Graduate Trainee Profile #2

Hi! My name is Eleanor and I’m another of the Graduate Trainees working at the University of Essex’s Albert Sloman Library.

My background

I am not a new graduate, having completed my BSc Psychology with Healing Arts at Derby in 2002. Since then I have worked in a few different jobs, whilst trying to figure out “what I want to do when I grow up”. I even enjoyed a brief 5 year stint being self-employed, but that’s another story. I had applied for library jobs in Derby with no success, and even worked at Derby College library for a brief stint, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that this could be a lifelong career. However in 2015 I gained a permanent job in the Northamptonshire public libraries and after a short time I was hooked.

Working in the public libraries reminded me of how important my local library had been as a child and teenager, and it reignited my love for reading. I also enjoyed a chance to use my event and teaching skills –running Play and Learn groups for the under 5s and organising reading events together with Bookstart. I then moved to the University of Northampton in 2017, which was a brilliant introduction to working in an academic environment, and I found supporting students extremely rewarding.

Why this traineeship?

I’d enjoyed my experience working in libraries, and wanted to find out more about working long-term in the library and information sector. Having researched a few different roles, doing a trainee post seemed like the obvious progression before doing a postgraduate qualification. Although I had just over two years experience, my role in an academic library was customer service focussed and I wanted to learn more about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. I’m someone who likes to know how everything fits together, and so I thought a traineeship would give me a broad introduction to a wide range of skills. I had also had people telling me that I probably didn’t need to know anything about cataloguing, and would probably never do it – so of course I definitely wanted to!

This particular trainee programme appealed to me for a number of reasons – much like Katrina I was impressed by the range of topics that would be covered, and a chance to get involved with so many aspects of library work. Not being a recent graduate, I phoned the Albert Sloman Library before applying, and found out a bit more about what the year would involve and if it was suitable for me. Having researched an employer there’s always a bit of trepidation whether your impressions from outside the organisation, and even during the interview, are correct – but thankfully I’ve not been disappointed.


Enjoying lunch overlooking one of the lakes at the University of Essex campus


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