The themes for the event were matters of current concern to all who were studying or starting out in their conservation careers:
1. Education and Employment Across Borders
Conservation is a small field and collaboration across borders is therefore essential to broaden ones work experience and strengthen ones professionalism. Globalisation has meant that it has become easier to find training and work placements abroad, which can also start conservators on an international career.
a) What advantages and disadvantages are associated with attending conservation training courses at institutions in other countries? The network acquired in this way during one’s training can greatly influence later work options. However, does an international education always benefit the student and does it lead to a loss of potential conservation work in the student’s country of origin?
b) Internationalisation also requires linguistic and cultural adaptation for the student – at ones educational institution, ones work place and to enable the discussion of conservation matters in other countries How do students whose first language is not English, for example, fare in comparison to native English speakers in regard to training and work abroad? Conversely, how are English speakers received in countries where English is not the first language?
c) How should links across linguistic, cultural and national borders be enhanced? Should we aim to some degree of commonality across borders? How do the efforts to create standardisation in conservation education/terminology help us students/emerging professionals/the field? How does this help skills transfer from one place to the next and skills develop within a person?
2. Presenting Oneself in a Professional Context
In the pursuit of a professional career a student must learn to promote him or herself by presenting work experience and study to a potential employer or institution (e.g. students seeking work placements either at home or abroad, or applying for a local or an international training programme). It has become increasingly common to present oneself with the help of a portfolio, in print and online versions. What constitutes a good portfolio? How should one be designed / appear? What should a portfolio include and for what reasons? How can the student’s educational institution prepare the student for this challenge? Should the student have versions of this in a number of languages?
3. Optimising Skills and Networking - locally and further afield
In addition to applying for work, how can the newly trained conservator become better involved within the Nordic conservation field in order to strengthen his or her qualifications and experience and build a professional network? How does one become engaged in the field of conservation? What are the advantages of this sort of involvement? How does this differ from the situation elsewhere? How does the newly-trained conservator become engaged with issues?