Jump to content

How much does "prestige" of internship matter?


Recommended Posts

I would say it depends on the museum and depends on your program and depends on your career goals.


The (small, lesser-known local museum) I interned at could be considered better than a (famous museum) because it provided an opportunity to work with the town's descendant community ... if you know what I mean?


A (famous museum) and a (lesser-known local museum) provide opportunities for public outreach opportunities.


It's honestly just a matter of what you got out of your time there and how you present that to your prospective program.


Experience is experience no matter where, at least that's how I look at this situation.

Edited by AKCarlton
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like AKCarlton said, it really depends on what you're looking to do and where you're looking to work.  I interned at a small, lesser known local museum and it was a fantastic experience.  I really got into the nitty-gritty of museum work - learning the ins and outs of Past Perfect, working the front desk, setting up for the big yearly fundraiser (and several smaller ones), and even some grant writing.  The great thing about interning at this smaller, "less prestigious" museum was that I got to a bit of everything rather than being one small cog filling a niche role in a monolithic institution.


This internship led me to a full time job at a different small, local museum where I have spent the last couple years doing everything: writing Tier 2 grants, teaching elementary schoolers on field trips, planning fundraisers, taking care of the till and daily/monthly P&L reports, etc.  When I applied to grad school this cycle I received several generous offers, including a fully funded offer with a graduate curatorial assistantship at a large cultural institution affiliated with the university I'll be attending.  


One of the things I consistently heard from POIs and admissions people was how attractive my experience was - these people absolutely loved the fact that I had spent the past few years in the trenches getting my hands dirty at community museums.  It's certainly not the only good way to gain experience in the field and open doors and of course your mileage may vary, but in my experience working at a smaller, community focused museum is a hugely rewarding experience - provided you're willing to work your ass off for long hours and low pay.  Best of luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.