Chronicle Blog — Emma Honan

The Chronicle’s Volunteer Blog features blog posts and articles about what it’s like to be a part of the Chronicle Project and is written by our volunteers.
This post is by Emma Honan, one of our newest summer interns.

I began volunteering because I wanted something to put on my CV and desired some work experience in archives. I was looking for places to volunteer, when Lara came into one of my lectures and told us all about Chronicle. I think it sparked my interest because I am really passionate about history, and I was curious as to what kind of career I could gain having studied it as a degree. There’s a stereotype that post grads spend a year unsuccessfully applying to jobs and living off their parents. But volunteering really helps avoid that because it’s a way to get your foot in the door.
Whilst volunteering my duties largely concerned travelling to Glamorgan archives and conducting archive research. This was great because not only was it what I requested to do, It allowed me to gain experience in an area of work I wanted to join.
When I was offered the internship I was overjoyed and not just because my tenancy was still valid, I was able to explore what other roles were available in Chronicle. During my internship I was responsible for designing history tours around the archive material we had been collecting. This was something I really enjoyed doing. I was also able to apply historical background to the walk. This gave me the chance to talk about the industrial revolution, the Second World War and even some medieval context surrounding the world guild.
There was always something new and exciting to organise, whether it be a walk or a radio show.
Before I started I would never dream of doing anything like a radio show, I was nervous about doing presentations in front of a few people. But everyone at Radio Cardiff gave me the confidence to prepare, and after having watched a few shows myself, it inspired me to apply for roles outside of the initial career I was thinking of doing. Volunteering at Chronicle gave me the chance to explore a variety of job roles.
It was also a great way of finding out more about Cardiff that I didn’t know before. I never realised how rich its history was, and it allowed me to explore the wider areas of Cardiff like Grangetown and Butetown. I also spent some time in the bay which you don’t really do much as a student.
It was not until taking the internship that I realised how much the city has to offer outside of the main town, the community spirit and the joy of working.
You don’t have to give up your passion to do a job, sometimes you just have to look a little closely at the kinds of thing you can do with your degree. There’s something out there for everyone, and not just those who study history!
Volunteering for Chronicle has a lot to offer everyone, its great if you want experience interviewing, digital skills and improving confidence.
Overall, I would say that working here has given me the fantastic opportunity to explore opportunities available from volunteering.
Turns out having a job is much more fun than I thought!