Thursday, August 11, 2011

At the Museum: All About Internships

Museum Internships

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art has partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi to offer unpaid internships to interested students. The Museum offers internships in the areas of education and outreach, marketing and public relations, library and archives and the curatorial department. These internships can be used for class credit with approval from the student’s department chairperson. Sessions mirror the fall, spring and summer class schedules with each internship consisting of 150 hours.

LRMA requires students to complete the Internship Application Form which can be found on the Museum's website (click on About and then Staff). The application can be found at the bottom of the page.

We also ask the student to submit a resumé with full contact information for three professional references and a cover letter explaining their reasons for applying. Applications are due 30 days prior to the beginning of the requested semester and a student must have completed at least two full years of college. Other requirements are listed in the application.

While USM has been our main source of college interns, the Museum will gladly accept students from other colleges and universities by following the same application process.

The Museum has been fortunate to have many dedicated and committed students to work through an internship program here at the Museum. Some of the past interns have accepted museum jobs in other locations after gaining experience at LRMA.
While student interns focus on work in one area, we feel it is important for the intern to work a few hours in other departments to get a well-rounded knowledge of the various departments.

This summer we welcomed Hayley Ivy, a Hattiesburg native and a USM art major, to the internship program. She has been invaluable to the curatorial department by assisting with exhibition display, label research and writing, and file organization.
When interviewed, Hayley stated, "my favorite part of the internship is seeing the process of how an exhibition comes together. There were things I have learned during my time at LRMA that I hadn’t considered before – such as taking an idea to the Board for approval, the marketing of an exhibition, the process of installation and making it available to the public along with the educational aspect of training docents for tours."

Hayley shared her reason for applying for the internship was for resumé building and exploring art as a career. "I'm unsure of what part of the art field I would like to pursue. I would be happy to apply for an internship at other museums to have a broader range of information," says Hayley.

Museum internships exist formally at most medium to large museums and informally at small institutions. Many small museums have only 1-5 staff members and welcome dependable help in the form of volunteers.

We have accepted assistance from students who can't devote their time to the academic schedule of a formal internship but would simply like to volunteer their time to learn more about the profession. Formal internships mean that the student can work on more sustained and long-term projects. Our limited staff prevents us from accepting multiple interns in one department at the same time, so if you're interested, please apply early.

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesdays - Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. and on Sundays 1-4 p.m. For additional information, check the website at or call 601-649-6374.

Tommie Rodgers is the registrar at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.