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What is it like to work in a Museum? Careers Open Day 2014

Molly, our Education Intern, gives the backstage scope into the Wallace Collection Careers Open Day, held every year for A level students.

The day was an exciting opportunity for A Level students to discover what it is like to work within a museum, with most departments getting involved. The day offered an insight into the diverse roles a museum offers.

With each student individually booking onto the day and selecting their workshop choices, it was my job as Education Intern to manage the administration of the day as well all the timetabling for the sessions and creating unique itineraries.

Tour of the European armouries

Tour of the European Armouries


The day started with an introductory talk from the director, Dr Christoph Vogtherr, followed by guided tours of the Collection from three of our curators; Dr Helen Jacobsen in the State Rooms, Dr Tobias Capwell in the armouries and Dr Lucy Davis in the Dutch Galleries. Next the students split off into their first workshops which were: going behind the scenes in the Conservation Studio to clean and maintain artefacts, finding answers within the Wallace Collection Library, understanding what the Education Department does, learning how to protect our precious works of art with the security team, discovering how the museum generates income with corporate events and gaining an insight into the daily life of a curator! Each student had the chance to choose four of these workshops which ran throughout the day.

Workshop with the security team

Workshop with the security team


Polishing and cleaning Wallace Collection artefacts.

Polishing and cleaning Wallace Collection artefacts.


Just before we broke for lunch, three of the youngest members of staff explained how they got to work in museums. This was a great way for the students to understand how to build their careers and recieve some handy hints. Lunch, which was provided for the students, provided a fantastic opportunity to talk to members of staff and for them to answer more individual queries. I was chatting to some lovely girls about their future aspirations and ambitions in the museum sector.

Participants were given a backstage tour of the re-hang of the Great Gallery which will be open to the public on 19 September. Seeing how the final stages of the hang are taking shape was a rare and special occasion. It was then off to two more workshops before having a tea break with the curators to answer any questions.

Behind the scenes in the Great Gallery

Behind the scenes in the Great Gallery


“Thank you to all the Wallace Collection staff for organising and putting on today’s careers open day, it has really given me a lot to think about and a lot of pointers for the future, a great event, thank you.”- Benjamin.

After too many chocolate biscuits it was off to the final workshop of the day and then back to the Lecture Theatre for a talk about internship and volunteer work. This was my time to explain to the students how I became an intern at the Wallace Collection. The day ended with even more questions and useful advice from members of staff. I felt that the event had been a great success and the students were very interested and enthusiastic. I wish them all the best of luck in the future with their museum careers


If you are aged between 16- 18 and are interested in a career within a museum, then you can book onto Careers Open day, 2 July 2015. Please contact the Education Department on for more information.

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