Alexandra Kavanagh

Alexandra KavanaghSubject of study: BA Modern History 
Year of graduation: 2006
Current position: Exhibitions Manager/Exhibitions Officer, The British Library

What are you doing now?

I am working as Exhibitions Manager/Officer at The British Library in a small but busy Exhibitions department and work on a programme of temporary and touring exhibitions.

What did you find most valuable about your course at Westminster? How did the skills you learnt during your degree help you to shape your career?

I thoroughly enjoyed the Modern History degree course and it was the time I spent studying in Museums and Libraries for various pieces of coursework and my dissertation that gave me the idea to carve out a Museum career.

University encourages you to work independently and as a group and to ensure deadlines are never missed – essential skills in putting together an exhibition!

Why would you recommend Westminster as a place to study?

I had amazing, supportive tutors and built fantastic friendships with other students. It was great studying in central London and being able to make the most of all of the fantastic cultural institutions that were nearby. I had a happy three years and look back on my time at Westminster fondly.

What was the best thing about being a student in London?

London is a fantastic and diverse city. As a student you find brilliant and cost-effective places to go and eat and there is always something to do.

Living and studying in a large city is exciting and encourages you to be independent and try new things.

What extra-curricular activities did you participate in that enhanced your time at the University?

While studying at Westminster I was also able to maintain a part time job with the Royal Bank of Scotland working 2 days a week. This was valuable for my CV and enhanced my employment search following the completion of my degree.

What advice would you give to someone thinking for pursuing a similar career?

I would recommend gaining experience in the cultural sector by seeking job shadowing and internship opportunities. Jobs are in high demand particularly in exhibition and curatorial departments and so it is worth gaining some insight and finding out as much as you can about the department/work that you are interested in.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I have worked in a number of Museums/Galleries which include the Imperial War Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum. I have worked on hugely successful exhibitions and have had the opportunity to work on exhibitions in other countries such as Canada, Singapore, Germany and Belgium. My work has sat well with my interest in travelling and exploring different countries and cultures.