Monday, 19 September 2016

A TINY SPARK IGNITES A FLAME: THE 2016 INTERNSHIP CLASS IGNITE PRESENTATIONS

INTERNSHIP CHECK-IN

BY: NATANIA SHERMAN

Welcome back Musings readers, writers and MMSt students! I hope you all had wonderful summer and are ready for all of the exciting adventures that await you in the new academic year. I couldn't think of a better way to start Musings' fall season than to do a final Internship Check-in for the 2016 internship class. This post will be a recap of last Friday's Ignite Presentation Conference which was organized by the talented students on the Ignite Committee to showcase 5 minute talks by MMSt students about the valuable museological lessons that they learned during their 12 week internships.

Professor Blackburn giving the opening remarks to the Ignite Presentations (Photo: Natania Sherman)

This year's Ignite talks were organized into the following themes: The Future of the Museum, Collections and Critical Issues, Collections and Records Management, Risk Management, Small Cultural Institutions, Museum Management, Virtual Museums, Critical Issues, Visitor Experience and Engagement, Partnerships and Collaboration, Public Programming and Museum Management. Each group of talks ended with a 5 minute panel discussion to discuss the common museological issues within each group. The biggest takeaway was to see the breadth and range of activities that students undertook during their internships and to be able to compare experiences with my peers.

We all really mastered the Powerpoint (Source)
I also spoke to my fellow Musing's writers to get a broader student perspective on the presentations. Kate says, "I loved seeing the diversity of everyone's experiences - some people working exclusively in collections while others did policy or copyright or exhibition planning. As an EMP the world is your oyster!" When asked what she learned from the experience, Hayley mentioned, "That including 'the rose is ugly' in your collections forms is not a good idea... Also putting matches in with paper artifacts. Also that our class has a great sense of humour, so many presentations made me smile and laugh!"

One of the key takeaways from all of the talks was the importance of resilience and versatility when working in non-profits, especially as a student intern who must learn to work with all of the constituents of an organization in an exceptionally short amount of time.

Internship achievement unlocked, Museum Professional level up! (Source)
Finally I'd like to extend a few thank-you's. The first is to all the students, faculty and internship supervisors who attended the conference. Your comments and questions made this a truly memorable event. A huge thank you goes out to to the Ignite Committee for organizing the event. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not include a special thank you to Professor Cathy Blackbourn for making sure each and every one of us was able to have a valuable internship experience this summer. I can't wait to see what we'll do this year!

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