Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Tag: internships

Trials and Tribulations of Finding an Internship During a Global Pandemic

Last March, the museum world shut down. Closing to the public, many museums laid off staff and shifted into survival mode. It was a scary prospect for students in the museum programs at Tufts—would there be jobs when we graduate? Even more immediately—how could we fulfill our practicum requirements?*

Personally, I had a lot of trouble finding an internship. I scoured empty internship portals and sent my resume and cover letters into countless voids. I heard from a few institutions that had halted their internship programming because they did not have the budget to pay their interns. While I appreciated that more museums are paying their interns, things were starting to feel hopeless.

Eventually, I lucked out and coordinated an internship at the Harvard Museum of Natural History after reaching out to the Director of Education. I had the opportunity to help translate HMNH’s annual ‘I Heart Science’ festival into a virtual event and created a series of ‘Specimen Spotlights’ with museum volunteers.

After my ordeal of finding an internship, I wanted to know how my colleagues navigated the museum internship wasteland. I sent out a survey to everyone in the Tufts museum studies program who completed an internship in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021. Only students who completed the survey are included in the data.

First of all, where did students complete their internships?

Hannah McIsaac, Margot Rashba, Alexandra Harter, and Julia Wohlforth interned at Historic New England in the Study Center, conducting research using HNE’s extensive archives. Other students interned at a variety of museums and cultural organizations around New England in operations, education, collections, and exhibitions.

Natalie Gearin interned at Step Into Art, Inc. where she “spent the duration of the internship developing and teaching a new third-grade curriculum, taught exclusively on Zoom, on the art of Kehinde Wiley including an initial lesson, a portrait making activity, a poetry workshop, and a sketching activity.”

Like Natalie, most of us had to adjust our internships to work through Zoom. Many museums remained closed throughout the summer, and some still have not reopened. Amanda Leith and Abigail Lynn were able to land in-person internships for the spring at the McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center and Griffin Museum of Photography, respectively.

“I was lucky enough to have found an internship where I could be on-site, but the majority of my work could have been completed remotely in case everything shut down again.”

Abigail Lynn

Sayyara Huseynli, who works both remotely and in person at the Boston Children’s Museum, found a silver lining in her museum’s continued closure. “I am going to the museum in person on Saturdays, so my supervisor, security, and I are the only people in the whole building. Thanks to this, I was able to have some playtime in the exhibits. My favorite experience was crawling through the hanging bridge in the Construction Exhibit.”

When searching for an internship, I threw my resume at many walls, hoping something would stick.  Eventually, it did. I was curious about how my peers fared in their internship hunt.

Many students met their supervisor through Tufts, either as a professor or guest lecturer. Rachel Christ interned at ObjectIDEA, an exhibit design and interpretation planning firm founded by Matt Kirchman, one of the Exhibition Planning professors at Tufts. Others met their supervisors through Tufts advisors. A few of us managed to find internships with cold calling, but no one just applied to a posted position. There were just were so few options. Fortunately, we were able to find opportunities after a little digging.

This year has hit the museum world hard, yet I feel so privileged to have been able to learn and grow in an institution that was navigating the catastrophe. Though it’s not what I expected my practicum to look like when I enrolled in the program, I learn a ton and developed into a more well-rounded museum professional.

*Due to the pandemic, students could opt to take a class in lieu of an internship.

Weekly Jobs Round-Up

Here are the postings from the week of May 19. Happy hunting!

Northeast

Museum Registrar/Collections Manager / Mount Holyoke College Art Museum [South Hadley, MA]
Associate Curator, Public Art and Permanent Collection / MIT List Visual Arts Center [Cambridge, MA]
Clerk/Assistant to the Director / Historic Newton [Newton, MA]
Membership Communications Officer / Museum of Science [Boston, MA]
Biologist II, Rescue & Rehabilitation / New England Aquarium [Boston, MA]
Payroll Administrator and Gift Accountant / Peabody Essex Museum [Salem, MA]
Educational Programs Intern (Paid or Course Credited) / The Mary Baker Eddy Library [Boston, MA]
IFPDA Curatorial Internship at the Harvard Art Museums / Harvard Art Museums [Cambridge, MA]
Digital Marketing Associate / Old North Church & Historic Site [Boston, MA]
Historical Interpreter/Actor / Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum [Boston, MA]
Gallery Intern – Fall & Spring 2019 / Cambridge Art Association [Cambridge, MA]
Sales Associate / The Institute of Contemporary Art [Boston, MA]

