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Case Study: Mark Macleod

Personal details
Degree:History of Art Profile picture
School(s): School of Art History
Year of Graduation:Jun-2002
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Head of The Infirmary Museum at University of Worcester
Job title: Head
Occupational Sector: Museums, galleries and Auction houses
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Museum and gallery work is not for the feint hearted. In 11 years I have had three contracts for half the time and two permanent contracts the difference, once being made redundant. Working on Heritage Lottery Fund projects and maternity cover gave me varied experiences and also chance to travel to three counties in Scotland and now in West Midlands of England.
What does your job involve ?
What doesn't it involve? I am responsible for the running of the venue and am lucky to have a very supportive and trusting boss. We deliver over 20 events a year; tours, book club, escape room, family activities and they all need planned, marketed and delivered. We have a growing education side that needs managed, funded and we train students to help in delivery of tours and workshops for schools. I do a little local research and have delivered various projects in partnership with other local heritage partners for Skills for the Future.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Every day is new and different. I am in control of my day and workflow, mostly. It means I can prioritise depending on my approaches. If I have an idea for a project that delivers benefit to The Infirmary, then I can research, find partners and progress it.
Why were you successful?
I think being flexible has been an important part, being available and happy to go to less populated places. Being open to new subjects and not limiting my work choices to only one job within one museum or city has resulted in many satisfying experiences and meeting great professionals. Getting involved with a network that suits helps, there are lots out there depending on interests.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
I studied a range of topics; Scottish architecture, British furniture, 20thc Russian art and Venetian Reformation. It's not that none of these objects have been in the collections I worked with, but the skills in looking, comparisons and contemplation of how to research around subjects that helps. Being open and curious to objects and those that have made them is something that continues to prove a driving force in me wanting to find out more.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Be curious, flexible, open to new ideas and locations. The career of tomorrow is about gathering expertise all over and showing competency in doing things. Gather evidence of these competencies and it's possible to sculpt a career of your own making so that work will never feel like a bad thing.