Monday, 27 July 2015




There is a life outside the classroom. It’s full of Netflix, wine, and snacks! Okay, maybe some nights, but what about the broader museum world? There are a ton of opportunities to get involved in the museum community, where you can not only gain experience, but also help position yourself for when you graduate.


Yes, yes, we’ve heard it all before; volunteer while you’re in school. But the old adage is still a sure fire way to get yourself out in the museum world, make contacts, and apply what you’re learning. Almost any museum will take volunteers. Some include the ROM’s hands-on galleries, the Aga Khan Museum, and the Myseum Toronto. Nowadays, volunteer positions can be like jobs – apply early, treat it like a job interview, and watch for postings.

Gallery at the ROM
View of the ROM Hands-on Biodiversity Gallery, Source.

There are also a ton of work-study opportunities on or off campus. These may include working with a U of T collection, planning a program in another department or campus organization, working as a student ambassador, or working as a research assistant at the iSchool. Take the time to slog through  the postings, and check back for updates. You'll also probably receive emails from the iSchool about potential opportunities starting closer to September.


iSkills workshops help hone and specialize your skills - from 3-D printing to design programs. It's a great way to round out your skills and become familiar with programs and techniques that might give you a leg up in the job world. Watch out for emails about the other workshops throughout the year, such as the much anticipated mount-making and photography workshops!

3-D printing the Eiffel Tower
Learn how to do this in a 3-D printing workshop! Source.

Care about your student experience?  The Museum Studies Student Association (MUSSA) has a number of positions reserved for first-year students. Check out the openings to be filled in September! It's a great way to help shape your grad school adventure.


From conferences to mentoring, there are a number of opportunities to make contacts and understand trends in your chosen field. The Ontario Museums Association (OMA) Conference is always a popular one, as well as the OMA professional development opportunities. iSchool alumni also have a number of nifty professional development activities lined up, from networking events to job shadowing programs.

Ontario Museums Association conference logo
Come to the OMA conference! Source.

But believe it or not... there are other things to do besides museums. Take a pottery-making class! Get out and enjoy the sun, a movie, or go for a run! Grad school can be intense and it's nice to gain perspective on the real world.

pottery making scene from ghost.
Could this be you in your spare time? Thank the movie Ghost for this one.Source.
Happy grad-schooling!

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