Portfolio development for emerging museum professionals


Last week, members of Haley Sharpe’s Business Development team in Canada delivered the second iteration of our ongoing cultural management portfolio development pilot program to twenty students at the University of Toronto’s Master of Museum Studies program.

The program applies sector-specific business development skills to teach emerging museums and cultural professionals how to develop multi-faceted portfolios as they begin to consider searching for internships and employment opportunities in the cultural and heritage sector. Following the workshop students will be given two months to complete their portfolios before being matched with a member of our Canadian office for individual feedback.

Varying from a design-focused approach, the workshop is primarily focused on strategic content development. Conceptualized with our clients, partners, and our own studio requirements in mind, the session looks to help break down past work to showcase typical traits that underscore success in the industry.

The Master of Museums Studies program at The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information is one of Canada’s leading schools for the focused study of museum practice. This year’s iteration marks the second collaboration with the graduate program, which is a foundational starting point for museums, heritage, and cultural professionals across Canada and around the globe – including our own Toronto office- which staffs several alumni.

COVID-19 has placed a strain on hiring across the cultural sector with many traditional internships and recruitment programs stalled as institutions cope with lockdowns and social distancing orders. The result has been especially challenging for emerging professionals, entry-level workers, and those on or reliant on contract work.

“It is our hope that this program can be the first step for some students in feeling more in control as they embark on looking to establish their careers and find their voice,” notes Dylan Freeman-Grist a coordinator with our Business Development team who led the session.

Initially delivered in-person, the workshop was adapted and delivered virtually to comply with social distancing standards and to ensure safety. An amended iteration, also virtual and focused on collections management, will be presented at the American Anthropoligical Association’s annual conference next month.

If you are interested in learning more about the program feel free to contact us at info@haleysharpe.com