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Moving on up

Moving on up

Simon Brown reviews Moving On Up, the conference day for professionals

Moving on Up, a one day conference for early career professionals, was held at the School of Museum Studies at Leicester University on 24th February. The event was sold out, with people travelling from all over the country to attend. The day has been about a year in the planning, so it was gratifying for the organising committee that it was so well supported!
There was a range of speakers from across the sector, all addressing the issues that face us all in the early stages of our career. NTU’s own Neville Stankley gave a masterclass of quick fire interview tips. Mine was the only raised hand in the room when he asked if anyone never got nervous in interviews, which shocked me (even Neville called me a weirdo). I can’t be the only one?

There followed a very interesting question and answer session with three experienced and respected leaders in the sector: Tony Butler of Derby Museums Trust, Maggie Appleton of the RAF Museum and Iain Watson of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. They were all eloquent on the challenges that they have faced in their careers and were generous with their advice. The best advice centred on staying true to your own values and being brave when making career decisions, particularly if that means a more divergent path than you were expecting!

The day was full of great advice from respected people in the sector, and there was plenty of space for delegates to discuss their own views on what was said. The room was perpetually abuzz with conversation, it was a great atmosphere to be a part of.

The standout moment of the day though was the opening keynote speech from Kathryn Perera of Movement for Change. Disillusioned with a career in the law (in which she was compelled to put moral beliefs aside), she took the brave decision to resign in order to found Movement for Change, a social enterprise that, in her words, “uses the power of community organising to make change happen”. Since their inception in 2010 they havecampaigned on issues such as access to fair credit, the Living Wage and poor conditions in the private rented sector. She was inspiring in her eloquence.

The day was a great success, and renewed my faith that the people currently coming into our museums share a passion, dedication and creative spirit that can only serve the sector well in the future.

Rebecca Atkinson’s blog and storify: http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/museums-journal-blog/25022015-success-is-who-i-am

Edited abstract of Kathryn Perera’s speech: www.movementforchange.org.uk/dare_to_fear

This post was written by Simon Brown, Artefact Loans Officer at Nottingham City Museums and Galleries and the East Midlands member representative for the Museums Association. He manages the 11,000 strong Access Artefacts handling collection, based at Wollaton Park.

He graduated from NTU in 2004 with a BA in Heritage Studies with Human Geography, and has since gone on to work in various roles for Nottingham City Museums and Galleries and Nottingham Contemporary, including as a museum assistant, curator and documentation assistant. He is currently studying for the AMA.

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