Student Life views written by former students from the MA Museums & Galleries in Education, UCL Institute of Education
By Yumiko TACHIBANA
(Assistant Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
Without a doubt, every experience gained from UCL has pushed my career forward.
I am currently Assistant Curator at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa back in Japan, and am in charge of various exhibitions and events. Before taking the MA course, I had already taken another MA in Art History. However, I felt that in order to be a museum professional, there was something missing. Then I knocked on the door of UCL and joined Caroline in her teaching class.
Through lectures both inside and outside of UCL, I have been able to cultivate my own perspective as a museum professional. Caroline always gave us opportunities to reflect our viewpoints, not only through critiquing theoretical frameworks where necessary, but also through introducing us to real professionals working in cultural settings. Personally, I think that museums and galleries are practical spaces as well as research institutions. Therefore, if either view is lacking, it would not be possible to become a good museum professional. In this sense, the course always made me refine my perspectives. Without the MA course, I might have gained just one perspective, and probably wouldn’t have yet secured my position at the museum.
In addition, Caroline has supported me as my supervisor in various aspects throughout my MA life in London. It is hard for International Students to get involved in Academia, moreover, it is even harder for us to get into a professional context. With regard to my work placement, she had continuously helped me to find a proper place that matched my curiosity and interests, and matched me with the British Museum, where I found my specialty in Museums Studies. Even after returning to Japan, when I wrote an academic article based on my placement, she gave useful advice from the other side of the globe. I have always been grateful for her passion for teaching.
Moreover, classmates from all over the world have motivated me even after spreading to each country. We were very international and diverse, and shared various types of experiences in cultural settings. Every moment I talked with them, I found some critical and diverse viewpoints. However far away we are now, the relationship never changes and has continued to inspire me in my current job.
If you are interested in the course, I do recommend for you to take a step forward on the ladder for your success. Caroline and other passionate lecturers are waiting to push you to open your door for a personal next step.