I have been simultaneously on a graduate trainee ship and masters programme, it has worked well for me despite going against the norm.
Originally, after having applied for many many traineeships with no luck, I thought I should apply to do a Masters anyway although I was already working as a library assistant, doing a traineeship appealed to me as I thought it would be good professional development where you are guaranteed to a proper introduction to librarianship by attending courses etc.
When I got called for an interview at NHF I already knew I had a place with Aber course and thought this might be a reason for not getting the role as it is the norm to do the traineeship prior to the masters, however NHF seemed to like it and I got the job! I think my point is don’t think you wont get something because you have too much experience, you never know!
When I previously worked at an NHS library in Oxford I got the opportunity to visit other libraries in Oxford and therefore got to meet some of their graduate trainees at the time. They seem to have a nice programme to meet up once and week and get introduced to new things within the library world.
I am the first trainee at my current job and unlike in Oxford it is not part of a group so I was lone, as I am sure a lot of trainees are, but I did have an opportunity to meet a view through a LISNPN meet up. However, the NHF have been very generous during my period as a trainee and beyond. I am able, money providing, to attend any courses/training/ conference etc that look useful to my current job as well as to my masters. Anything I’ve wanted to learn more about my boss has been great in teaching me herself.
As you might imagine, this has also been brilliant for my masters, anything coming up on my course my boss will give me help and advice or provide me with projects that will help me with my studies!
Beyond the masters…
Although my traineeship is over I still have a way to go on the masters therefore Chartership isn’t real on the horizon at the moment but I think it might be something to commit to one day. I like the idea of profiling and recording your professional development, but from hearing about people’s experiences with it, it seems like quite a long task – I guess I’ll see how I feel once my masters is out of the way but it will be interesting to read about other people’s experiences with the Chartership.
For my current job I think an IT qualification would be extremely valuable. A lot of my role, and even more so for my colleagues, involves web building and editing, which is something I knew nothing about prior to working here. Although I can work the basics I have never known the technical details when it comes to IT. Having not got the opportunity at school to do an IT GCSE at school, last year I completed an ECDL course, but again this only really covered the basics MSO things. I also think doing a course in internet building, design and editing would be good for the general future of the profession (although as you can tell I don’t even know the name of an appropriate course so it may be a long time before I get round to that!).