Professional Development

by Christy Ham
While this year’s theme of the WMA Annual Meeting was Inspire, community was a hot topic of discussion, and it was one that hit home for me. I am new to the museum field and did not quite know what to expect. My adventure into the world of museum professional started in the Fall of 2017 when I took on the newly-created position of Membership & Visitor Experience Supervisor at...
by Cara Gallo
After brushing the desert dust off myself, I was promptly anointed with enthusiasm by the splashy drive from Seattle airport – inspiration sparkled as we arrived at the glistening Murano Hotel. The streets aligned with trees of fiery tones illuminated through the shrouding fog, their autumnal hues and aromas began to feed this Jersey girl hankering for fall’s change – absent from my...
by Meka Manchak
I started in the museum field in 2009. The Great Recession was in full-swing and museums—like a lot of industries--were not hiring. I interned, unpaid, for a full-year before catching a break and landing a full-time position working in exhibits at a history museum. I stayed at that museum for five years gaining experience, chasing new opportunities, and trying to learn as much as...

The new year brings an opportunity to make a fresh start and set the course for a happy and successful 2019. As the year winds down, it’s a great time to examine how we can make adjustments to the way we work.
Burnout is a problem in all sectors, and non-profit workers can be especially vulnerable to workplace fatigue. Many museum workers face expanding job responsibilities, long hours, and...
by Azha Simmons
Since my time as a graduate student I’ve enjoyed attending museum conferences and the Western Museums Association Annual Meeting is one of my favorites. My attendance at this conference was very special, because I recently graduated from my Museum Studies program from John F. Kennedy University. I was no longer attending the conference as a student, but as a new emerging museum...
by Christina Ayson
Attending academic conferences as a doctoral student can be a daunting experience. Navigating the various codes of etiquette, the theory driven panels, and networking amongst senior faculty from elite institutions is intimidating. I have often left these conferences more tired than invigorated. WMA was different; I felt inspired, challenged, and integral to the progression of...
By Danielle Robbins
We are social creatures. The need to share and connect, to learn and grow because of each other is fundamental to our wellbeing. The act of fulfilling this need is what it means to inspire. To inspire is to influence, and though we can be inspired while alone, it is a circuit only half complete until we share with another in a meaningful way. It was this kind of sharing that...

The benefits of having a mentor can be invaluable to professionals at any career stage. Mentors can help with setting and achieving career goals, learning new skills, or offering a fresh perspective when you are facing challenges at work. Mentor relationships don’t exclusively benefit the mentee alone, however. Many mentors report feeling a sense of satisfaction from being able to help another...

Your personal brand communicates who you are as a professional and what you want to be known for. Defining your own personal brand is important for your growth as a professional, as it helps you take control over shaping and molding your own career trajectory. Establishing a personal brand is a great exercise for helping to give you clarity about your strengths as an employee and placing you on...

Western Museums Association presents Professional Development Corner, a series of posts to help you navigate your museum career, find your next step, and get INSPIRED to do great things in the field. Stay tuned for more in this series to help you make the most of #wma2018 - and beyond!
 
Networking! It’s such an important aspect when developing professionally, especially when attending a...

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