Hello – I’m Tom Hopkins, and I work in collections management at the University of Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science. I am on my third paid job in the heritage sector, having landed my first back in 2014. I guess you could call me an emerging (or perhaps pupating?) museum professional.

Astrolabes
Instruments on display at the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford

Jobs in museums are scarce and usually very low paid, yet openings are very over-subscribed and competition is fierce. Not surprisingly perhaps, I get asked a lot about how I managed to break into the industry.

My first gigs in museums were a lot about happy accidents and being in the right place at the right time. But there was also a definite sort of process that I followed to get to where I am today, and I would like to set out here what I did and how it panned out for me. I hope what I write here will help any of you out there who are as passionate to get on to those first rungs of the museum career ladder as was I.

This is still very much a work in progress, and I hope to be adding more over the next few weeks and months.

 

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