What is your current job?
Curator & Archives Assistant at the St. Mary’s Museum and Archives.
When did you graduate from CRMP? What was your degree?
I graduated with a Diploma in Cultural Resource Management and a Professional Specialization in Collections Management in November 2014. I also hold a BA in Geography and History from the University of Western Ontario (2011).
What is a typical day like in your current job?
Every day at my job is different, which is part of the reason why I love it so much! Visitor traffic is slower at this time of year which allows for much of the “behind the scenes” work to get done. During the winter months, much of my time is spent installing exhibits, accessioning artifact donations, planning and promoting events and programs, writing grant applications and responding to research requests. We have a large team of dedicated volunteers so part of each day is spent overseeing their projects. In the spring, summer and fall, much more of my time is spent leading tours and field trips, implementing special events, overseeing the summer staff and leading outreach programming. As a municipal employee, I also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other municipal departments, such as planning joint field trip programs with the St. Marys Public Library.
How do you think the CRMP influenced the way you approach your job?
The CRMP program has provided me with much more confidence when approaching new challenges at my job. I find that I frequently refer back to what I learned when facing daily challenges such as how to properly store a specific artifact or how to approach another organization about a proposed partnership project.
What courses have you found most valuable in informing you in your current career?
The Managing Archival Collections course has been particularly valuable in my current career. When I was hired in my current position, I had far more museum experience than archival experience. This course really helped me to wrap my mind around how to manage the archival collection. I believe that this course would be helpful for those who manage museum records or even have a small archival collection within their museum collection.
What is one piece of advice you have for our current and graduating students?
For those who are already working in the field (either paid or volunteer), try to apply what you are currently learning to your daily work as much as possible. I found that I got much more out of the assignments when I was able to base them on a real life scenario that was happening in my workplace. For those who are not yet working in the field, try to find a mentor who you can at least discuss what you are learning with. I have a great manager (who is also a CRMP graduate!) who was always willing to discuss any new ideas that I had gained from my courses and encouraged me to apply what I was learning to my everyday work.
What is your best memory from CRMP?
My best memories are all of the unique connections that I made with my classmates across Canada. Although I completed the program entirely online and never had the opportunity to meet any of my classmates face to face, I really enjoyed interacting with my classmates and learning about their institutions. I gained many really good ideas through reading the discussion posts and learning about how other professionals approach tasks at their site.
- Posted March 1, 2015