Don't Stop Me Now: Launching Your Museum Career

9 November 2019, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh
Museums Association One-day Conference
How can you convert your studies into a career in museums, galleries or heritage? How can you get your first job in the sector? Looking to change careers? Get off to a flying start with Don’t Stop Me Now – the event for people looking for the top tips on getting their first job, from people who have done it themselves.

Museums are dynamic places to work, sharing knowledge, engaging with communities, and actively participating and impacting on society.

Choosing a career in museums is an exciting and significant decision. But navigating the different options and getting that all important first step on the ladder can feel daunting.

The Museums Association is here to help. This event is aimed at students and people seeking to work in museums, who want to find out more about their options and learn how they can have a positive impact in their career.

Through an informative and fun programme, learn from people working in the sector about how to start your career and take part in some of the vibrant and impactful work that museums are delivering.

Don’t Stop Me Now helps you consider new and different approaches to your career, giving practical advice and useful ideas to help you chart a path through the museums sector.

The day provides information on the range of careers available in museums, what they are looking for in new employees, and how you can make yourself stand out from the crowd to shape your own career.


£30 MA members
£45 non members

About our speakers:
Mark Macleod, Project Manager, Fife Cultural Trust

"Fascinated by the space between viewer and object, I focus on making it the best fit for each visitor."
What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "Working in and visiting old buildings. Even with their leaks, lack of double glazing and strange sounds. I love the stories they hold."

Sharon Heal, Director, Museums Association
"I am director of the MA and chair of the Museum of Homelessness. I am a activist and a campaigner." 

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "The people the parties and the politics."

Robin Patel, Heritage Freelancer, Ergadia Heritage

"My motivation to work as a freelancer is driven by wanting to empower communities by connecting them with their heritage landscape. You have to join the dots rather than the dots joining you."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "No heritage project is the same. I guess that’s because heritage is driven by people, and as individuals we are all unique."

Catherine Cartmell, Skills Development Manager, Museums Galleries Scotland, and Volunteer Co-ordinator, David Livingstone Trust

"I am passionate about volunteering and its transformative power.  I have worked in roles supporting volunteers and volunteer managers for 16 years."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "Without a doubt, the people!"

Tamsin Russell, Professional Development Officer, Museums Association

"I am a heritage professional facilitating, training, connecting, coaching and mentoring to realise sector potential. To be successful is to provide the right answers to the right questions in the right way. Preparation is key."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "Knowing you are inspiring people to learn and have fun – this goes for visitors and the workforce."

David McLeod (004)
David McLeod, Marketing Officer, Culture Perth and Kinross

"I have worked in the heritage industry for more than 10 years, initially cutting my teeth at Surgeons’ Hall Museums Edinburgh, before moving on to Historic Environment Scotland. I currently work at Culture Perth and Kinross, where I manage the marketing strategy for the organisation’s museums, libraries and archives."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "The people. I’ve met so many diverse and interesting people across the country, and learning how they impact their organisation and the sector has been both fascinating and eye-opening."

J Westgarth (003)
Julie Westgarth, HR Advisor, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

"I have 20 years’ experience working in HR, largely in the cultural sector. My specialist expertise is recruitment. I am a chartered CIPD/LLM Law and Employment Relations."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "No two days are ever the same and I get to contribute to how museums and archives really can change lives (with great colleagues)!"

Karyn (003)
Karyn McGhee, Technical Conservation Development Manager, History Environment Scotland, and President, Scottish Museums Federation

"Networking is a huge part of my job and I love it! I hope to pass on some tips from my career experience so far to encourage everyone to get networking."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector?"The people! I love working with people with such passion. I generally believe we’re all just trying our best to better museums for the present and future. It’s a great thing to be part of."

Sophie Lawson
Sophie Lawson, Membership Officer, Museums Association
"I am the membership officer at the Museums Association dealing with individual membership engagement, marketing and administration. I’ll be on the MA stand all day with information about how MA membership and its benefits can support you in your museum career. Come and say hello!"

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector?"The museum sector is so vibrant; full of passionate people wanting to make a change. It’s always a pleasure to hear from and meet these people at sector events and to hear how the museum sector is positively affecting society."

Quonya Huff, Commercial and Audience Development Manager, National Mining Museum Edinburgh

"I work in the heritage and museum field focusing on the visitor experience, developing sites commerically and nuturing audiences."

Nicola Wilson, Collections Curator, Fife Cultural Trust, and MA Scottish Rep

"Having completed a MSc in Museum Theory & Practice at the University of Glasgow in 2011, I have held continuous employment in both collections management and curatorial roles. I was appointed as collections curator with Fife Culture Trust in August 2017. Prior to this, I was the collections management project officer with Renfrewshire Leisure and an assistant curator with Falkirk Community Trust."

Nicki Bray, Learning Officer, National Museums Scotland

"I am a Learning Officer at National Museums Scotland and develop informal and formal programming at the National Museum of Rural Life."

What do you most enjoy about working in the museum sector? "Working with colleagues to come up with new and exciting ways to engage our visitors with the collections. From storytelling and bread making to heavy horse shows and entomophagy, no two days are the same." 

Follow the event on Twitter #DontStopMeNow2019

Venue kindly provided by:

logo no background blue (002)