Mid-Atlantic

Manager, Visitor Services / Eastern State Penitentiary History Site [Philadelphia, PA]
Collections & Exhibitions Technician / The Jewish Museum [New York, NY]
Principal Gifts Advancement Associate / Smithsonian Institution, Office of Advancement [Washington, D.C.]
Kress Interpretive Fellowship / Colgate University [Hamilton, NY]
Development Database & Gift Processing Manager / The Phillips Collection [Washington, D.C.]
Public Programs Manager / Architect of the Capitol [Washington, D.C.]
Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs / Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of American History [Washington, D.C.]
Collections Specialist, European Paintings / The Metropolitan Museum of Art [New York, NY]
Assistant Director of Annual Giving / Baltimore Museum of Art [Baltimore, MD]
Systems Administrator / Baltimore Museum of Art [Baltimore, MD]
Head Preparator / Glenstone Museum [Potomac, MD]
Museum Director / National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors [Columbia, PA]

Southeast

Director of Operations / The Southern Museum [Kennesaw, GA]
Accounting Manager / Frist Art Museum [Nashville, TN]
Chief Preparator / Vero Beach Museum of Art [Vero Beach, FL]
Membership Manager / Sarasota Art Museum – Ringling College of Art + Design [Sarasota, FL]
Manager of Museum Retail / Sarasota Art Museum – Ringling College of Art + Design [Sarasota, FL]
Director of the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) and Curator of the Marine Corps / National Museum of the Marine Corps [Quantico, VA]
Coordinator of Docents & Interns / High Museum of Art [Atlanta, GA]
Museum Director / Rogers Historical Museum [Rogers, AR]
Social Media & Communications Specialist / Hattiesburg Convention Commission [Hattiesburg, MI]
Director and Curator Academic Art Gallery / Cress Gallery of Art, University of Tennessee Chattanooga [Chattanooga, TN]
Inventory Technician – Costume and Textiles Collection / The Valentine [Richmond, VA]

Midwest

Director- Space Foundation Discovery Center / Space Foundation Discovery Center [Colorado Springs, CO]
Curator, Draper Natural History Museum / Buffalo Bill Center of the West [Cody, WY]
Lead Preparator / Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art [Kansas City, MO]
Barbara Brown Chair of Ornithology / Science Museum of Minnesota [Saint Paul, MN]
Creative Communications Coordinator / Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum [East Lansing, MI]
Curator of Interpretation / Wyoming State Museum [Cheyenne, WY]
Curatorial Assistant, Architecture & Design / Denver Art Museum [Denver, CO]
Director of Information Technology / History Nebraska [Lincoln, NE]
Historic Preservation Outreach Coordinator / History Nebraska [Lincoln, NE]

West

Manager of Annual Giving / Hammer Museum [Los Angeles, CA]
Manager of Individual Giving / Hammer Museum [Los Angeles, CA]
Curator of Textiles and Fashion / Honolulu Museum of Art [Honolulu, HI]
Individual Giving Manager / Bay Area Discovery Museum [Sausalito, CA]
Director of Development & Marketing / Sonoma Valley Museum [Sonoma, CA]
Associate Curator / Petersen Automotive Museum [Los Angeles, CA]
Senior Leadership Gifts Officer / Asian Art Museum [San Francisco, CA]
Exhibits Curator / Sealaska Heritage Institute [Juneau, AK]
Exhibitions Design Manager / Heard Museum [Phoenix, AZ]
Registrar / Santa Barbara Museum of Art [Santa Barbara, CA]
Museum & Art Center Manager / Moses Lake Museum & Art Center [Moses Lake, WA]

Paid Internship Opportunity – Geospatial Assistant, Boston Public Library

Intern – Geospatial Assistant, part time

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library Boston, MA

Position Description:

The Intern – Geospatial Assistant will work with the GIS Map Librarian to create digital resources aimed at facilitating visitors’ discovery of and access to the Leventhal Map & Education Center’s historical map collection. This position will spend on average approximately 1015 hours a week georeferencing and working on digital humanities tools, and approximately 5 hours a week working as a gallery attendant.

This is a part-time position. Compensation: $11/hour during 2018; $12 beginning January 1, 2019. Shift hours will be assigned among the group of Interns with some flexibility to try to accommodate student class schedules. This position is subject to a CORI check.

Intern – Geospatial Assistant Responsibilities:

  • Contribute geographic metadata to a collection of urban atlases spanning from 1861-1965
  • Develop and implement electronic tools that facilitate visitors’ discovery of and access to the Leventhal Center’s historical map collection
  • Develop and implement learning materials such as workshops, tutorials, and library guides in collaboration with Leventhal Center’s Education team
  • Develop programming to increase visibility of library resources
  • Spend approximately five hours per week on-desk, greeting patrons, attending to the gallery, and adhering to the Gallery Attendant Responsibilities
  • Perform general administrative and library tasks

Intern – Gallery Attendant Responsibilities:

  • Arrive ten minutes prior to gallery open time to set up station, unlock doors, check to make sure brochures are filled, and ensure gallery is presentable
  • Greet visitors and make them feel welcome
  • Serve as a point person for researchers, providing reference and directing rare materials requests to appropriate library staff
  • Field questions about map exhibitions and the Center’s collection
  • Lead approximately one gallery tour per month
  • Generate social media content with the goal of promoting the Center
  • Collect and report data on visitor impressions and questions for curators to review
  • Perform general administrative and library tasks
  • Adhere to Intern Expectations and the policies of the Leventhal Map & Education Center and the Boston Public Library.

Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in museums/ and or libraries and geospatial technologies
  • Ability to perform routine tasks on a Windows PC and Microsoft Office
  • Ability to complete detailed work with a high degree of consistency and accuracy
  • Able to respectfully and effectively work with diverse visitors and staff
  • Ability to solve problems independently as well as collaboratively
  • Interest in learning to use unfamiliar tools, software, and hardware
  • Availability of one (1) weekend gallery shift, either Saturday 10 – 5 or Sunday 1 – 5

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience studying GIS (in any discipline), history, public history, library science, or museum studies
  • Interest in UI & UX design, data visualization, or digital humanities
  • Intermediate or Advanced knowledge of desktop GIS and/or web GIS technology
  • Experience with web development, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Leaflet, or D3.js
  • Experience with any of the following: Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Access, Carto, StoryMaps, QGIS, or Github
  • Proficiency in language(s) other than English

To Apply:

Please attach a PDF document including a resume and cover letter to blipton@bpl.org. The applicant’s cover letter should speak to how their particular set of interests and skills will contribute to the goals and responsibilities described in this listing, and to the Leventhal Map Center mission at large.

About the Map Center:

The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library develops programs  which inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues.

  • We are an independent nonprofit organization in a long-term strategic partnership with the Boston Public Library to advance a shared mission of education and engagement, and to steward the Library’s cartographic collection in concert with its policies.
  • We make resources freely accessible and engaging to the public through our exhibitions, publications, lectures, workshops, classes, family programs, and website.
  • We teach students of all levels, develop and disseminate K-12 lesson plans, and train teachers to use maps effectively and creatively in the classroom.
  • We build, preserve, and digitize the cartographic collections of the Boston Public Library, Norman B. Leventhal, and the Map & Education Center, which date from the 15th century to the present.
  • We supplement the collections with digital material of historical and educational importance from partner institutions and private collections.
  • We promote the use of the collections for academic and public research.

Interpretation and Public Programs Intern at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

DeCordova’s Learning and Engagement Department is seeking an enthusiastic, motivated graduate or college (juniors and seniors only) student for assistance in researching and developing exhibition-related programming for Fall 2018. Responsibilities will vary, but may include: researching artists and exhibition-related content, assisting in the development and installation of the Museum’s educational Process Gallery, The Lab, and other interpretative spaces, assisting in Museum Guide exhibition training, collecting and editing audio content for cell phone tours, assisting with public programs for current exhibitions and day-to-day operations. Interns will report to the Manager of Museum Guide and Public Programs and the Head of Learning Environments. Select evening and weekend availability required to assist with Public Programs.

Qualifications include: strong organizational and computer skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work independently, and a sense of humor. Prospective applicants should be aware that these are unpaid volunteer positions and that no public transportation serves deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum: a car is a must.  Internships are available in the summer, fall, and winter/spring semesters. This internship requires a 16 hours/week minimum commitment. This internship can be completed for course credit.

To apply, please submit a cover letter that clearly states your qualifications and interest in this specific internship along with your resume to Rachael Kelly, Manager of Museum Guide and Public Programs, at rkelly@decordova.org.

Deadline to apply: Monday, August 27

Digital Archive Fellow [Rhizome at the New Museum]

RHIZOME Digital Archive Fellow (part-time, unpaid)

Rhizome is a leading arts organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Through open platforms for exchange and collaboration, our website serves to encourage and expand the communities around these practices. Our programs include commissioning, editorial initiatives, exhibitions, and preservation. Rhizome is an affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. For more information about Rhizome, visit: http://rhizome.org/

Rhizome seeks a highly organized, responsible and experienced candidate to work closely with the Collections Manager with all tasks concerning management of our new digital art archive. Responsibilities include assisting with the transition of artworks to the archive, inspecting and expanding records, help in the development and implementation of preservation policies, handling correspondence with artists, members and the press.

This opportunity is open to emerging professionals, recent graduates and those currently enrolled in graduate level degree programs in archival administration, museum studies or library science. The Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit to 16 hours of work per week, for 6 months, beginning in Spring 2011. This position is unpaid, but academic credit may be arranged.

Qualifications: The Digital Archive Fellow must have strong analytical, writing and communication skills. Education beyond the undergraduate level is required. Background or experience with digital archives and collections is a plus. Those with a keen interest in contemporary art and new media art will be given the highest priority. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software and Photoshop skills are preferred.

To Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume or CV and references to Zoë Salditch, zoe.salditch [at] rhizome [dot] org. Review of applications will begin immediately.

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