I recently caught up with some former PACE students, asking them to provide some long term reflections on their PACE experience. These students are going from strength to strength, and it seems that their PACE experience served as an important first step on their career journeys.

The PACE unit AHIS392: Cultural Heritage (est. 2015) introduces students to the study and management of cultural heritage through instruction and practical experience. Students taking AHIS392 complete an internship in the Cultural Heritage sector (e.g., museums, galleries, archives, or heritage consultancies, etc.), learning directly from professional practitioners and practicing their skills in a real world environment. So far, 86 students have undertaken AHIS392, completing internships at a number of partner organisations including EMM Consulting, the Australian History Museum and the State Library of New South Wales. Students who undertook AHIS392 in its initial offering have since graduated and most are employed and/or enrolled in further tertiary study.

Following Ben Calvert’s (BA Ancient History, 2016) PACE placement at Extent Heritage Pty Ltd, he went on to work part-time at the firm and is now transitioning to full-time employment there as a Research Assistant. Ben credits his PACE internship as a “wonderful stepping stone into the workplace”. He reflects,

because of the internship I had through PACE, I never felt like I was ‘jumping into the deep end. I was always provided with complementary resources and PACE gave me time to consider what I had learned in a broader context.

Since undertaking her AHIS392 placement at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Chloe Appleby (BA, 2016) has worked there part-time, as a Program Producer, Program Delivery Officer and Visitor Services Officer. She also volunteers in the curatorial department in her spare time! On working at the museum, Chloe says that she “love(s) finding new and exciting ways to interact with collections and to learn different subjects”. Ultimately, Chloe’s goal is to become a museum curator; she says that “working at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has, and still is, providing me with the tools to achieve this goal”. Chloe is also now undertaking a Masters of Museum and Heritage Studies at The University of Sydney.

Lucy Irwin was the 2015 recipient of the Professor Judyth Sachs PACE Prize for outstanding achievement in her PACE project at the Australian History Museum. Since graduation, Lucy has worked in the heritage sector and is now a full-time heritage consultant at RPS Group. Reflecting on how her PACE placement helped her to transition from university to working full-time, Lucy says that her hands-on PACE experience fostered “a lot of skills that are really in demand and helpful in today’s job market – project management, public speaking, (and) the ability to craft and present to a wide audience”. Today, Lucy sees the skills she gained through PACE as having enriched her working life beyond that of a “typical graduate”.

I asked Dr Linda Evans, unit convenor of AHIS392, for her thoughts on how the students have progressed since undertaking PACE. Linda is clearly very proud of the students’ achievements, noting that

Ben’s, Chloe’s and Lucy’s success stories show how the PACE experience inspires students and opens up new and sometimes totally unexpected career paths. All three are now making their mark and their futures are bright. I am so glad that AHIS392 helped set them on their way”.

This session, 20 students are enrolled in AHIS392. The PACE team cannot wait to find out what exciting career prospects lie ahead for them.

If you would like to share your PACE story with us, leave a comment or get in touch at teche@mq.edu.au.

Liz Smith is a Faculty PACE Officer in the Faculty of Arts.

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Posted by Liz Smith

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