As I was sitting down to write this blog post, I had no clue what to write about. Finishing classes and an internship in a time when the world is shut down has left me in a reflective and confused state. Off the top of my head I could not think of any earthshattering moments I had during my time as the Eiteljorg Collections Intern. However, as I began jotting down a list of all the projects or tasks I had been a part of over the last two semesters, I realized something incredible: my internship has been a bunch of little moments that added up into one earthshattering internship experience, showed me the power of teamwork, and demonstrated how collections work fits into the overall fabric of the museum.
My Eiteljorg Museum internship experience has afforded me countless learning opportunities. My internship mentor is a collections database expert, and I have been fortunate enough to learn under her guidance. I collect relative humidity and temperature dataloggers each week, which affords me the opportunity to understand the way our building’s environment reacts to changes in weather. The Collections Department tasked me with helping them pack and repack a few exhibits as they moved in and out of the building, which allowed me to hone my object handling and packing skills. I got to help hot wax the bronze Deer Fountain in front of the museum. I sat in on database standards meetings, all-staff meetings, and environmental meetings. Each of these experiences was unique and important, no matter how big or small it was.
Overall, my graduate Museum Studies internship has been about seizing opportunities. Just like those cliché “year of yes” notions, I had an “internship of yes.” Any time one of my supervisors popped their head in and asked if I wanted to tag along to a meeting or see how to receive incoming art or observe a media visit or help move an object, I would always say yes. Not only was I excited to be a part of the team and learn something new, I was anticipating the times in which these tasks I was helping with would be my full-time job upon graduation.
My time as an intern is coming to an end, but I know my years of interning has all been building up to the start of my career in museum collections. All of the opportunities I had as an intern have helped me hone my skill and learn new ones. All of my experiences as an intern have molded me into the emerging museum professional I am today. I am graduating in a weird time in the world, but through all of these experiences, I have the flexibility, creativity, and tenacity to tackle any challenges I will face in my career.