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Pat, Development and NVQ Manager

Pat, Development and NVQ Manager

Pat, Development and NVQ Manager
©V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum,London

I came across the V&A by pure fluke. I had visited with my school back in the 60's but had not been back until 1987 when I was looking for a part-time job. At the time a friend of mine was working in the National Art Library and told me that they were looking for an Administration Assistant and that I should apply for the job. I did and, when I came for interview, I remember being totally overwhelmed by the building and the objects. My first day in the Library was equally overwhelming because there were so many books and beautiful rooms, particularly the reading room, but, my most abiding memory is the people; everyone was so friendly and very helpful to me and, it is something that I will never forget! I worked in the Library for five years and then progressed on to becoming the V&A Receptionist which I really enjoyed. I love meeting new people and this was such a wonderful opportunity for me because it meant that I met people from all different walks of life both visitors and colleagues. The job could be very challenging at times, but that was fine as it made it more interesting.

Working at the V&A has given me lots of opportunities - I have been promoted five times in twenty years. My current role is Development and NVQ Manager within the Training and Development team. No two days are the same - one day I can be scheduling meetings for NVQ candidates, meeting with the assessors, and doing road shows to other Heritage and Culture organizations, the next day I may be training new Gallery Assistants, and delivering access tours.

I'm currently working on two projects. The Young Graduates for Museums and Galleries project aims is to give graduates from non-traditional backgrounds an insight in to what goes on behind the scenes of a national museum, during a two week internship within a curatorial department. I am also working on a project with Hackney Recruitment Partnership, which finds students with learning difficulties work experience within the Museum, to boost their confidence and to encourage them to seek employment when they leave school. These projects are fulfilling and inspirational and I feel that I am making a difference to the future generation.

I feel very proud to work for the V&A. My greatest moment was when I represented the Museum at the Charter Mark Award Ceremony in 2000 when we won the award. I received the award from the late Mo Mowlam. My dreams had really come true.