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Ministry of Defence

Report by Rob Street

My name is Rob Street and I'm currently on a four year Bioarchaeology degree. I decided to opt for the four year solely for the chance to take a year out. During the placement period I was fortunate enough to gain a place with the Ministry of Defence's Conservation office in Aldershot.

The placement lasted for a full year and was salaried. My principal role within the office was to maintain and update the MOD's Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) and to act as a focal point for archaeological efforts on MOD property. The choice of placement was very different to anything I had done during the previous two years at University. I was involved in database management and got to communicate with many county SMR's as well as archaeologists. The job also involved a great deal of travelling and I was able to see areas of the country normally away from the public eye.

The placement year is a great opportunity and well worth getting involved in. I learnt a great deal about the world of work and was lucky enough to gain an understanding and practical knowledge of just how commercial archaeology works both in a public and private set up. The year also gave me a chance to hone many of my skills including my communication skills.

Although the placement was largely desk-based and there were few opportunities for fieldwork I found it extremely beneficial. This is perhaps the beauty of the placement year in the fact that it gives you the opportunity of working in an area of archaeology previously foreign to you as well as the chance to gain valuable experience, which gives you an edge in the commercial field.

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