Heritage and museum professional

About me

Selina H.
United Kingdom

About this profile

Curator of Medicine
Science Museum
United Kingdom
Library, museum and information services
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

As a curator, no two days are the same. I am currently working on the Science Museum's new Medicine Galleries, due to open in 2019. I lead the content development and delivery for one of five new galleries. In addition, I also make cases for acquisitions, loans and disposals forge national collections. I write for the Science Museum blog and provide advice for television and radio programmes. I also participate in organising and hosting events for 10-300 people

Skills I use and how I developed them

Communication skills both written and verbal for a range of audiences, stakeholders and colleagues
Empathy is essential in in interpreting the past through objects
Presentation skills and persuading people to buty into our ideas
These were all developed through practicing and taking opportunities

What I like most

The variety is the best - the flexibility to find what interests me and opportunities to develop further

What I like least

Working in a large institution can mean it can take time for things to happen as well as being urgently turned round

What surprised me most

The ease with which I could switch from task to task and subject to subject. I also thought I wasn't the best networker but I have found that I work better in smaller groups

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Volunteering was one way I used to learn about an institution and find out about up and coming projects, which is the best way to try out a role and a new place.

How I found out about the job

Other graduate recruitment website

The recruitment process

The recruitment was CV and covering letter with an interview and task based presentation

My career

My career goals when I graduated

Museum work, in any form, was the goal but I knew it would difficult due to the vast competition there would be

My career history

Almost 10 years at the Science Museum and I have very slowly climbed the curatorial ladder beginning life as a cataloguer for a website to today - it has been frustrating at times as I have taken temporary promotions in a bid to develop my skills

What has helped my career to progress

Taking opportunities as they have appeared, asking questions, talking with senior professionals for advice and support, making opportunities too

Courses taken since graduation

MSc History of Science, Medicine and Technology, Imperial College
Currently working towards the Associateship of the Museum's Association

How my studies have helped my career

Having a subject specialism was essential into getting into my field of work and constantly building upon them

What surprised me about my career so far

I had not planned at being at the Science Museum for longer than 9 months but opportunities kept coming that were interesting and were good development plans

Where I hope to be in 5 years

5 years time the new Medicine Galleries will be open and the events programme running so if I am still there more academic publishing and work
If it is another museum - a director role of a small musum

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Keeping a work life balance is essential and took me time to learn
Keep an open mind about what work you are looking for but also trust your instincts

My advice about working in my industry

Networking is a huge part of the museum world as it is quite small - volunteer and go to as many things as possible such as musum events, subject specialist groups too

Contacting me

I am happy to hear from students who are looking to work in the heritage world

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