Thursday, 11 June 2015

End of traineeship- beginning of the next chapter – Hannah Eastwood

Well, I don’t quite know how to sum up the past year of the HLF Skills for the Future traineeship in a few words. So much has happened in such a short space of time that it has simply whizzed past! I remember our first day where we wrote down our expectations and areas which were concerning us as a group. I think all of us said that we needed more experience of delivering and that our most familiar audience that we felt comfortable with was families. 

It was agreed that each of our placements would give us equal opportunities to gain this experience and by the end we would be able to give an example of working with all audiences. 

I really enjoyed how supported I was throughout my time at each museum. Each team were there for me, helping me through any worries and encouraging me to give things a go to boost our confidence. I always felt part of the group and therefore had a real sense of how it would be getting a job outside of the traineeship. 

Hannah with a local primary school- lantern making workshop

Alongside our time on each of our placements we also had the chance to meet with our project coordinator for mentoring, 1 to 1 meetings and to chat about anything which we were doing or if there was an area which we were struggling with. These meetings were really beneficial; they helped to maintain a sense of progression and also helped me to document what I was doing in order to feedback. 

I found the training days to be really enjoyable. The many different areas we explored were really helpful- especially as we could then go back to our museums and put our learning in to practice. It’s always really interesting to hear from the experiences of different education officers and to gain insight from their own experiences. 

Hannah on placement at the Museum of the History of Science

Having explored many different collections, jumped to different challenges and experienced delivering to a wide range of audiences, I now feel equipped with confidence and experience to demonstrate my skills on job applications and at interview. 

I have learned lots, but the biggest lesson I have come away with is to remain confident. I know that I am capable and I just need to carry on believing in myself.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had and I will continue to pursue a career in museum education. I’m excited for what the future might hold!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

My Experience of Skills for the Future - Corie Edwards

For the last year I have been fortunate enough to work across the Oxford University Museums and Collections as an HLF Skills for the Future Education and Outreach Officer Trainee. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by already, but it has, and in short my future has been changed for the better. I have learned so much and gained invaluable experience and skills. 

Corie on placement at the Harcourt Arboretum

One of my favourite parts of the traineeship was working alongside multiple education officers in various roles with different backgrounds. I could talk to them about anything and they were always there to support me and any ideas. Many times the conversation focused on how museums can shape people’s lives; about what museums can do for people out in the community; why people would want to be involved with museums. I loved those conversations and it just recently hit me that I am one of those people for whom museums help and shape lives. 

Corie in discussion with the Early Years to KS2 Officer at the Ashmolean

Skills for the future was a project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund to give those experiencing a barrier to museum work the access and skills necessary to work in this field. This project allowed me to break into a field I have been striving to work in for over five years without success. It bridged that gap between those who were good enough to work in museums but did not have enough experience and could not get hired to gain that experience. I am externally grateful for the opportunity I have been given.

Corie working with a local primary school

Museums are more than buildings filled with objects. They are centres of learning, culture, social engagement, opportunities, fun, and so much more that it cannot be contained within four walls. It breaks out into the community and listens to them to provide an experience unique to anywhere else. The work HLF has done with Skills for the Future and OUMC has reached out and developed a whole new generation of education officers willing to take on the challenges of the future. I am one of those people and I will take this opportunity I have been given to help others through museums because it is museums that shaped my life and my future.