Head of Oxford University Museums Partnership & Programme Director, Oxford Cultural Leaders: Lucy Shaw
What do you do for the Partnership "I manage the Partnership programme which involves working with Oxford University Museums’ partners, and the wider museum sector to deliver a programme of wide-ranging projects and activities from audience development, education and outreach, to collections management, conservation, leadership, and skills and knowledge sharing. I am also the Programme Director for Oxford Cultural Leaders, an international programme for museums, heritage and the arts, which Oxford University Museums have developed in partnership with the Saïd Business School."
How did you end up at the Partnership? "I started my career as a social history curator in the East Midlands and then moved to work for strategic cultural sector bodies. Before coming to The University of Oxford I worked as a consultant specialising in organisational development. My main client was the Museums Association, for whom I coordinated the Diversify, Smarter Museums, Support and Challenge and Monument Fellowship Programmes."
What's your favourite thing about your job? "People. I have always loved working in museums and was initially drawn to the sector because of my interest in history and the opportunity to get my hands on 'real' stuff. But brilliant museums are only as good as the people who work in them - it doesn't matter how wonderful the collections are if we can't enthuse and inspire our visitors and we need the best people to be able to do this effectively. I get to meet and work with all kinds of people from collections specialists to creative learning teams, welcoming, knowledgeable front of house colleagues and enthusiastic volunteers. It’s a fascinating, varied job."
Digital Partnership Manager: Jessica Suess
What do you do for the Partnership? "I'm responsible for managing joint museums digital projects such as our recent introduction of free public Wi-Fi and developing mobile resources for visitors to use while in the museums. I also oversee our audience research programme and manage communications for our knowledge sharing programme."
How did you end up at the Partnership? "I moved to the UK to study for my Masters in Roman Imperial History at the University of Oxford where I developed a keen interest in digital humanities. After graduating I took on similar roles at the Bodleian Library and Begbroke Science Park, and then jumped at the opportunity to join my favourite museums. Starting as the Museums Partnership Assistant, I was given the freedom to explore my own interests and eventually specialised in digital and audience evaluation."
What's your favourite thing about your job? "I love the fact that we're always working with new museums on new projects doing something we've never done before. It's always exciting and challenging, and you never know what any given day will bring. I also love being able to visit some of my favourite museum objects when I need a few minutes break!"
Partnership Assistantt: Rebecca Cardus
What do you do for the Partnership? "I provide administrative support to the Partnership team. It is a varied role with the main focus being on facilitating the co-ordination of our events programme."
How did you end up at the Partnership? "I love history and I studied Medieval History at the University of Wales, Bangor. Whilst there I developed an appreciation for those administrators that made everything work smoothly and felt I could achieve the same. After developing my administration skills in other sectors I wanted to move into university administration and after a time working for the University of Oxford the role with ASPIRE came up. This role combines my strengths in administration work whilst supporting work that makes history engaging for everyone."
What's your favourite thing about your job? "Organising the events - seeing the ideas form into plans and then organising all the behind the scene things to set the days up. It is great to see people enjoying and getting the most out of the events on the day."
Oxford University Museums Board
Professor Paul Smith - Director - Oxford University Museum of Natural History - Chair
Professor Anne Terfethen - PVC for University Collections - University of Oxford
Dr Laura Peers - Acting Director - Pitt Rivers Museum
Dr Silke Ackermann - Director - Museum of the History of Science
Dr Xa Sturgis - Director - Ashmolean Museum
Ms Carol Anderson - Museum Services Manager - Oxfordshire County Council
Mr Simon Townsend - Director - Banbury Museum Trust
Mr Peter McQuitty - Head of Policy, Culture and Communications - Oxford City Council