Trainee Blog: Reflection on 2020

My name is Bryony, the Museum Learning and Engagement Trainee and this blog is going to give you an insight to what myself and the Learning team are up to and what I learn along the way. Hopefully inspiring future generations of Museum professionals. This blog will be monthly updates of what I’ve been up to!

The person I was at the beginning of the traineeship would not recognise me now. 

I have always wanted to work in museums and 2020 was the year that dream became a reality. Before I began the traineeship at the British Motor Museum I was trying to get my foot in the door to start my career. After struggling to find jobs in museums and experiencing a wealth of rejection, I felt like I was at a standstill and was close to giving up. Then I saw the traineeship advertised and saw that it was closer to my parents in the Midlands. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I applied not knowing if I was ready to move 200 miles away from my post-uni bubble.

When I accepted the job, I knew everything would change but I didn’t expect it to change as much as it did. I packed my bags and moved to a new town and started my first full-time job. A week after I started, the first lockdown was announced. Overwhelming doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt at this time, but there was no time to dwell. I went feet first into the deep end with everyone else: learning to work from home, getting to know my colleagues virtually and finding new ways to engage our audiences in these strange times. I would be lying if I didn’t say some days were hard but because of this I have become a lot more resilient. None of this would have been possible without the support of the Learning and Engagement Team. They welcomed me with open arms and took the time to to get to know me and have supported me all the way. If they weren’t so supportive and kind, my experience of starting a new job in lockdown would have been completely different. 

Although I might not have done all the things I initially thought I would do during my traineeship, I have still learnt so much. I now have a more diverse skill set and most of all confidence in my abilities. It also highlighted skills I didn’t think I necessarily rely on heavily in my traineeship such as IT and social media skills. Despite all these skills and challenges, I am yet to deliver programmes which is something I personally want to do in the new year to expand my skill set further.

The highlight of my traineeship so far definitely has to be the school holidays and SCIENCE! Working with my good friends Professor Pickle and Doctor Pumpkin and engaging with loads of different people was so much fun. It is something I can’t wait to do again at some point this year. If not you can catch me going 'Back to the Future.' Here’s to not only me but the whole team and the wider museum community opening our doors to visitors, schools and communities again later this year.DeLorean