Name: Amy Patterson   
Years attended DCHS: 2006-2011

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Where am I now? I’m the Duty Manager at the Scottish National Gallery – it’s very busy & no day is the same! I manage around 60 staff & am responsible for the safety & security of visitors, staff & the art collection, overseeing the operational responsibility of the site.

What previous occupations have I had? My first job was a tour guide at Alnwick Castle during summers in between sixth form & university terms. I also taught broomstick lessons & delivered wand workshops to school groups. I’ve assisted on the set of Downton Abbey,  I’ve worked in a restaurant, a cinema, interned with the Royal College of Surgeons Museum, volunteered at the National Trust & been a film extra a couple of times.

What were your favourite subjects and memories? My favourite subjects were History, English Literature, Classics & Art. Some of my best memories were during school trips; wandering through WW1 trenches in Belgium, seeing Shakespeare in Stratford, & exploring Roman ruins in Italy as they brought the books we studied to life.

Weirdly double English on a Friday was one of my weekly highlights as we had some really interesting, insightful discussions. & there was some fun group work involved too. Our homework one weekend was to film a Dracula music video; running around Northumberland dancing in the snow to Kings of Leon while dressed as Victorians was hilarious. I loved anything sports related too, particularly cross country  & swimming.

What did you do after leaving DCHS? I studied English Literature & History at Edinburgh University, & did a bit of Classics too. When my MA finished four years later, I didn’t really know what to do or where to go. So I ended up working & saving up for a year & then going back to university to study an MSc in Art History.

What careers advice would you give a current student of DCHS now? Do something that makes you happy. If university isn’t for you then it’s not for you; it’s not your only option after school. If you are at university then make sure you have an essay/life balance. You won’t remember feeling stressed about an essay deadline but you will remember joining a society & the wonderful friends you make as a result. Don’t do something because someone else wants you to do it & don’t worry about having a career path mapped out ahead of you. 

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