Alison Foad

Marketing Assistant at Museum of Carpet 
MA Literature and Culture, 2021

""Please describe your current role and the journey you took to get there.

Alongside finishing my Masters degree in 2021, I began volunteering with the Museum of Carpet, working within different departments including front of house, collections, interacting with guests and helping to set up for events and exhibitions. In January 2022, I was offered the paid role of Marketing Assistant with the Museum of Carpet.

Did you know what you wanted to do before you started University?

Yes, I knew I wanted to work in the arts, culture and heritage sector but was unsure about the scope of roles that were available in this sector before undertaking my Masters degree.

Did you have any work experience before you graduated? If so, please describe in detail.

I completed a team-based internship with the university at Middleton Hall and Gardens and worked in the archives with Birmingham Hippodrome. I also volunteered with the Museum of Carpet alongside my Masters degree.

What do you love most about your role?

I love the variation with each day - the Museum has a small team so I am often completing a range of tasks.

What is most challenging about your role?     

Working within different roles can often be challenging as there is a lot of fast learning to do!

Have you faced any key challenges during your career journey, if so, how did you overcome them?

I was unable to get work in my chosen sector after completing my undergraduate degree in English Literature as I had no relevant work experience in the industry. I decided to go back to university learning by enrolling in UoB for my Masters degree as I knew this would provide new opportunities for work experience.

How did your time at Birmingham help you prepare for this role?

My time at Birmingham offered me a range of opportunities including internships, which I applied to both years (although in my first year, all internships were cancelled due to Covid unfortunately). The careers website is very useful in gathering opportunities together which are open to hiring graduating students as I sometimes felt disillusioned with applying to hundreds of jobs through Indeed. My dissertation tutor Rebecca Mitchell was a huge help and support to me, especially considering how difficult it was attempting to continue studies throughout Covid.

What are your career plans for the future?

My plans are to secure a full time role within arts and heritage, and to find a role with some creative control which maybe utilises my studies in literature, arts and culture such as a curating role.

What advice would you give to students who are interested in getting into your industry or role, or if they’re unsure what they want to do?

I would highly advise taking advantage of any internships or work experience that you can get within the heritage industry and form as many connections as possible!

What would be your key piece of career advice for a student just entering the employment market?

Be confident and remember you always have transferable skills from a degree which can help you in whichever role you choose.


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