As mentioned in my previous blog post, this summer I’m spending a couple of months interning at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology here on campus, which houses artifacts both excavated by the University of Michigan and purchased on behalf of the University. Now that I’ve explained a bit about why I chose this internship and what my work at the museum is like, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about what my goals are and what I’m hoping to learn from this experience.
Probably my biggest goal for this internship is to experience what it’s like to work in a museum setting, particularly a university museum dedicated to education and public outreach. As a Classical Archaeology major here at Michigan, the two major routes I’m considering for post-college life are a) academia and b) museum work. I hope that the experiences I gain here at the Kelsey Museum, both working with the Registry’s office, and also through the interactions I have with staff from other parts of the museum, I’ll be able to decide if museum work is something I seriously want to pursue after graduation.
My other major goal for my time here at the Kelsey is to become more familiar with the material remains of the sites the University has excavated, and perhaps narrow down what I want to specifically focus on in my own degree and figure out where my own interests lie. Classical Archaeology may sound like a specific field to some people, but it really covers a huge expanse of time and geography – from the 2nd millennium BCE to the fall of the Roman Empire in the 400s CE, from Great Britain to Egypt and the rest of the Mediterranean region. By doing an inventory of the museum’s collections, I’m being exposed to artifacts from all of these places and time periods. Hopefully, in doing so, I will learn more about these pieces and perhaps figure out which area in particular interests me best.
Other, not quite so major, things I hope to achieve this summer while interning at the Kelsey are to meet as many people as possible (network, network, network!) and just enjoy the experience. While this is a job, and not all of the tasks I have to complete at the Kelsey are going to be as exciting as others, working at this museum is something I’ve wanted to do since I came here to Michigan and so I want to remember to enjoy myself and the work I’m doing.