How did you end up working in museums?
I started out doing an MA in Scottish Ethnology and English Language at the University of Edinburgh, with the intention of becoming a teacher. But then I spent a summer in Washington D.C. interning at the Smithsonian Institution, not because I was overly fanatic about museums, but because my university was sponsoring the internship and I’d never been to the USA, so I signed up. Then, while I was there, I realised “Wow, THIS is what I want to do!”. I came home, tore up my application to the teachers training college and applied to do an MA in Museum Studies at the University os Leicester instead. And the rest, as they say, is history.
What museums have you worked at?
As well as interning with the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, I also interned with the National Museum Wales during my years training in the field. After a brief period of freelancing I then worked for National Museums Scotland for almost 8 years, in the areas of museum education, audience research and social media. In Summer 2011 our family moved to Berlin, where I currently work at the National Museums managing their social media.
How many museums a year do you visit?
As many as I can! In 2011 I set myself the challenge to try and visit 52 museums in 52 weeks. I ended up visiting 56 different museums, and last year it was 57. The total number of museum visits is higher though, as I visited some more than once. It helps living in a city like Berlin, which has somewhere around 200 different museums, galleries and exhibition centres, so there’s never any shortage.
What’s your favourite museum?
The National Museum of Scotland and I have a love affair that goes back to my childhood. I vividly remember an incident when I was about 10 years old, where I was running a temperature and my mum wanted to keep me at home, but I begged her to let me go to school because I absolutely did not want to miss the trip to the museum! And then many years later I got to work there, which was a dream come true!
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