What does a Museum Studies internship entail? Part 1.

In order to complete the Masters in Museum Studies degree, our students must complete 200 hours of an internship for academic credit. In the past, these internships have ranged from institutions located in Europe to North America, in areas of interest including history, art, photography, science, and local history. In the summer of 2017, our intelligent and hardworking MAs are interning in museums such as: the Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, First Mayor’s House, and the Uffizi to name a few! Below highlights Alexa Comuniello’s perspective on her internship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, NY.

Why did you choose this internship?

I realized as an undergraduate at Marist working in the Advancement Office that I enjoyed development and fundraising work. As a student of art history, I decided to pursue a career supporting art through non-profits. The Guggenheim Foundation is a respected global institution that has funded and encouraged artists for decades. Interning and learning from the staff there is truly an honor.

How long is your internship? How many hours a week do you work?

My internship is 10 weeks long, from June to August. I work 28 hours a week.

Please describe some of the projects that you are working on.

As an intern, I assist the development department in a number of long-term projects, especially prospect research. I use the foundation’s resources to research individuals and organizations that may be interested in supporting specific projects in the Guggenheim museum network.

What is your favorite part?

I love that my position within the foundation allows me to learn from all its departments. I am able to witness the work that goes on within and between curatorial, exhibition design, communications, finance, and development, and really get an understanding of how a cultural non-profit operates.
What have you learned so far?

I have learned how to use a number of fundraising specific databases, as well as new research techniques, which are applicable to the working world, rather than what is best researching as a student.

Which class prepared you for your current position best?

It’s difficult to say that one specific class prepared me best for my internship because the combination of everything I learned over the course of the year now influences how I handle my tasks as an intern. The critical thinking that comes from Museum Ethics and Law, Transcultural Aesthetics, and Museum Management has definitely affected me the most and been the most useful for my current position.IMG_2118

Thanks Alexa! Check back next week for another perspective on interning in the museum world.


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