Museum Studies minors have found jobs in the museum field or have gone to pursue graduate degrees in related fields. Below are the experiences of some of our graduates:
As a Museum Studies minor at the University of Mary Washington, I had the opportunity to work on projects at several museums during my time in college. The summer before my senior year, I was fortunate enough to intern at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as a Family Programs Interpreter. I was one of three interns based at the Geddy House on the Palace Green, where we taught and interpreted 18th century colonial and Native-American games. I also was trained to give tours of the Geddy House and Wythe House. The Wythe House was where we interpreted the gardens and animals as part of additional children’s programming.
When my internship ended, my supervisors at the Wythe/Geddy sites expressed an interest in my returning to the same position as a paid employee the following summer. After graduation, I was ecstatic at the chance to return to Williamsburg and continue working in Family Programming. I had come to love interpreting 18th-century family life and the unique experience of first-person interpretation, which was something that greatly interested me during my studies at the University of Mary Washington.
At the end of my first post-graduation summer, I was hired as a full-time Site Interpreter for the Wythe/Geddy Domestic Sites Ensemble. I give first-person interpretative tours of the James Geddy Silversmith Shop and Home and of the George Wythe House. I am responsible for interpreting 18th-century family life accurately and “in-the-moment,” an interpretive technique that is challenging yet rewarding. I am currently working in this position and hope to perhaps cross-train within the Foundation for school and groups or public sites in the next few years. I am also planning to pursue a Master degree in Public History in the future and would love to be part of the Foundation’s research team or write educational programs.
During the fall semester of my senior year, not only did I apply for graduate programs in Museum Studies, but also I had found an internship for the spring semester with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FRSP), which is under the purview of the National Park Service. However, similar to every other graduating senior, as my final semester neared an end I began to worry about how I could further my career goals.
While I was seeking some guidance from my supervisor at the park, she mentioned the possibility of a temporary job for the summer. So, I continued to work hard on my projects using my foundation in the ethical principles and professional practices governing museums. I first gained this knowledge from introductory Museum Studies courses offered at UMW, which can be applied to any collection.
Immediately following my May 2012 graduation, FRSP hired me as a Museum Technician. Aside from completing assorted curatorial tasks as needed, I was put in charge of several projects. I brought the accession backlog up to date, completed internal and external research inquires with an end-of fiscal year report, updated the collections database with new records or location changes, and assisted with the Annual Inventory submission. I currently hold this position as a part-time employee while completing The George Washington University’s Masters of Arts in Museum Studies.