Former MuSE Intern at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
about 2 years ago
The MuSE Internship Program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art allows interns to work in one of many departments in the museum. For my internship, I worked in The Watson Library at The Met, but other interns worked in curatorial departments, the education department, development, the archives, retail management, and the graphics department among others. I can only speak to my personal experience, but know that there are many other day to day experiences as a MuSE intern.
The internship is ten weeks long. For the first two weeks, all 40 or so interns meet together everyday with the program coordinators to learn about the museum, hear from different museum staffers, and get to know the museum space. During those two weeks you learn about how to give a museum tour. One of the big aspects of the internship is that you design and then give 3 museum tours to various visitors. They teach you exactly how to organize and run your tour and you have multiple opportunities to practice your tour with other interns before you have to lead one officially.
The remaining eight weeks of the internship, you work in your designated museum department Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, all of the interns gather together with the program coordinators for a series of seminars. Sometimes you stay at The Met and hear from staffers across various departments. Other times you travel to other NYC museums to hear from staffers and view the galleries. The Friday seminars are a wonderful chance to learn about different museum jobs and ask informal questions. During my internship, we got to hear from the director of the museum, which was an amazing experience.
My work in The Watson Library was often very independent and required a lot of initiative on my part. My supervisor was happy to tailor my work to what interested me and allowed me to go as deeply on different projects as I wanted. On a typical day, I catalogued books, compiled data on periodical subscriptions, created call numbers, stickered books, shelved, and processed books for departmental transfers, book binding, conservation, and offsite storage. I was given a half hour for lunch and typically worked 9-5, although I could have worked different hours if I had wanted to do so.