Exploring Careers in Museums | The Mary Rose
Exploring Careers in Museums
Learning | 21 Feb, 2023 | The Learning Team
So, you want to work in the heritage sector?

With so many diverse opportunities available, deciding which direction to take into the world of work can be difficult for young people. Museums and heritage sites provide a huge range of options: customer-service and visitor engagement roles; STEM, engineering and maintenance; and business skills including marketing, finance and social media.

We take part in a variety of events aiming to inspire young people, and help them to discover the range of jobs on their doorstep. These include Education Business Partnership South’s Get Inspired Portsmouth event (which sees nearly 1,000 young people meet an astonishing array of local businesses at Portsmouth Guildhall), local STEM Fairs and in-school career role model events. These events provide opportunities to discuss issues like work-life balance and transferrable skills. We always encourage young people to take very opportunity that comes their way! Whether you are interested in history or science or both, museums combine the past with modern conservation science in exciting and unexpected ways.

Special events like the Kids in Museums Takeover Day give young people an insight into work behind-the-scenes at the Mary Rose Museum, involving them in decision-making or content creation. Last year, pupils from Cams Hill were able to meet divers involved in the excavation: https://maryrose.org/blog/40th-anniversary/takeover-day-students/what-doug-dived/ Meeting staff and volunteers to learn about their roles and how they came to be at the museum shows a variety of different career paths and lifestyles. Completing a variety of tasks alongside the museum team illustrates the importance of transferrable workplace skills, particularly communication and teamwork. How hard is it to think up a catchy hashtag? How do you appeal to a wide range of ages in one place? How can we save energy and be more environmentally friendly? 

The Mary Rose Museum offers a programme of work-experience for secondary school pupils. This is hugely valuable as a first foray into the world of work. Basic skills like punctuality, using initiative, working with others are all important to potential employers. Local university teacher-training and history students take part in work-based modules as part of their course, or volunteer to gain new skills and insights into the industry.

University of Chichester student Natalie undertook a work placement with the Mary Rose Learning Team during her second year at university.

“This was a great opportunity to see the of the work that museums like the Mary Rose do behind the scenes to interest the public and visiting schools. Without having done this work placement I wouldn't now be wanting to pursue a career within museums once having completed my degree. The Mary Rose Learning Team provided me with an amazing opportunity to work with them on a project for the 40th anniversary of the raising, and then revisit them to see my project in action with secondary school students. It was an incredibly valuable experience and an opportunity I will never forget.” 

Paid internships in conservation and curatorial work provide more specialist training. You can read about our Weston Heritage Interns experience in a previous blog: https://maryrose.org/blog/collections/the-collections-team/steadying-the-ship/