MA Cultural Geography
Place of Work: British Library
Position: Curator for Canadian and Caribbean Studies
What does your current position involve?
Area Studies curators are responsible for acquiring materials unpublished in the UK for the Library’s collections while also making care and storage decisions for currently held items. A second strand of our work involves helping researchers use the collections, promoting the collections to users and doing our own research into lesser known materials.
How did you come to get that position?
I received a collaborative doctoral award studentship from the ESRC and the British Library’s Eccles Centre which allowed me to spend four years working with the Library’s Canadian collections. It happened that the previous curator in this role left as I was completing my PhD and so I decided to apply. Collections knowledge counts for a lot when applying for any curatorial position, so my research experience was a significant factor in getting the job.
How do you think your degree has helped you?
I think a degree in geography has helped in two ways. The first is seen above, where my degree and postgraduate study set me up to be in the right place at the right time on a few occasions. The second is perhaps more significant and will continue to be important through the rest of my career. Geography is a gregarious discipline, whether you conduct it as a Batchelor of Arts or a Batchelor of Science it provides you with the skills to work with various resources in many different situations. A good example of this is the MA Cultural Geography course which provides a broad overview of the discipline as well as many opportunities to develop research skills and technical expertise (such as the use of computer editing software, GIS, etc.). Not only is this knowledge useful to various careers the experience also encourages the confidence to continue to develop different skills as my working life progresses.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Always consider random opportunities!