Transformers participants

Put your mid-career questions to the expert

Rebecca Atkinson, 15.04.2015
Jess Turtle to take your questions
As the deadline to apply for the Museums Association’s (MA) second phase of Transformers approaches, the programme’s coordinator Jess Turtle will be taking questions on how to take your career to the next level and have an impact with your work.

Transformers is an intensive personal development programme designed to support people in their mid-career to test out new ways of working that contribute to healthier, more resilient, diverse and adaptable organisations. The programme is currently seeking participants for 2015-16, with a deadline for applications of 5pm 20 May.

Turtle says: "These are challenging times for the museum professionals and the Transformers programme is geared towards ensuring participants develop the skills needed to ensure they remain visible and vital.

"During the pilot year, a large proportion of our cohort successfully navigated career challenges including organisational restructure, promotion opportunities or that important next role."

Turtle is a freelance culture practitioner with more than 15 years’ experience working in the sector.

She began her career in museums as museum manager at the Garden Museum and has since worked with cultural organisations in the UK and Europe in a freelance capacity supporting organisational development, business planning and fundraising strategy. She now looks after the Transformers programme for the MA as part of a portfolio of work in the sector.

Post your mid-career questions by 22 April in the comment box below or by emailing


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Charlotte Holmes
MA Member
Museum Development Officer, Museums Association
28.05.2015, 17:05
Dear Neil,
I would encourage you to do some volunteering in a museum before deciding on undertaking a post grad qualification. More information on choosing a course and volunteering can be found on our website . Work based learning is key to getting a job in museums so the more voluntary work you can do the better. You may also be interested in this MP and this online course
26.05.2015, 11:11

As I am not working or volunteering in the museum sector, I appreciate that I am unfortunately not in a position to apply for the Transformers project.

I have a BA Hons (English & French) and have been working in social housing since 2006. I am keen for suggestions about the best way to move into the museum sector. Do I need to undertake postgraduate studies or is it possible to move up with experience gained through volunteering? I have recently applied for jobs but no interest has been shown.

I would be very grateful for any advice you could give.

Kind regards,