Career pathways: Manager of Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

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Q. What does you job involve?
Well, my job is very varied and every day can be completely different. For example I may have a meeting with our front of house manager, and the front of house staff, so we’ll talk about the programme for the coming week, and things they’ve really got to be up to speed with. The next meeting might be an exhibitions meeting, where we’ll be discussing exhibitions or the programme for the next year or next coming years, or for a specific exhibition, even. For specific exhibition meetings we would bring together different people, the curators, the learning team, the outreach team, the communications officer, and the front of house team as well, and even our trading department come to our exhibition meetings.
Q. What was your career path?
Well I began doing a degree in marine zoology. My ambition was to work in a museum. I began working in a natural history museum, in Kendall, in the Lake District. From there I went onto the Great North Museum, well, it was called the Hancock Museum in those days, it’s now called the Great North Museum, and then I got interested in museum learning and education, so I became a primary school teacher, with a view to moving into a learning officer post at a museum, and eventually that’s where I ended up. From that role I’ve become the museum manager. It does still have a lot do to with learning in museums, part of our role is to be an educational establishment for the wider community, so my role is much broader than just working for schoolchildren.
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