Head education guide
Catriona is responsible for the delivery and development of informal and formal learning programmes and events at National Trust for Scotland’s Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre.
What are your main work activities?
Delivery and development of informal and formal learning programmes and events for the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre on the outskirts of Inverness. Training and supervision of a team of 25 volunteers. Writing content for social media and answering research enquiries. The administration for the bookings and stats for the programming.
Tell us about your typical working day.
During the school term time my normal day is arrive onsite (at 08.00) quickly check my emails; turn the exhibition on and ensure it is all working/fix the bits that aren’t; then check in with the volunteers who are in that day and make sure that they have no costume mishaps and that they have tea break cover. Then set up for the school booked in for a session. Grab a very quick tea for myself and begin teaching the session at 09.30. I normally finish with the school by 14.30, tidy up the learning space; hop back on the computer to do the stats and check emails. After this I could be doing anything from event planning, fixing minor costume issues to booking in schools.
During the centre’s peak season, May – September, when not with schools I deliver battlefield tours and costumed events to specialist groups, the public and historical enthusiasts!
What do you enjoy about your job?
The diversity of what I do everyday, it is never predictable.
What are the challenges?
Advocacy. We all need to remember to tell colleagues, line managers, our organisations and the world about the awesome work you do!
Briefly describe your career leading up to today. For example did you do a course in this area? Did you switch career?
Undergraduate degree, curatorial internship, MLitt in Material Culture Studies, lots and lots of volunteering, learning internship and then here!
What key skills do you need to do your job?
Communication / enthusiasm / organisational skills (time management, admin work etc.)
What’s your advice for someone wanting to work in this area?
Do as much volunteering as you can with museums or for learning even with schools. If you are a parent go on the school trip and ask questions to the staff delivering. Be willing to move – there are amazing museum learning jobs out there from Gairloch to London!
Check out the schools and learning guide to Culloden