Hi friends! The last time I was making a post for my website, I was finishing up a summer internship before my senior year at KU. Since then, MANY things have happened, namely graduating from KU and then immediately pursuing my Master’s in Museum Studies in Florence, Italy. Fast forward nine-ish months and I am back in Kansas ‘writing’ my thesis (hey, I’m doing the best I can right now) and searching for full-time positions in my field. In the meantime, I have snagged a necessary internship for my degree program and a part-time position at a local children’s museum.
MA commencement in Florence, May 2019
I will be at the Kansas Museum of History here in Topeka, Kansas twice a week, 8:30am-4:30pm working as a Visitor Studies intern! I will be involved with two projects. The first will be to assess visitors’ experiences at the museum, particularly concerned with navigation/pathways, signage, exhibit design, where and how time is spent, and interactions throughout the space. Secondly, I will be assisting the research process for the redesign of the museum’s website. The main focus is to improve usability and attract more visitors to the website, museum, and historic sites.
I will also be at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, part-time, as a gallery assistant. I had my first day on the floor yesterday, and I am excited to continue working there! This opportunity allows me to learn how to provide a safe and fun learning environment for all visitors. I will either be on the floor as a floater, tidying up all stations when no one is there and making sure everyone is having fun, even if they are playing by themselves. Or I will be in the painting space refilling non-toxic paint and cleaning up the stations. In short, I am being paid to play with kids! So far this has been the most casual job I have ever had. But that doesn’t mean the payoff is nothing. Because I am attracted to a full-time educational position at a museum, I need the diverse experiences of working with all age groups in many different settings. Truly, I think children’s museums have the greatest challenge of providing a wide array of learning opportunities in their exhibitions, that will keep a child engaged. These approaches can even be connected to the highly sophisticated modern art museum institution. It is just a matter of how they are translated.
In the near future, I will try (key word there) to post weekly with reflective content on both of my experiences throughout the semester, as well as any skill-based tactics I will practice. At the end of my internship I am to write a paper about my time at the museum, so this blog will not only make my recounting of everything easier, but hold me accountable in the long run to my professional development.
Along the canals of Amsterdam, May 2019
If I’m bored (probably won’t happen) then I will start a completely new section on my time in Florence, which is probably something that is incredibly interesting and rewarding to reflect and read on, but let’s see what actually happens…
And if I’m REALLY bored (or need another accountable way to share my experience) then I will start a section for the process of writing my thesis. Transparency. Because I think that that is the most valuable tool I can provide without compensating my sanity. Let me know what you think!