Speed-Date our Museum Staff!

Having tried out this activity with a few groups of Travel and Tourism students over the past term, I think it is safe to say that the speed-dating format between staff and students has been very successful. Bury College, Tameside College and Alder High School have all brought students on their Travel & Tourism courses and taken part in this activity, which is designed to emphasise how varied and diverse Museums can be.

Students from Tameside on their workshop

Based on their comments, students appear to enjoy this opportunity to chat with Museum Professionals and find out what parts of their job they enjoy, how they interact with the public and what background they come from. They agree that it improves their communication skills in a fun and interesting way and also that they appreciate the interaction with a variety of new people that have vital, but very different, roles to play within the Museum itself.

Of course, I could not have created such a successful activity without the help and support of all my work colleagues who have been excellent at volunteering for the speed-dating exercise and chatting amicably and openly to students about their position at The Manchester Museum. Their personal contributions ensure our that all of visitors (including school groups) have a unique and satisfying experience.

To give an understanding of how widely supported this activity has been, and the types of individuals students have been meeting, here is a basic list of those who have been involved:

  • Head of Learning and Interpretation
  • Head of Visitor Services
  • Curators of various disciplines
  • Visitor Service Assistants
  • Head of Development
  • Head of Retail Services
  • House Services Manager
  • Conservators
  • Head of Audience Development
  • Marketing & Press Officer

Feedback from staff seems to suggest that they enjoy the experience as much as the students – so I’m sure they would love to take part in more ‘speed-dates’ in the future!! Anyone  who is interested in these activities, just get in touch: catherine.lumb@manchester.ac.uk

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