created and facilitated a series of six-week writing-for-wellbeing workshops that engaged with the Museums’ collections for people with low-level mental health concerns. These workshops were a part of the Museums’ Prescribe Culture Programme 6, and I collaborated with the curators of four Museums/Collections: Anatomical Museum, St Cecilia’s Hall, Cockburn Museum of Geology, and the Rare Books Collection. 

What aspects of the internship did you find most rewarding?

Due to covid, all the meetings and workshops were held virtually, but I still enjoyed the chance to learn from and collaborate with the curators and also connect with the participants in a safe creative space. I work best when I can combine my love for arts and culture with a social cause, and this internship provided me with that. 

Has the internship influenced your future plans at all?

I would like to explore working in an environment that allows me to combine my passions with having a social impact. 

What are some of the skills you have picked up or improved through the internship?

I’ve improved upon creating content for workshops and also my collaboration and communication skills. 

Do you have any tips for researchers looking to do an internship?

Use the internship opportunity to explore a field different from your research that still caters to your skills/interests. 

Only undertake it if you can balance it with your research (and any other commitments you may have). You won’t enjoy the internship if you’re too stressed about meeting all your deadlines. 

Don’t forget about transferable skills – whether you wish to highlight skills from other projects/fields while applying for the internship, or whether you discuss the relevancy of the skills you pick up during the internship and how they would apply to your career later on. 

Where can people find out more?

Website: www.sonalimisra.com 

Twitter: @MisraSonali

For information about University of Edinburgh Museums’ Programme 6, visit their website and Twitter.

 

This article was published on 6 June, 2022