University of Cambridge Museums

Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums

Onward with my Apprenticeship

At the time of writing my first post for the University of Cambridge Museums blog, I had just started my apprenticeship and didn’t know what to expect of the coming months. Since then, I’ve been engaging in so many parts of museum life in and outside of Cambridge!

I began the apprenticeship with a placement at the University of Cambridge Museums Gift Shop on King’s Parade. With the support of Ruth and Emily I learnt valuable customer service skills. The shop really helps get the word out about each museum and what they do, and working there was the perfect introduction to the University Museums and Cambridge!

Josie image1I began my placement at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) in January, and I love it there. Everyone has been so friendly and the museum itself has to be one of my favourites! I’ve been working at the front desk getting valuable customer service experience, doing a spot of gallery attending, and helping out with events, such as the opening of the new exhibition on the archaeology of childhood. Many of the gallery attendants at MAA are volunteers, and working with them has been a lot of fun – they are always so passionate and friendly! I also helped out at Twilight at the Museums, a hectic but massively fun night! The event has so much thought put into it and is such a success for bringing people into the museums.

Josie image2At Wysing Arts Centre I’ve been involved a lot in the Circuit Cambridge youth group: a joint programme between Wysing and Kettle’s Yard aimed at 16-25 year olds. The group plan and organise various events and workshops for young people, and working as both a member of the group and a staff member at Wysing has really given me an insight into how groups like this can pull off some amazing stuff and make a difference! The group have been hosting evening social events and art workshops – both of which have been so fun to work on! It’s so exciting to watch young people have the chance to engage with the arts and express themselves: even if all the paint is a little messy!

In February, I helped with a Work Experience Taster Day hosted by the Fitzwilliam Museum. It was interesting, as I went to one of these myself a couple years ago! It was a great feeling to be able to tell other people my age that I was in their place a few years ago, and now I’m halfway through an apprenticeship with the same museums I admired years ago! I also love getting any opportunity to talk to people about apprenticeships. They are sadly underrated, and being able to tell other young people that there are amazing opportunities available outside of school and university is really exciting: it’s all stuff I wish I knew when I was 14.

So far, it’s been such a unique and valuable experience, and I look forward to my next placement at the Museum of Cambridge in June, and continuing my apprenticeship through the summer will surely be exciting!

Josie Walshe, Creative Apprentice, University of Cambridge Museums

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