Taylor Baron (2015)
I found the position of Museum Assistant with the Millet and District Museum and Archives using the Young Canada Works website. As a second-year university student, I had decided to return home for the summer to be with my family, as I was attending university in a different province. During the school year, I had been employed as a research assistant with my university, and my supervisor encouraged me to seek employment during the summer months as well. She directed me towards the Young Canada Works website as a resource to find employment for post-secondary students that may be beneficial to them in the upcoming years.
One of the postings I came across on the site was for the Millet & District Museum and Archives. As someone who grew up in rural Alberta, the position immediately interested me due to its emphasis on preserving local history. The exhibits within the museum focus on historical figures from Millet and the surrounding towns; many of those featured still have relatives who live in the local area. By immortalizing the lives of these people, the Millet Museum has afforded rural Albertans a glimpse into the lives of those who came before them and allows us to appreciate both the differences and similarities between our societies.
As a Museum Assistant, I was able to develop a number of diverse skills that continue to assist me today. While developing the exhibits themselves, I was required to utilize my research skills across a number of different methodologies, including combing computer and archival data, analyzing photographs, and conducting interviews with live subjects. Once completed, I exercised my public speaking and communication skills providing tours of the museum to patrons. While working in the archival section, I learned to practice proper technique when handling documents and artifacts, as well as flex my organizational and administrative skills. Without the funding that created this position, and so many like it, I would have never had the chance to develop these skills and add meaningful employment to my resume that was crucial to my success in obtaining student employment with the Federal Government upon my return to university in the following fall semester.
After my summer with the Millet and District Museum and Archives, I returned to my university in Vancouver, BC, where I eventually completed an Honours degree in Criminology and a Certificate in Legal Studies. Following my graduation, I was hired on as a full-time employee in the Enforcement and Intelligence Division of Canada Border Services Agency, before moving to a support position with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Around six months ago, I was offered a position in Edmonton as a Court Registrar with the Federal Courts, and was thrilled to return to the province I grew up in. In addition to my work history, I have also spent a number of years volunteering with agencies that provide court services to low-income and vulnerable people. When not working, I spend much of my free time hanging out with my family and making up for the seven years I spent in another province.
Although I did not pursue employment in the heritage sector, the skills and experiences afforded to me during my time at the museum continue to assist me in my career. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I received during the summer of 2015 to spend the summer working with coworkers and patrons whose company I thoroughly enjoyed. My advice to any current and future students would be to appreciate the enormity of the opportunity you have been given, to be confident in the abilities you already possess and seize the chance to develop new ones, and to most importantly enjoy your summer!