Name: Kelly Thompson
Internship, Co-op or Research Site: Baltimore Museum of Industry
Position Title: Intern
Major(s)/Minor(s): Art History
Work Term: Spring 2019
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
I worked in the collections department. I really enjoyed my time at the museum because they allowed me to do a bit of everything. I got a broad overview of the "behind the scenes" jobs. I started out doing inventory in their corner store gallery and took photos of every object in the gallery. Then, I uploaded them and updated the PastPerfect system. I worked with about 300 objects and gave a majority of them new object ID numbers. It took about 2 months to fully finish that project, then I started working on unframing works from their cold storage unit. I also got to go to their offsite location in Sparrows Point to help with the collecting of Bethlehem Steel objects.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
I am an Art History major and aspire to work in an art museum. I had asked my previous professor Sandra Abbott if she knew of any internships going on in museums, given that she has a few ties in the museum world. She was very helpful and helped me find this internship. I emailed the head of the collections department and told her that I was interested in interning at the museum. Not long after, I had an interview. I came prepared with a cover letter and resume. The interview went very well, I thanked them for their time, and about a week later they had emailed me back saying that I had gotten the internship. Although the Baltimore Museum of Industry isn't an art museum, I have gained so much museum experience.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
Not only have I gained so much experience, but I have made friends with all of the people that I have worked with. Everyone there was very helpful and were quick to lend a helping hand or to explain something if I didn't quite understand it.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I believe I have made an impact because I put in my full effort everytime I worked. I didn't treat it like an internship, I treated it like an actual job. I was able to finish the main project that they had given me and was also able to start new projects as well. I'm a hard worker and right when I would get to the museum I would just go straight to work. They said that they enjoyed me and the work I did so much that they asked if I would stay even after my internship ended.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
To be open and to not have too many expectations of how hard you think it will be. Go in there confident, wanting to learn, but also letting them know that you'll be an asset to them. Treat it as if it's a real life job and always show up on time and dress accordingly. Always take it seriously and try your best; if you have questions, ask them. Even though you may think that no one notices the intern, I can tell you that it's not true. I was noticed by everyone in the museum, even in other departments. The goal is to make a good impression so that they want to keep you around even after your internship is up.
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