Case study

Records manager and policy officer — Chloe Anderson FMARA

Chloe has worked hard to make records management a central part of her role. Find out more about her work and its importance in the workplace

How did you get your job?

After graduating with a degree in English and history, I went on to study the MA Archives and Records Management at UCL, graduating in 2017.

I applied for the position of records manager and policy officer for the Falkland Islands Government shortly before completing my Masters dissertation. Although the job was originally advertised under a different title, the role provided an excellent opportunity for a newly qualified professional to manage government records.

What's a typical working day like?

I am usually at my computer adding government records to the central database, answering requests for files or writing new policies. I often engage with staff, conducting training activities and providing advice/guidance on how to manage records.

It's not all desk-based work, though. I also assist the national archivist with projects, which means that once every week I carry out tasks such as digitising historical records.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The multifaceted nature of my job makes every day interesting. One minute I can be writing a new policy or accessioning records, and the next I am conducting site visits or presenting to government staff.

The most enjoyable part is engaging with stakeholders and seeing first-hand the impact of my work in ensuring that records are preserved.

What are the challenges?

The main challenge is the lack of awareness around the profession. This is why a key part of the role has become engagement to advocate the importance of records in our daily lives and why they should be managed.

How is your Masters degree relevant?

A relevant Masters degree is essential to pursuing a career either as a records manager or archivist. My own degree provided me with the relevant knowledge, skills and experience to become a qualified professional.

The units covered included topics such as management skills, core archival/record management concepts and more specialised topics on preservation. The most enjoyable part for me was the practical sessions, which provided an opportunity to put theory into action and demonstrate what I had learned.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

The role was not originally orientated towards records management. However, since my employment I have worked hard to make it a central issue within my workplace. As a result of my achievements, my job was upgraded to the title of records manager to accurately reflect the role that I perform.

As I am a relatively newly qualified professional, I am eager to gain more experience in a larger institution to develop further. My own long-term ambition is to continue working within the Falkland Islands to improve how records are managed.

What are your top tips for choosing a Masters?

There are a number of universities that offer the specialised Masters degree required for this job role and career. When deciding which one to choose, consider the course content to make sure that it includes units that you will find engaging and worthwhile. A mixture of academic work and practical opportunities/placements will support your learning and increase your confidence in your own abilities.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?

  • Get relevant work experience prior to enrolling onto the Masters degree to develop your skills and provide a good introduction to the role.
  • Make connections with current professionals as they can provide invaluable advice and guidance as you enter the early stages of your career.
  • Sign up with Archives and Records Association to read about current issues and get involved in events and activities across the UK.

Find out more

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