Bridget Gallagher-Larkin, Mia Learning Innovation Division - Student and Teacher Learning Department, summer 2018
My internship was at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I worked in the Learning Innovation Division – Student and Teacher Learning Department.
On a typical day, I wrote and edited new or existing lessons and learning resources. Since I had a supportive team, it was easy to email off drafts and receive feedback. Oftentimes, we would meet together to edit content and brainstorm how to make learning resources effective and friendly for teachers and students.
I really enjoyed seeing a preview of the objects that will be in the temporary exhibition, “Egypt’s Sunken Cities.” Since I wrote the digital teaching guide for this exhibition, I was able to see the pictures of objects, exhibition catalogs, edited labels, and panels to assist in my research and writing.
This internship allowed me to experience the day-to-day tasks that go on in a museum. Since I had taken one of the core museum study courses, it was interesting to see the areas of growth and concerns museums have first-hand. In addition, with my teaching experience and knowledge of visitor experience (From my Museum Studies class) in the museum, I critically thought about how the writing, lessons, or questions should be developed effectively. The goal is to reach the variety of learners, whether it is through interesting “new learnings” or engaging questions.
I thought it was exciting to be amid all of the museum staff. I loved the amount of collaboration from one division to the next. On a smaller scale, the Learning Innovation division staff were so helpful, empathetic, and excited for every project that was developing at the time. Even though from the outside Mia is a large museum – with a large staff – it felt small and supportive. Like any job, there is always room for reflection and improvement in areas, but Mia is actively doing this through their programs and rebranding.
This internship confirmed that I love to work in small organizations - something I have found in my professional career as well. I enjoy the variety and challenges of all those multiple roles and to see something that starts from the ground up is a wonderful experience. I also would add, that I'd now love to have the experience of working at the other end of the spectrum for a bit and see how a large, well-established institution performs some of the same tasks that we did, but on a bigger scale.