My career was shaped by an apprenticeship
Sarah Moreno, Issue 119/01, 01.01.2019
Despite my love for learning, I never saw myself as a museum educator. But in 2015, I decided that if I had to work for a living, then I was going to pursue a job doing something I love. My number-one love is art, and I became determined to find a role in the creative sector. Further studying was not an option for me, so I began looking for apprenticeships.
The Young People’s Programme at the London Transport Museum was one of the only creative apprenticeships available in the capital at the time. This programme uses the museum’s collection, venues and links to Transport for London to provide a range of inspiring and fun activities that meet the diverse needs of young Londoners. It enables people to gain confidence, skills and independence through valuable, museum-focused experiences.
I hadn’t thought about working in a museum, but this Arts Council England-funded apprenticeship presented me with a new opportunity to learn, work with public audiences and experience working in the curatorial team.
I have since had the pleasure of putting on a contemporary exhibition and worked with Google to create a virtual-reality tour as part of the Google Expeditions programme – just two of the highlights my apprenticeship has exposed me to.
The entire year was carefully planned to help me realise my potential, and the range of tasks I was given helped me find my passion within the workplace. Once I had decided on this, I was given a mentor.
My team also supported me by increasing the responsibility and ownership I had over projects. This made me feel useful and valuable, which was crucial to my professional growth. By the time my apprenticeship came to an end, I had discovered that using creativity to help people learn was my dream job.
And through London Transport Museum’s Young People’s Programme, I learned how to manage groups and projects. I had the unique opportunity to not only experience young people’s activities as a participant, but also as a developer and facilitator.
It has given me a well-rounded view of how to manage expectations. This has been one of the most valuable skills I have taken away – and one that has helped me navigate my career and find my new role as a trustee for Kids in Museums.
With Kids in Museums, I hope to gain another level of understanding about what goes into ensuring programmes and opportunities can continue to inspire my peers in the museum and gallery sector. I want to make sure young people’s voices are at the root of the decisions that affect us, helping make the sector better in the long run.
Apprenticeships are important to the cultural sector, because they cater for different learning and working styles and support people to excel in their interests and passions. And they lead to a diverse workforce because, for many young people, traditional routes into the sector such as university are not an option.
My apprenticeship at the London Transport Museum really helped shape my career, and I believe many others could benefit from similar programmes.
Sarah Moreno is one of Kids in Museums’ first young trustees and a freelance museum educator