Erika Range said Fleming gave her the hands-on experience she needed

Eerika rangerika Range is currently working as the Collections Manager Assistant at the Geological Survey of Canada, completed her Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management (CHCM) program internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and graduated from Fleming College this year. Below is her Fleming story:

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Trent University in 2008 and her Master’s Degree in Principles of Conservation from the University College London, UK, in 2010, Erika decided to attend Fleming for hands-on experience. “I was unable to get the jobs I wanted in conservation because my other degrees didn’t give me hands-on experience treating artifacts. I found myself in positions where employers wanted a portfolio of my work, but I didn’t have one,” said Erika. “I had a few friends that had done the program before me, and I had even seen a few jobs that specified the CHCM program as a desirable qualification.”

Erika said she loved her time at Fleming and appreciated the faculty, who are knowledgeable and care about the success of their students. “Out of all my education, Fleming prepared me the most for the workforce, giving me hands-on work experience in the community, helped me build a portfolio, and taught us about the conservation field and museums. I loved the small class sizes; it allowed for more time to dive into topics and gave more one-on-one time with the faculty.”

She completed her program internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature, which helped prepare Erika for her position at the Geological Survey of Canada as they have similar conventions for collections care and management. “The research project I produced during my internship was received very highly by the museum and I will even be presenting a part of it at an upcoming conference,” said Erika. “All around the internship was amazing and I know will be a very valuable experience as I begin my career.”

Now on contract at the Geological Survey of Canada, Erika is responsible for cleaning and organizing the National Plant Type Fossil Collection. “I feel very confident in the skills I learned at Fleming and they are all very transferable to this job,” she said. “On top of all the hard skills I learned at Fleming, which make the practical aspects of the job much easier, Fleming helped prepare me for a professional career by helping with resume prep, interview coaching, cover letter writing, and – since the faculty have such a great finger on the pulse of the conservation field – they were able to give a good idea of what would be expected of us in the workplace.”

Erika added, “My B.Sc and Master’s provided me with background knowledge, theory, and research skills, but Fleming gave me the hands-on practical, job-ready tools that I was lacking.”