What have you been doing since you graduated?
"Following my graduation from York I was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the collaborative ‘Displaying Victorian Sculpture’ project. I had submitted my thesis earlier than planned in order to be able to apply for the position. I am now engaged in writing a book on Victorian sculpture, as well as being the project’s administrator."
What transferable skills do you feel you gained from your degree?
"My University degree provided me with research and writing skills that are vital to my current role."
What advice would you give to current students?
"In terms of finding a suitable job following graduation, students should follow their interests and try to keep an open mind; jobs in academia, museums and art organisations will become increasingly limited and competitive over the next few years. Students should maybe think about developing skills such as project management in other sectors while they wait for the right opportunity. Attending conferences and study days, and joining relevant societies, are a great way to meet people with similar interests but who might not necessarily be working in the same field. Volunteering is fine but it can be expensive, and unrewarding. Aim for a defined project with specific responsibilities and skills that you can add to your CV.
The History of Art Department at York has established partnerships with museums and art galleries throughout the UK. Students should take advantage of this and find out how they might be able to gain research or work experience through them. For work experience, try and think of departments and organisations that are less likely to be approached than, say, the big London venues; you might stand a better chance of being accepted, and learn a broader range of skills in a less busy environment. Also, think of the time it might take curators, conservators, exhibition teams or others to help you - don't be too demanding on their time or resources, and make it clear that they'll be getting something really useful in return."