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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Diary of an Intern: Self Discovery and Reflection – Part 1

Congratulations to our Diary of an Intern series’ student blog contributors!  This month, they are completing their summer internships.  Their final post is a reflection on self discovery and experience as interns.  Therefore, I am giving them their own space to share what they learned about themselves and the skills developed during their internships.  Read their reflections in a 3-part series – Diary of an Intern:  Self Discovery and Reflection.

Let’s learn what Laura discovered about herself and the experience at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

LauraIt’s hard to believe that my summer internship has been completed! It was a packed 8 weeks in which I learned so much about myself, both from living alone in Atlanta and from my work experience at the High Museum of Art. One major thing I learned is that Atlanta is not a city in which I could see myself living. I think I am more of a mid-sized city kind of person, or a big city that is walkable with great public transportation. I love the High so much, but I am not a fan of Atlanta. This realization has caused me to see that compromise will definitely be something I face when looking for a job post-Wake. I knew this in my head, but actually experiencing it is a different story, as it always seems to be.

However, I think the most important thing I have learned about myself is my desire to work in the art museum field. I have had two art museum internships now, and each one has affirmed my passion for art and sharing it with the community. I definitely want to pursue a career in art museums or a related field. It was nice to reaffirm this after completing my second internship at a larger museum.

I loved my internship because I got to have some incredible experiences with art and see how the community reacts to art. I gained so much valuable day-to-day experience working in a cubicle in a large office building in a big city. I feel like I am being really general in saying what I have learned because it is hard for me to write out everything and sort through it all- we would be here for days! I loved this internship because of all the amazing experience that I have gained and skills I have honed. I know that living on my own for 2 months in a strange city was worth it for all the contacts, knowledge, and experience I have gained. I am going to look for similar internships in the future, but perhaps ones that are paid (even though those are few and far between in the art museum world) and look for one in a city in which I know someone. Coming home to a place where I am not surrounded by people I love, either at home or at Wake, is really tough. I know that in the future I need to live with people who I am excited to go home to.

I learned how to work with different kinds of people and different departments across the museum. I learned how to suggest new projects that I want to do in order to make my work suit me more. I learned the importance of taking notebooks to meetings and meeting frequently with my supervisor to ensure that I am completing the correct tasks. Overall, I gained so much knowledge of the workings of a major art museum and the roles of each different department. I even made a list of all the tasks that I completed at the High for future reference and to jog my memory before interviews, etc.

Laura using our “Go Girl” app where you dress up like Girl with a Pearl Earring, the star of our blockbuster exhibition “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis”.

Laura using the “Go Girl” app where you dress up like Girl with a Pearl Earring, the star of our blockbuster exhibition “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis”.

My advice for someone starting out an internship search is to start applying very early. It is almost like a part-time job for a few months, so be prepared. Notify professors whom you will need recommendations from as far in advance as possible. Be sure to get each application proofread before you send it out. Treat your internship application process like your college application process: apply to a few internships that you know you will get (safety internships), a few you have a reasonable chance of getting, and a few that are reach internships (more for practice). It is a long and grueling process, especially when you are applying for about 15 internships like I did, but it was worth it in the end. I was able to pick my top choice since I applied to so many, which made the hard work worth it. But really the experience of the internship itself made all those applications, revisions, and emails worth it.

It has been such a wonderful summer, and I am so thankful to the High Museum of Art for all the amazing experiences I have had. I am planning on seeking out another internship at a different art museum to gain even more experience and knowledge as to how other museums operate. I am excited for the future, and so thankful for this amazing summer!

~Laura Jurotich, ‘15 – History and Art History major

Marketing and Public Relations Intern at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

 

Category: Professional Development

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