Accessibility statement

Jennifer Auty

  • Studied: BA in History of Art (2004, Vanbrugh College)
  • Current position: Harewood House Trust, Head of Learning

What have you been doing since you graduated?

Since leaving university in 2004, I went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in secondary Art and Design. After teaching for a year I moved into a career in museum education. I had several roles including Learning Officer, Audience Development Manager and I am now Head of Learning at Harewood House Trust in Leeds.

What transferable skills do you feel you gained from your degree?

During my degree I gained analytical, presentation skills and communication skills which have come into use in my career. The interpersonal skills and historical research and writing skills I learned are also useful to my current work.

What advice would you give to current students?
I would advise current students to use their time at university to gain practical skills for future careers. They should use the learning centre to get invaluable skills in ICT, languages etc. They should also volunteer for as much as possible to show that they are proactive and dedicated.

History of Art students in particular must get as much work experience as possible in the sector. Placements and internships look great on your CV and they give you invaluable skills for the workplace. Even short term casual or volunteering positions within relevant organisations will help to set you aside from other graduates. Network as much as possible, attend external conferences and study days with organisations like the Museums Association to meet key and influential people within the sector.

It is really important to volunteer in areas relevant to the career path you want to choose. In order to get into museum education I was volunteering in schools while I was at university and in my summer breaks I was volunteering in museums and galleries. This experience is essential for your CV when applying for graduate jobs, and the more you volunteer the bigger your professional network of contacts will become, improving your chance of success in the sector.

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