BA History (2008), Learning Projects Officer, Houses of Parliament
Why did you choose Royal Holloway for your degree?
I chose Royal Holloway as it provided the ability to study a wide variety of history topics within a general history degree. This was particularly appealing to me as I could not decide if I wanted to specialise within one topic or historical period or study a variety of different periods.
How did your time at Royal Holloway help your future career?
My studies really fostered my love of history so much so that I decided to peruse a career within the museum and heritage sector. By studying a broad range of time periods within my course I have been able to work in a variety of different museum and heritage sites ranging from my local history museum to the Houses of Parliament. Also, the more general skills of research, evaluation and writing have also been helpful when developing exhibitions, tours, educational workshops and educational resources.
What do you do now and what advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in your sector?
I would advise anyone thinking about working in the museums and heritage sector to make sure they have a solid academic grounding in their chosen area, for example by studying history if you would like to work in an historical museum or science for a natural history museum. I would also recommend considering a postgraduate qualification if you can - there are many different courses depending on the exact area you would like to work in e.g. exhibitions, visitor services, conservation.
Getting into the sector is tough - most institutions will expect you to have undertaken some form of work experience beforehand so you may want to consider volunteering at your local museum if you can. It will also give you a chance to try some of the different roles within a museum. The Museums Association has some very helpful advice about getting into the sector and how much you can expect to get paid for your work.