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Exhibition Coordinator
The Science Museum

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Jennifer W

0:00:02 I’m Jenny Wong and I’m a Dana Centre Project Events Coordinator at the Science Museum. So, what that involves is thinking up crazy ideas and taking those ideas and making them into an actual event. So, an immersive experience where people can come and have a chat, have a conversation, have a drink and maybe learn something along the way about science.

00:00:25 My family are all like, doctors, like medical doctors. And so, I guess by default I thought I would become another doctor. So, I chose to do science-based subjects. So, three sciences at GCSE. Biology, chemistry and maths A level. I ended up doing natural sciences at Cambridge. There was such a variety of, of courses you could do within that subject. So, the variety element of it really appealed to me ’cause I still wasn’t sure, you know, how I wanted to turn out.

00:00:58 So, my first year I was like, well, it’s okay, but it kind of like doing A-Levels all over again because you’re doing full subjects and not really feeling them at all. So, I then switched in my third year to studying history and philosophy of science and that was really refreshing because I got to use my brain and think a bit more critically about what actually science is. It was really interesting and totally opened my mind up to thinking in a, in a new way. So, yeah, so I really loved my third year of studies and went on to do a masters in that subject.

00:01:36 The plan was to use my masters as a year where I could find out what actually sustained my interest. I met somebody from a think tank called Demos as part of my masters year. He was talking about the public value of science and that really inspired me to think about how critical thinking about science could really impact on the way that, yeah, people’s everyday lives and how they, how they incorporate science into their lives.

00:02:09 I decided to apply for an internship at Demos which is a three month kind of research-based placement. So, it was a very inspiring place to work and very exciting because all these people are quite young and they all want to make a real difference and that is quite infectious in a way. When I came to the end of that internship I did wanna, did wanna stay on but there were no vacancies so I was back to like, not square one, but kind of like, okay, so, now I really have to think about what I’m good at. What I wanna do where I wanna be in two years or whatever and I kind of tended to draw like, blanks for quite a lot of those questions at first.

00:02:55 So, I was out of work for about two months and it was just, it was fine, but it was a little bit disheartening because I was like, applying for job after job after job and not getting any response. And then one of my friends was working in the Science Museum at the time and she was like, forwarding me vacancies from the Science Museum and I was like at that point, I was like, well, you know what? I will work anywhere and do anything. So, I just applied for the job which is in the team that I’m working in now.

00:03:24 The job kind of had a lot of different elements that were, that I thought were really me. So, it had event experience and I did a lot of events at university. It had science, it had variety, it was brilliant.

00:03:44 I don’t tend to like, look that far in the future but over the next year or two I see myself maybe moving over into more museum exhibitions. I think with exhibitions you can apply a lot of the skills that I have from doing events but in a more, in a slightly more permanent setting. I think that, that’s kind of where I’d quite like to move towards.

ENDS

Jennifer W has 3 science A levels, a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge and a masters in the history and philosophy of science. Nevertheless, career decision making still posed challenges. An internship at Demos (a science based think tank) inspired her and with encouragement from friends, Jennifer is now relishing her work at The Science Museum where she creates science events and experiences for the public.

More information about Conference and exhibition managers and organisers

Check out 11 videos about this career

Data powered by LMI For All
£31,200
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

38
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

37%  male  63%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Job holders in this unit group manage, organise and coordinate business conferences, exhibitions and similar events.

Qualifications

There are no formal academic entry requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award or equivalent qualifications. Professional qualifications are available and may be required by some employers. Off- and-on-the-job training is available.

Tasks

  • Discusses conference and exhibition requirements with clients and advises on facilities;
  • Develops proposal for the event, and presents proposal to client;
  • Allocates exhibition space to exhibitors;
  • Plans work schedules, assigns tasks, and co-ordinates the activities of designers, crafts persons, technical staff, caterers and other events staff;
  • Liaises closely with venue staff to ensure smooth running of the event;
  • Ensures that Health and Safety and other statutory regulations are met.
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Employment status