For Art UK's 'Being...' series, we take a look at a day in the life of a professional working in the arts, heritage or museum sector.
Emilia works at the Science Museum. She lives in Rotherhithe with her husband Adam.
What's your role?
I work in the Learning team at the Science Museum Group. I'm the Digital Manager for Learning which means I manage and develop the digital (mainly online) offer for schools, families and other Learning audiences through our web presence, apps and other platforms.
What's your morning routine?
My alarm goes off at 7am. A couple of mornings a week I go swimming at the local pool, then I have a bowl of overnight oats with fruit and leave for work at 8.30am.
What's your journey to work like?
I take the tube to South Kensington – it takes about 45 minutes door to door and I’ve usually got a novel to read. I love literature, sci-fi and 'weird fiction'; at the moment I'm reading Light by M. John Harrison.
What's a typical morning at work for you?
I'm at my desk for 9.15am. I spend an hour on emails, then it's time for a meeting with colleagues from the Curatorial team about our new 3D scanning project. We are working on a longlist of museum objects which we want to scan using photogrammetry so that students will be able to virtually access the objects in the classroom. We have to discount many objects which are particularly fragile, shiny (reflective objects don't scan well) or which don't have a strong link to the national curriculum.
Back at my desk, I work on the monthly scorecard, reporting on the stats on traffic to our websites using data from Google Analytics. After that, it's straight into another meeting with the Web team to discuss how we can help improve the experience for teachers booking school sessions on the Science Museum website. We agree to make some updates and monitor the impact of these in a couple of months.
What's for lunch?
I bring a packed lunch to work and today it was a salad with sweet potato. I normally eat at my desk reading emails but I regularly make the effort to do something non-work-related too – like drawing in the café or seeing an exhibition at the Natural History Museum. At the very least I make sure I fit in a 10-minute mindfulness meditation; it helps to reset my brain for the afternoon!
What's a typical afternoon like?
I meet with the Head of Learning Resources and the Digital Producer to discuss translating 'Treasure Hunters', our new game-based app for families, into other languages. We’re hoping to have the app relaunched in five different languages in the next few months. We're excited about the potential for improving the museum experience for overseas visitors via our app.
After that I spend an hour helping at the Groups Entrance, welcoming school groups to the museum and showing them where to store their bags and coats. Working in digital you can sometimes feel disconnected from your audience so getting involved with the Learning Support team is a good way to counteract this.
Towards the end of the day, I travel to the Postal Museum to do a knowledge share with their Digitisation team about an exciting new virtual reality game they are designing for schools. It's important for me to stay on top of what other museum sector colleagues are doing with technology and education through meetings like this.
What do you do after work?
After work I might go for a drink with a friend or head home to spend some time on creative projects. I make and publish my own comics and I’m working on a new story at the moment. Today I have a homemade veggie meal for dinner then Adam and I go for a walk in neighbouring Southwark Park to listen out for bats with my bat detector.
Emilia McKenzie, Digital Manager, Learning at the Science Museum
Do you work in the arts, heritage or museum sector? Would you be kind enough to share an example of your working day for our 'Being...' series? Please get in touch with Art UK at email@example.com as we'd love to hear from you.