As a soon-to-be graduate of a museum studies program, I am often fearful of what lies ahead in the job market. The Mentoring Roundtables for emerging and mid-career museum professionals held on Sunday afternoon helped allay some of those fears. There were so many topics to cover and so many intriguing discussions that I was only able to sit down at a few of the tables.
- At one of the roundtables, “Directing Yourself, Setting Goals and Reaching Out: A Career Strategy,” Liz Maurer, director of operations at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, spoke about how to turn your skills into narrative “stories” and understanding what your abilities are and what abilities you would like to have.
- At “Don’t Sell Yourself Short: Highlighting Transferable Skills,” Nichole Smith, former manager of education and public programs at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, gave tips on writing a good resume, including adding an inventory of everything you have done no matter how small or irrelevant you might think they are; experience from outside the field can be helpful.
- Carol Bossert, a museum consultant and interpretive planner at CB Services Inc., facilitated a discussion at the roundtable “Education and Exhibition Professionals Finding Voice” about how to challenging the ideas of our superiors.
These roundtables and the others around the room were informal and as a result I felt a sense of camaraderie among the attendees. I gained, and I hope that the other attendees did as well, a wealth of strategies to use in my career.—Ansel Lurio, M.A. candidate, Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta