December 5, 2023, by Arts Placements

My Being Human Festival Placement

From Start to Finish

By Robyn Wickham

The Sign-Up Process

I found out about the Being Human Festival Placement through a School of English placement talk. Initially, I was uneasy about signing up as I already had quite a few commitments and because it was the final and most important year for my degree. However, with only a couple of days before the deadline, I submitted a cover letter and CV. From being on a society committee, I had found out that I enjoy organising community events. The job role said that we would be organising events for the general public to engage with the university’s academic information, so I signed myself up.

The interviewers were really friendly and seemed really interested in my personal motivations as well as what I could offer them. From the answers I gave, I could tell I was enthralled by the opportunity. Until my acceptance email, I hadn’t realised the placement was a paid experience. This helped in covering the costs of my weekly shop at university.

The Role

In the first few weeks of the placement, I searched for learned scholars and family friendly organisations to email the event programme to.  I also added our events to the LeftLion website and contacted academics whose events I had signed up to. It was really interesting to learn what societies and support groups the city had to offer, and has given me a better understanding of the local area.

During the 10 days of Being Human: Nottingham festival, we held 14 events and I supported at four of them. The Creativity, Making Meaning and Mental Health event involved people discussing the philosophy of creativity, sharing their creative projects and talking about how artistic endeavours can both help and hinder mental health. It was amazing to hear such diverse opinions contributing to the conversation and the unjudgmental decisions to agree to disagree with other people’s outlooks. The staff and Nottingham residents at the Middle Street Resource Centre venue were really welcoming, and it was nice to find out there was a community centre within walking distance of Broadgate Park.

I also attended the Bears, Beers and Bards event at the Crafty Crow, at which university staff talked about bears cited in Nottingham and pointing to the places on a map. Medieval music played by two performers who between them sang and played the cello, oboe, English bagpipes and recorder, accompanied the talk. Members of the public received the event well; tapping their feet to rhythms, singing along at choruses and joining in with pantomime-type quips and jokes in the evening.


I am so glad I  decided to pursue this placement. It has been eye-opening in teaching me how to take initiative in tasks I am not completely confident or proficient in. It has also taught me social communication skills for the professional world when speaking to the public and academics, maintaining the Being Human Festival’s connections. I am still unsure of what I would like to do after my degree, but the placement has provided me with a range of skills that may make me more desirable to future employers.

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