Dream job at the British Museum for UEA student

A mature student graduating today after completing a PhD in Art History and Anthropology has landed her dream job as African curator at the British Museum.

Fiona Sheales, 44, who lives in Itteringham, returned to higher education after working as a civil servant for 16 years in the Department of Work and Pensions.

She said: 'I was always interested in art and history so I decided to enrol on an Access Course at Norwich City College to gain the relevant qualifications I would need to pursue an undergraduate degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History. I discovered a real passion for non-western art, in particular African art, and I went on to study it in greater depth as a post graduate research student at the university's Sainsbury Research Unit.'

Fiona also volunteered with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service for seven years and during this time she worked at the Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life and Norwich Castle.

Fiona landed her dream job at the British Museum after beating off tough international competition. She is now responsible for the conservation and interpretation of the West African Collection.

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'Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was capable of achieving so much but I firmly believe that if I can do it others can too,' she said.

Fiona is one of more than 4,100 students taking part in the UEA graduations 2011 this week.

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