Saturday, 19 September 2015




To conclude Musings' popular summer column Internship Check-In, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize the proceedings of the final Internship course meeting this year.

Yesterday in Room 728 of the Bissell Tower of the Faculty of Information, a large crowd of MMSt students, professors, and museum professors gathered for the 2015 Ignite Internship Presentation Day. Between 9am and 4pm, approximately 40 second year students who gained job experience through the Internship course MSL 3000Y this past summer presented major lessons they learned throughout their experience with ignite-style presentations 5 minutes long each. The day was broken up by panel discussions following each theme group and a delicious lunch.

The themed sessions and their participants were as follows:


 Kit MacManus, Madeleine Adamson, Jenny Ford, Amelia Yan, and Leah Moncada

Musings Contributor Jenny Ford talked about her interpretive planning internship at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz


Mary-Elizabeth Simonds, Sanja Ljaskevic, Zoé Delguste-Cincotta, and Mary Kate Whibbs


Katelyn Roughley, Sarah Anderson, Janine Zylstra, Annissa Malvoisin, Veronica Stoneman, and Rowena McGowan

(L to R) Annissa, Janine, Katelyn, and Sarah await the discussion portion of their session.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz


Leena Kilback, Nadia Abraham, Michelle Johnson, Sarah Spotowski, Allison MacDonald, and Dylan Dammerman


 Daniel Panneton, Samantha Purvis-Johnston, and Nefret Salzberg


Marisa Strom, Emily Meikle, Yara Seredin, Olivia Smith, and Olivia Gawron

(L to R) Olivia G., Olivia S., Yara, and Emily watching Marisa's presentation.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz


Madeline Smolarz, Anya Baker, Paul Bishop, and Bethea Penny


Alyssa Lake, Camille-Mary Sharp, and Lindsay Parsons


Jennifer Maxwell, Lindsay Small, Victoria Coté, and Rebecca Frerotte

Madeleine Adamson responding to a question posed to the crowd during a panel discussion.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz

I asked a few of my peers (including myself – I had to make it an even 6!) who attended and presented for their impressions of the day. The following comments are paraphrased from recordings I took during short interviews with them and the institution they interned at is listed after their name in brackets.

On their favourite part of the day…

- Dylan Dammerman (Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art): My favourite part was seeing how hard everyone worked this summer and how we all supported each other throughout.
- Yara Seredin (Colborne Lodge): I really enjoyed just getting to see the fruit of everyone’s labours, the vastly diverse places where people worked, and the things they accomplished. I’m so proud of everybody.

On a lesson they learned from a presentation other than their own… 

 - Leena Kilback (Montgomery’s Inn): Making collections accessible not just to the public but also to non-collections staff members in programs is important for interdepartmental work.
- Madeline Smolarz (Bytown Museum): Leah Moncada [intern at the Canadian War Museum] in her presentation “Who’s My Audience? Not Me!” underlined the lesson that you can’t assume everyone will love the same things you do as a museum professional.

Musings Contributor Leah Moncada delivering her fascinating audience-centric presentation.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz

On a presentation that was especially memorable to them… 

 - Victoria Coté (Theatre Museum Canada): For me, the best was Anya Baker’s [intern at Morris and Sally Justein Heritage Museum at Baycrest Health Sciences] presentation where she talked about older adults as an underserved audience. It was an interesting way of looking at audience and at museums as a place where reminiscence can happen.
- Jennifer Maxwell (The National Ballet of Canada): Bethea Penny [intern at North by Northeast Music Festival] took an innovative approach to the MMSt internship program. She took her skills and applied them to a new and cutting-edge facet of cultural heritage many of us hadn’t thought of before.


MMSt students Mallory Horrill and Kasey Ball remain in England and were unable to attend to present their internships - we wish them all the best in their adventures!


Many thanks to the following individuals for their tireless work in relation to the internship course experience:

Zoé Delguste-Cincotta, Alyssa Lake, and Mary Kate Whibbs put together a magnificently impressive “Internship Experiences” booklet. They tirelessly collected descriptions and photos from each intern, edited the submissions, then designed the entire booklet. The result is a publication we are all very proud of and grateful to have in our portfolios.

A few pages from the Internship Experiences booklet publication.
Photo Credit: Madeline Smolarz

Anya Baker, Annissa Malvoisin, and Veronica Stoneman not only gathered everyone’s PowerPoint presentations, coordinated discussion questions, and did extensive event planning prior to the Ignite Presentation Day, but they also acted as caterers/ MCs / tech support and remained level-headed professionals throughout the proceedings.

Professor Blackbourn was an excellent source of wisdom and guidance to countless interns this summer. Yet again, she kindly shared her wealth of knowledge and network of contacts with another group of eager MMSt students. Our internships would not have been the same without you, Cathy.

Congratulations to all on internships well done. We did it!


  1. Such a great post about a fantastic and very informative day! Wonderful job for all presenters and congratulations to Cathy for being a fearless leader for this course and extraordinary mentor for MMSt-ers.

    1. I'm happy to hear your enjoyed reading my re-cap, Professor. Thank you for being a constant presence and support throughout all of the presentations as well!

  2. Great re-cap Madeline! What a day--I'm still processing what I heard and saw. We our peers as a top resource in becoming great bunch of museum professionals; I learned so much from every presenter.

    1. I agree, our peers are going to be an amazing network of knowledge after we all graduate, one of the many benefits of the MMSt program beside the wonderful friendships that it fosters!

  3. Just wanted to add my kudos on the great post, Madeline. And thanks to all for a most interesting and informative day. I learned a lot! Particularly enjoyed the discussions which, I think, added a nice participatory element to what could have been one-sided presentations. Thanks!

    1. Cathy Blackbourn18 October 2015 at 15:27

      In addition to the wonderful students who coordinated the booklet production and the Ignite event I want to also thank Madeline who brought the class together throughout their internships through Musings and encouraged these excellent posts.

      I loved this day and am so impressed to see and hear these presentations presented in such a professional manner. We look forward to all of you becoming our museum colleagues soon!!!

      Thanks so much to all of you.