Tufts’ graduation weekend has arrived! As newly graduated individuals embark on their next adventure – whether they choose to further their education, travel, begin an intensive internship, or pursue a new career – this is a time for more learning opportunities. With summer programming, changing exhibitions, and approaching grant deadlines, it is also an incredibly busy time of year for museum professionals, which is why now might be the best time to apply for a museum job.
How though, can a recent graduate enter the highly rewarding and competitive museum field? The application process can sometimes feel overwhelming and stressful, especially for new graduates who are under pressure to find work as soon as possible. Below are a few helpful suggestions to help ease the searching and application process:
Internships/Fellowships: Sometimes getting your foot in the door is all you need to launch your museum career. Internships are often the best way to do this! As an intern at a museum, you have the opportunity to participate in all related activities in the focus of your choice while gaining hands-on and practical experience. You work closely with your manager or a team of other interns to collaborate on projects, discuss current events, and contribute to the organization, all while building your network and discovering new aspects of the museum sphere that speak to you the most. When museums are seeking applicants to fill an open role, a past or current intern will be the first to stand out!
Similarly, fellowships are another great opportunity for recently graduated and emerging museum professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge in a specific area of the museum while engaging in a long-term project.
Networking: Is there a certain museum or organization with a mission that aligns with your passion where you hope to one day work? Reach out to your network, including past professors, advisors, colleagues, co-workers, and friends to see if they have contacts that can put you in touch with the right person for an informational interview. Informational interviews are a helpful way to learn more about an institution from an insider’s perspective while also initiating a new professional network in your field.
An Open Mind: Ultimately, the path to landing a museum career may not go as linear as planned. Remember that it’s okay to experiment in other fields or institutions before landing your dream job. Finally, subscribe to the Tufts Museum Studies Blog Weekly Newsletter. Each week, new job listings and announcements are posted by geographic region to inform our readers of new opportunities in the museum world.