Rebecca Bailey, 25, is an assistant exhibitions manager at The Royal Academy of Arts in London. Originally from Salford, and later Warrington, she completed a six-month internship as an oral history assistant with the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust as part of her MA in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester.
“The internship was an opportunity to gain invaluable experience,” she says. “The Legacy of Ahmed project I worked on was both interesting and important. My main task was to work with another intern to create indexes and summaries for two previously recorded oral histories. The recordings contained memories of members from the Lonsight-Sylhet Link group, a group of individuals who had visited the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Memorial School in Bangladesh in 2003. The resources we produced were for use by future researchers and visitors to the Trust, and we also summarized the histories for the Trust’s blog.
“I was also interested in the community engagement aspect of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, assisting the project manager at Ananna, the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation. I really enjoyed listening to the women’s memories of growing up in Bangladesh and Manchester.
“My time at the trust taught me about race-relations and community cohesion in Manchester from a range of professional perspectives. We learnt how to independently research, contact and record the oral histories of two individuals who contributed valuable memories to The Legacy of Ahmed project. The internship gave me an insight into how cultural organisations work with one another, how Heritage Lottery funded objectives are set and met and how exhibitions are organised.
The most valuable experience was working with an experienced and encouraging project manager. Jennie Vickers took the time to ensure that interns got the most out of the placement and really gave us an insight into what goes into making a project and exhibition come to life. I learnt that it is key to be passionate and practical about reaching objectives. This lesson will always be valuable to my career.”