Oxford student Anna Barona completed a Sponsorship Research micro-internship with The Institute of Conservation in Hilary term 2022.
What project did you work on during your micro-internship?
I worked on a sponsorship research programme for Icon. Icon is the professional body for conservators in the UK, operating as a charity. This means that most of their revenue comes from membership fees, sponsorships, and grants. At the moment, Icon is looking to improve its sponsorship strategy and my internship was focused on generating leads for potential sponsors that Icon could approach. Icon decided to focus on companies that hold a Royal Warrant, as they may already have an awareness of conservation; work with historical objects/buildings; and their values may be well-aligned with those of Icon. My task was to research these companies (compiling my research into a spreadsheet) and put together a shortlist of promising leads.
What are the lasting impressions of your micro-internship?
I really enjoyed my micro-internship. It gave me a great 'behind the scenes' insight into the workings of a small charity in the heritage sector, and I gained useful business awareness from my research into Royal Warrant Holder companies (I looked at aspects such as corporate social responsibility statements, financial statements, general information about the company and their sector, etc.). At the moment, I do not wish to go into the heritage / non-profit sector, and am instead looking to gain experience in a 'for-profit' sector such as management consulting first. However, I do wish to go into a heritage / non-profit area at a later stage, and this internship straddled my two career interests in a great way!
What advice would you give to future micro-interns?
Be really pro-active, and make this internship your own. Not only will this make it a more rewarding experience personally (and for your CV), but it can also mean that you make a more interesting contribution to the organisation you're working with.