Having always been interested and extremely enthusiastic about science, getting the chance to work for a week at National Museums Scotland seemed like a dream come true. I got the fantastic opportunity to work with the museum’s palaeobiology department for my work experience placement. The whole team really made an effort to make me feel welcome and certainly kept me busy throughout my short stay! I am incredibly thankful to all the members of the department who gave up their time for me.
I can now say that I have a greater appreciation and understanding for what goes on behind the scenes at the museum. This is because for most of my short week I was working with different members of the department at the National Museums Collection Centre down at Granton. Every morning I would take the shuttle bus from Chambers Street to Granton and find that the department had prepared yet another interesting and exciting task for me to do. Whether it was restoring and cleaning a 350 million year old plant fossil for research or performing DIY on an exhibit that would be shortly be opening to the public, I found that I always had something to do. By the end of the week my brain was overflowing with information and I had only just begun to appreciate the hard work and effort that museum curators put in so that people can enjoy the museum and its displays in all their glory.
I got the opportunity to work with and learn from a different member of the department each day. This gave me an insight into the different aspects of the department and also gave me the chance to ask as many questions as possible whilst also learning from the team, who were always patient and willing to provide answers to my incessant questioning! The staff were also very helpful with giving me information about what I might consider doing at university if I ever wanted a career in palaeobiology.
Looking back on my week, I feel I had a terrific and truly fantastic time and I really enjoyed learning and doing so much. I got to experience a part of the museum that not many people know about, learnt things that few people will have heard of and came away very happy with my choice of placement for work experience.