This week we said goodbye to one of our Marketing volunteers, Patrizia Berchi, who is heading back home to Italy to begin what we are sure will be a very exciting career in Marketing (she can also speak five, yes FIVE languages!). Before we let her go, we asked her to look back on her time with us and share some of her favourite memories…
10:00 am – Like every Wednesday I ring the bell on the eccentric little red door in Stour Street, ready for my usual day as Marketing Volunteer. Only this time something is different; not only the weather gods seem to have been merciful to the local weather for once but, most importantly, this is my last day of work. An unexpected feeling of sadness comes over me as I hear the familiar steps of Annabelle nearing the door, how has time gone by so quickly?
Three months ago that same door opened to a much more insecure me, as I was welcomed to join the Marketing team for Canterbury Museums & Galleries. I was understandably terrified. After all, I was a language student looking for an experience totally outside of my comfort zone. I was a fish out of water. And yet, from day one, I have never felt left behind and all my insecurities were very soon swept away by the infectious positivity that the Museums team conveys. I was made to feel like a very valued team member, I was given a lot of trust and always treated with respect.
Thanks to this positive environment and the varied and engaging work, I have learnt so much about marketing and museums; about the importance of online presence, of consistency, and of relying on solid data. I also know so many fun facts by now that I have actually turned into a great entertainer at dinner parties*. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way around doing some spreadsheet-ery every now and then but once you understand how important that is for creating an effective marketing strategy and campaign, even that becomes rewarding.
The most important lesson I have learnt, however, is that what matters the most is caring about your cause and believing in your abilities. Because even fish out of water can learn to adapt and deliver great results – and write breath-taking metaphors – if they’re willing to persevere and people believe in them. So I want to thank everyone I had the honour of working with and learning from for giving me this opportunity and just generally being wonderful people, and to the next volunteer I say, don’t be afraid to ask questions and enjoy the ride, it is a fun one!
*Did you know that over 300,000 mummified cats were sent from Egypt to Britain during Victorian times to be used as fertiliser? Me neither. And yes, mummified cats are a thing.
Patrizia Berchi is a recent Kent University Language graduate, volunteering in the Marketing Department at Canterbury Museums & Galleries from February to June 2016.
If you would like to develop your Marketing and Communications skills within the cultural world then please email your C.V along with availability to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put “Marketing Volunteer” in the subject line.
You can find everything you need to know about volunteering at Canterbury Museums & Galleries here