Amy Thraves-Connor talks about her first few weeks as a Fellow
I started my fellowship at the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York on September the 12th, so this week, I am just starting my fourth full week.
Having been offered the job in July, I had a couple of months before I actually started in the role, and as my starting date came closer, the initial excitement of receiving the job offer was slowly replaced with a sense of anticipation and slight anxiety, as one might expect. Before my official start date, I met with Ed Bartholomew – who would be my line manager at the NRM. We met at the museum and had a look around together, to see how the site would fit with my specific disability-related needs, and I also met a few of my new colleagues.
Ed helped to put me at ease and let me know that everyone in the team was looking forwards to my starting and working with me on the Curating for Change project. A week later, I began for real! As the 5:45am morning alarm pulled me from my slumber, I thought I had made a terrible mistake… 5:45am! But I made it to work on time and (hopefully!) looked put together for my first day.
NRM is part of the wider Science Museum Group and, as part of such a large organisation, has a fairly exhaustive induction process which took up most of my first week. I had health and safety training, policy statements to read and understand, and new colleague briefings. I did meet a lot of my new colleagues, and everyone made me feel really welcome here. My first week was quite tiring both physically and mentally, and I know it will take me a while to get accustomed to my new working schedule, having worked only part-time in the past. The team working at the NRM is quite large, so getting to know everyone and their roles within the department and within the museum is taking some time, and I still feel a little unsettled, but everyone is telling me this is normal. Nevertheless, I am excited about the prospect of growing into my role, working at the museum and expanding my skills and knowledge. And I know that both Ed and the NRM, as well as everyone involved in the Curating for Change program, will be there to help and support me through the process.
So far, I have observed some filming for a TV series with presenter Tim Dunn; been able to contribute to meetings regarding The Flying Scotsman locomotive’s 100th anniversary exhibition; had a small tour of the museum’s art collection (which, being an artist, was really exciting for me!); and helped with some library cataloguing work amongst other things.Amy Thraves-Connor
Ed and the rest of the team I am working with at NRM are all very friendly, supportive and willing to go out of their way to help and involve me in new things. So far, I have observed some filming for a TV series (“The Architecture the Railways Built”) with presenter Tim Dunn; been able to contribute to meetings regarding The Flying Scotsman locomotive’s 100th anniversary exhibition; had a small tour of the museum’s art collection (which, being an artist, was really exciting for me!); and helped with some library cataloguing work amongst other things. As my first month concludes, I am beginning to explore the museum collection’s database. I’m finding out more about the huge number of objects, records and documents we have here, and if I might find something that sparks an area of interest for research into disability related stories. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other trainees and fellows at partner museums, to share ideas and hopefully find out that I’m not the only one feeling a little bit at sea at this early stage in my placement! Our upcoming trip to London will be a good opportunity to grow these connections and learn more about each another. Bye for now 😊