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Christine Johnson

 Christine Johnson

Major: History                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Year of Graduation: 2005 
Graduate School:  University of Edinburgh (Scotland, MSC Archaeology-2009) & Universtiy of Leicester (England, MA Museum Studies-2012)

 Please give a brief description of your current position/location and what it entails? 
In my day job, I look after the Director of Pharmacy's office to ensure that the entre Pharmacy Service for the whole capital area of Scotland is running efficiently and effectively. This includes working with other health boards around Scotland and the Scottish Government. I am also studying part time for my second master's degree out of Leicester, England, just working on the dissertation now! This is in museum studies to help prepare me for a career in either collection management and/or curatorship.  

What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
I got to my current position by initially moving to London after I graduated from CSB in 2005 and worked for 6 months through the BUNAC program. Unfortunately it is now the Intern in Britian program due to changes in the UK visa system ( I came back to Minnesota and took some courses to boost my credentials to get into grad school. I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, in September 2008 to study full-time at the University of Edinburgh for my MSc degree in Archaeology. After graduating I started working in my current role in office administration. I have stayed in the job to pay for my second master's degree. I am currently starting to apply for museum positions in the U.S.

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
Volunteer and get involved in any way you can. I have volunteered in various museums and with historical societies in Minnesota, London, and Edinburgh. Also join any associations that are slightly related to what you might want to do. For example, I had an informal meeting with the Head of Collections at the National Museum of Scotland to discuss how she got involved and what is needed to get my foot in the door. I have been a member of the Museums Association for the past 2 years and attended their annual conference where you can meet all sorts of people, learn about the industry and network. This year I'm even volunteering at the conference.

What skills are important in your field?
Project management, multitasking, interpretation, learning styles, exhibition design and specialist knowledge in a subject area will be helpful too for a career in a museum.

What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your job?
At my current job, the most challenging thing would be keeping my boss calm and balancing all the projects that are going on at once. The most satisfying thing would be when I get praised for doing good work. Finishing projects and completing things is also satisfying.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for your current career?
I was a committee member of AKS when I was at CSB and planning the Spring Daze events which I still look back to when working on other large organizational projects. Also my semester abroad in London prepared me for life in the UK. I did crew at CSB/SJU and rowing is something that I've taken up again once moving to the UK and it has allowed me to meet lots of new people and travel.              

Additional Comments: The most helpful thing I would suggest is to put yourself out there, seek new experiences and get involved as much as possible.