Interview concerns- Megan O’Shaughnessy

Initially when deciding whom I wanted to interview, it was quite clear. I wanted an insight into the day-to-day professional life of a curator working for the Historic Royal Palaces. When I approached HRP with an email, I was promised that it would be circulated and that a curator would bite. Well… the unfortunate part about that is that I had no bites. However, I did have a bite but from another line. Charlotte, a part time Public History student, interns at the HRP, more specifically Hampton Court Palaces (my dream and the reason I’m here), and she told me straight up that HRP is quite exclusive. When you’re in, you’re in but until then, good luck trying to get to the core of the curators. I was a little bit disappointed but not really surprised. I figured it wouldn’t be as simple as sending an email but the fact that I had Charlotte as an insider meant that she would be a perfect person to interview. She knows a lot of the ins and outs, which is what I wanted from this interview in the first place.

 My first major concern is obviously technical. I want to be sure that I’m working the equipment correctly. My second concern is also technical because I am hopefully going to be interviewing Charlotte at Hampton Court Palace. If that is the case, I need to be sure that there is no outside noise that will interrupt the feed from the microphone.  My third major concern is that my questions won’t be enough. I want a quite candid interview that shows Charlotte from a pre-professional point of view. I want her to be able to talk endlessly about her reasoning behind picking the Public History program and how it will help her future career. I also want her to be able to speak candidly about her experience working for the HRP and all the insider knowledge that comes with that.

 My final and most intense concern is that I won’t sound professional. In theory, it seems easy enough to interview someone. However, the more I think about it, the more nervous I become. I hope that I am able to control my nerves and make Charlotte comfortable enough to speak honestly. While I honestly believe that this interview won’t be archived or used in any capacity, it will be a very telling interview for my own personal knowledge. As long as the interview flows and I can handle myself as a professional, I am hoping that my concerns will fade away.

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Interview Topic- Megan O’Shaughnessy

Coming to England has always been one of my greatest dreams. The fact that I am able to study history in the place I’ve dreamed of always being is beyond mind blowing to me. Included in the dream of coming to England, working in England in any kind of history capacity is dream I’m working very hard at accomplishing. Mostly, working for or with any one or all of the Historic Royal Palaces. Due to this, I feel that it would be beneficial to my future professional career as well as incredibly interesting to interview a current curator at one of the Historic Royal Palaces. I am not limiting myself to interviewing a current curator. I would rather enjoy interviewing someone who has previously worked at the palace or is currently interning to eventually work at the palaces. I have sent a few emails to a couple of different departments through the HRP website and am hoping to make contact soon. If that fails, I am not beyond fieldtripping to one of the sites and hoping to speak to someone face to face.

I feel this is an important interview because is one of the most fascinating fields of work that a Public History student could possibly dream to work in. These employees are the ones that keep history alive, keep history relevant and exciting. Due to their passion and vision, they are the ones that bring history to life within some of the most influential historical sites in England. I am also curious about their passion for history. Why did they choose history and what sort of significance does their job have in the history field today? Any insights they could spare would be beyond fascinating.