First Careers Forum (2016)

The First SMI Careers Forum (2016)

On 16 January 2016, the Society for Musicology in Ireland invited students, lecturers, and members of the public to the first SMI Careers Forum, which was kindly hosted by the Ninth Annual Postgraduate Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, at Trinity College Dublin. The aim of the Careers Forum was to shed light on different career aspects related to the field of musicology. Key areas included possible career paths, crucial skills and qualifications, the role of such learned societies as the SMI, and funding opportunities. In a lively roundtable discussion, the five guest speakers gave valuable insight into their own experiences as lecturers, chairs of learned societies, research fellows, as a student, and as a music librarian.
The guest speakers were: Stephanie Ford (PhD Candidate, Maynooth University), Dr Nicole Grimes (Keele University, Marie Curie Outgoing Fellow 2011–2014), Prof. Julian Horton (Durham University, President of the SMA), Dr Gwen Moore (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Chairperson of the SMEI), and Roy Stanley (Music Librarian at Trinity College Dublin).

Guest speakers and chair (from left to right): Roy Stanley, Dr Gwen Moore, Stephanie Ford, Prof. Julian Horton, Dr Nicole Grimes, Anja Bunzel

A detailed account of the Careers Forum is available here.

Firstly, all five speakers gave a brief account of their own Career Paths: Nicole and Julian provided insight into the academic job market; Gwen outlined necessary steps to become a music teacher; Roy named key qualifications needed as a music librarian and explained where such qualification can be obtained; and Stephanie talked about her own path and her experience as a professional recruiter for charities and CPL, Ireland’s largest recruitment agency.

Secondly, the speakers addressed Key Qualities and Skills. Stephanie elaborated on such essential transferable skills as the ability to deal with stressful situations, self-initiative, and teamwork; Gwen stressed the importance of networking, self-promotion, and good references; Roy gave a realistic account of the current music library landscape in Ireland and the aspect of work experience. Nicole and Julian talked about academia as a ‘constant juggling act’ (Nicole) and as a ‘vocation’ (Julian). Nicole encouraged all young scholars to leave an ‘online footprint’.

Thirdly, the Role of Learned Societies was discussed. Nicole and Julian stressed the strategic importance of learned societies. Gwen added that sometimes learned societies might offer interesting workshops to students. Roy drew attention to the benefits of IAML (International Association of Music Libraries) and the Music Libraries Trust. Stephanie explained that an involvement in societies looks good on the CV.

Fourthly, Nicole and Julian spoke about Academic Funding. They agreed that one needs to do a lot of research in order to find funding because there is no mailing list or website which lists all funding opportunities, but they named a few funding institutions worth keeping an eye on.

Please find a summary of the speakers’ biographies, the speakers’ final remarks and acknowledgements here.