Shannon Edwards

“Due to the varied of modules on offer at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, I had a good grounding in the history of the British Isles, the geography and environment which lent itself to working in such varied sites.

Currently, I work at The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth where I am a guide on HMS Victory, HMS M.33 and in their extensive galleries. I also recently undertook an eight month secondment to the Library, Archives and Enquiry Service. However since graduation from Queen’s I have also worked for Portsmouth City Council Museums, Archives and Visitor Services across six very different museum sites. Portsmouth City Council Museums include The D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery, Portsmouth City Museum, Southsea Castle, Cumberland House Natural History Museum, Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum, and Eastney Beam Engine. Also as a building custodian in a 15th century shore side castle, a 250 year old storehouse, a Georgian townhouse and a Victorian Beam Engine and boiler house (among others) I was thankful that my course at Queen’s had covered the built environment, conservation and the laws surrounding scheduled monuments and listed buildings. As part of my role on HMS Victory I conduct guided tours, many of my modules at Queen’s had required me to give presentations, and contribute to class debates, and so the prospect of public speaking and answering the publics’ questions was not so daunting.

“Having found the mentoring sessions provided by second and third year students in my Freshers year really helpful I trained as a Peer Mentor myself in my second year.

This earnt me the Degree Plus Award from Queen’s which has proved really helpful by explaining to employers how valued this training was to the university and School of GAP. Also it has made my CV far more rounded,  and means I have a really strong validation for stating in applications I can deal with situations of a difficult or sensitive matter. In a recent period of consultation at the National Museum of the Royal Navy I acted as a staff representative, providing a direct line of communication between the front of house team and HR department. My aptitude for this role, and why I was made staff representative was due to the peer mentor training.

“In my third year at Queen’s I was the Public Relations Officer for Queen’s University Archaeology Society.

This has been really helpful in job applications and for my role in the National Museum of the Royal Navy Library and Archive as it proves I have good IT skills and can use social media and email professionally and effectively. Undertaking a degree and having to complete a dissertation meant I developed my writing style and ability to explain concepts succinctly. This proved useful when having to answer enquiries to the museum about naval research and history, and meant that enquiries were answered to the standard one would expect from a national museum.”