Hello my name is Emily McKay. I was born in Southern Ontario and came to Ottawa about 5 years ago for my undergrad at Carleton University, majoring in History with a minor in Art History. I have been an official member of the CHC since January 2018. I first got involved with the CHC as part of my practicum in my undergrad where I worked on framing ideas and drafting grant applications for the photo initiative, PHOTOttawa150, which ran in 2017. I have also volunteered my time in the office doing tasks such as organizing an inventory for the office’s library and have I have attended many of the CHC’s events such as Heritage Day, the Annual General Meetings, Holiday socials, Emergency Preparedness in Cultural Institutions workshop, and the Capital Heritage Mentorship Program.
I love being a part of this organization because of the networks and people I have met. I have had the pleasure to learn about many museums, heritage organizations, societies, workshops, internships and learning opportunities within in the heritage sector. Getting updates about these learning opportunities has been very valuable to me as a new graduate looking for a job in the Heritage sector.
One of the programs that I found very beneficial for me as a recent graduate was the Capital Heritage Mentorship Program. In this program, I was paired with one mentor and took the opportunity to ask questions to the other mentors. I think the most valuable thing that I got out of the mentorship was the reassurance I received from my mentors. One of the things I learned after hearing about their stories is that it took them awhile to get where they are today, but persistence got them there. I also gained confidence in my own experiences and in my networking skills, as throughout the mentorship I got the chance to network with the other mentees and mentors, and also attend other networking events around the City. Overall, my experience was positive and definitely something I would encourage others who have just graduated or unsure of where they want to go next to be a part of!