Berlin-bound History student grabs DMU opportunities with both hands

Valuable work experience and the chance to travel are just some of the opportunities Sarah Snowdon is embracing while studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).


The second-year History student recently completed a hands-on work placement at Newarke Houses Museum, which is located on the edge of DMU’s campus and tells the social history of Leicester.

Thanks to her course’s History in the Workplace module and #DMUlocal – the university’s programme which brings positive change across Leicester – Sarah spent six-weeks working on a new exhibition launching in July.

Changing Leicester explores developments in town planning laws over the last 70 years and how they have shaped Leicester and the increasing interest in the city's history.

“I love visiting museums, it’s something me and my dad really enjoy doing together, so this placement was perfect for me,” said the 20-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire.

“The subject matter is especially interesting to me because I just did an essay on whether the 1960s was a social revolution and it’s something I’m hoping to explore for my dissertation next year.”

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Sarah got to attend meetings with Leicester’s City Council and Town Hall to discuss borrowing objects and how to insure them, as well as to transcribe interviews with planning officials so that clips can be played over a show-reel during the exhibition.

She also had the chance to study ‘fascinating’ old town maps and pictures, and was tasked with accurately measuring objects so the correct size frames and stands could be ordered.

Sarah said: “The biggest and funniest challenge was measuring a seven-foot frying pan which came from an old shop display - I just don’t know how we managed it!

“The whole experience was brilliant though and I felt really included in everything. My suggestions were valued and it was interesting getting an exclusive look into how museums curate exhibitions.

“I even convinced them to provide leaflets for DMU’s Open Days, because lots of prospective students would be impressed to know that we have such a great museum practically on campus.”

June is shaping up to be a busy month for Sarah. Not only is she invited to the exhibition’s opening night with VIP guests including Leicester’s Mayor, she is also jetting off to Berlin for what will be DMU’s second largest ever #DMUglobal trip.

Having participated in an exchange programme during secondary school, Sarah spent a few weeks living and working in Germany, so is keen to dust off her conversational language skills.

She said: “As sombre as it will be, I think visiting places like Holocaust memorials and the Berlin Wall in the current political climate is really important. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the tragic events of the past to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

“Also, I’m really excited that Professor Panikos Panayi is leading our course element of the trip. His in-depth understanding of German history, culture and language will be extremely beneficial to us.”

Sarah, who chose to study at DMU after attending an Open Day, said: “After a 40-minute chat about modern history with Dr David Dee I knew that DMU was 100 per cent the university for me. I love it here and I haven’t regretted my decision since.”

Posted on Monday 5th June 2017

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