Angela Billings

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The MA gave me the courage and skills to change career path and follow my passion.

A life-changing placement

Studying at Goldsmiths during a global pandemic was a unique and initially unwelcome experience but the very nature of lockdown life meant that it became a hugely positive focus at a time when so much was uncertain.

Crucially I was able to undertake a life-changing placement at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. It was through this placement that I began to grapple with the complexities of decolonial praxis. Subsequently, the challenges of living with the legacies of colonialism have become the focus of my working and academic life. The MA gave me the courage and skills to change career path and follow my passion.

A fulfilling career

I am currently the Development Director at Culture&, a charity that works to "open up who gets to make and enjoy arts and heritage". The role involves strategic planning, fundraising, business development and developing strategic partnerships. It also intersects with other organisational roles such as marketing, PR and admin.

One of my very first jobs at Culture& involved reviewing the three-year business plan in preparation for applying for NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) status. I did not expect to use the MA module on business planning on day one of my new job! Similarly, I have referred to modules on copyright, organisational culture and wider theoretical concepts on cultural identity and the role of the arts in relation to social change. The combination of analysing global approaches to cultural policy with lectures from leading practitioners provided me with a solid foundation; in this sector you need to be prepared to turn your hand to anything!

A passion for research

In addition to changing the focus of my career, I discovered a passion for research. I am delighted to have been awarded an AHRC-funded doctoral studentship at the world-renowned School of Museum Studies in Leicester. By undertaking a PhD I hope I will be able to develop the thinking I began during my MA at Goldsmiths in new and challenging directions.

Advice for prospective students

My advice for anyone thinking of studying at Goldsmiths would be come with an open mind. Be prepared to be flexible in your thinking, alive to unexpected opportunities, and apply a forensic critical lens to everything you read, hear or see.