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What does a Digital Intern at the Trust get up to?

Rio Turnbull is a student in her third year at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA. The University and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have an internship placement which lasts 14 weeks in which Rio has been placed in the Digital department. She shares her experiences a few weeks in.

Bethany Hughes

How did you come to be doing this internship?

I am a student at Brigham Young University. There’s an internship programme established there. I’ve always been passionate about Shakespeare; I’ve studied his stories since I was a kid, and it was important to my mom for me to read classic literature so I had a collection of Shakespeare stories for children. When I found out about the internship I thought it would be amazing to do. I saw the opportunity, latched onto it, and here I am! I started end of January and will be here until the end of the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations in April.

What does the internship entail?

I’m a Digital intern, which means there are a lot of projects for me to do. What I do specifically is content consolidation. There are several websites the Trust has produced over the years, but now that we have a main website, they want to bring the content over to our blog without losing the audiences they’ve garnered, so I recreate those posts on the new website and redirect the old to the new. I also look at traffic analytics and examine what's the best way to boost our audiences, create content for social media, and write blog posts. Plus I’ve had the chance to assist on some filming for Shakespeare’s New Place.

What has been a personal highlight so far?

One day there was a blog in Lithuanian which we wanted translated to see if there were any international projects that could be looked into. I’ve taken a linguistic course in the past, so I can tinker into language and pick things out. I was able to learn a bit of Lithuanian for the day and find out the information we needed. That was definitely fun to do!

Rio Turnbull, Digital Intern
Rio Turnbull, Digital Intern

What kind of person does the internship suit?

Somebody hardworking, creative, and flexible. You need to be okay with working on lots of tasks at once. I’d say adaptability is very key. You also need to be able to commit to something, though, because there are projects that take a lot of time.

What advice would you give to someone considering the placement?

Don’t worry about whether you know Shakespeare or not. It’s more about the man than the works. Everything you need to know about the man you can find in the houses, and you will get the opportunity to explore them. If you don’t know anything about Shakespeare, all the more reason to come and do the placement!

How does the placement fit in with your long term plans?

My plans change all the time, to be honest. I’m passionate about film and media studies, which is why I expressed that to my supervisor and then I was allowed to tag along with the filming opportunities here.

Knowing I can change my mind a lot, I think it's important to develop a skill set adaptable to anything. I’m learning about social media, working on transcriptions for podcasts, learning copy editing skills and how to write for blogs. I’ve learnt so many skills in the Digital department.

How have you found Stratford-Upon-Avon?

Where I’m from, it’s quiet in its own way, so I'm not unaccustomed to the 'small town' feel. What I think is different - and better - about Stratford though is that it is like a mini city. It's so walkable and you can get to anywhere you need to go - there’s something on every corner. There’s also easy access to other places like Birmingham and London if you want to explore elsewhere.

Finally, what’s your favourite Shakespeare play?

It’s always been As You Like It!

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