As a riveting segment this summer, the IMA Blog will be featuring a Tuesday Photo of the Week, highlighting juicy tidbits of info including works of art, artists, news, events, or locations.
What I did on my Summer Vacation
or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and be a Good Intern
No kidding, internships have the potential to be awful. You could be stuck on coffee and filing duty. If you’re in that situation, you kind of have to put your ego to the side and be willing to do the grunt work. You can think about it as the chance to earn the respect of the people you are interning for, thus leading to your acquiring more thought provoking projects. A truly lucky intern will have both a boss that lets them manage some projects throughout their time at the institution, and the foresight to take advantage of this opportunity.
Even if you have a great situation with your boss, it can be difficult to get comfortable in your duties. In the beginning, one of the hardest parts for me was feeling confident in taking initiative. Not because I am not capable of it, but because I really wanted to make sure I was doing everything right.
As I was vacillating about the details of my summer project, one of the most helpful things Despi said was, “I can write this for you, but I think it will be more valuable to have you try it yourself.” She gave me the permission I needed to take control of the project, but also to potentially fail. Project management is one of the most difficult types of experience to gain, because it can only be learned through hard work, trial and error. It’s those ‘real life’ experiences of deadlines and organization that make internships a vital part of the learning experience.
So, I’ve learned a lot this summer. I’ve learned to write down everything. Simple but effective; this also really helps fight ‘the yawns’ in a boring meeting. I’ve also learned not to be afraid to ask all the clarifying questions you need. Your manager will not be annoyed, but instead will be thankful that they have someone who pays attention to details. Try to make yourself indispensable! Another major goal of interning is to meet the people in your future field. When a position opens up at the museum, you want every person you worked for to think of your name.
- Always say yes when another opportunity to help arises. Be flexible and available. (this one’s from me!)
- “Be open minded and willing to try new things. Look for opportunities to grow. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t pan out. “- Emily Blyze, Development Researcher
- “Don’t be afraid to ask for the job you want. If there’s an opening, go for it! Internships are an opportunity to get your foot in the door.” – Amber Laibe, Manager of Affiliate and Volunteer Services
- “Get involved in as many things at the organization as possible. Put yourself out there!” -Meg Liffick, Communications Manager
- “Other than hygiene? Make the most of it.”- Daniel Incandela, Director of New Media
If you have advice about internships in general, or to someone thinking about interning at the IMA, leave a comment!
To the staff in MIS, Education, Marketing, and Development, thank you for a wonderful Summer. I was very lucky to get to interact with so many departments. To New Media, I hope I haven’t scarred you too much. I had a great time!