Internship held at Ashmolean Museum, 2010
Whilst studying Ancient History at Warwick I had the privilege of being chosen by Dr. Susan Walker, keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the Ashmolean museum, to undertake an internship through the Roman Society. The internship involved working closely with Dr. Walker in her galleries to produce a portfolio of gift ideas for the museum’s shop that would complement the items on exhibit. The role was an unusual one but chosen because of my retail experience as well as my academic.
The position, for me, was a relatively short one due to other commitments but still thoroughly enjoyable. Not only did I spend time with Dr. Susan Walker with her explaining her ideas and particular interests within her galleries but I was able to experience working within a museum environment. As mentioned before, I produced a portfolio of marketable products that would entice customers as well as being sympathetic to the items on show. I conducted market research on the items and also gave estimations of their ideal market value. Towards the end of my placement I had a chance to liaise with gift shop co-ordinator to discuss more ideas and to review my work.
One of the perks of the placement was that I was able to view other items not available to the general public and artefacts in storage, one such example of this was a selection of Egyptian finds. The overall experience was insightful and I feel it has fuelled my desire to pursue a career in a similar museum environment. For anyone wishing to experience an aspect of working within a museum setting I would highly recommend it as you can witness firsthand how a museum is run. From whatever role you are given it will enable you to see how all the other positions function.