Michigan State University Museum offers a variety of internship opportunities including experiences in collection care, archives, public relations, fundraising, visitor studies, festival production, educational programming, and exhibition development.
Length of Internship
During the MSU academic year, internships generally last four months (a MSU semester). Fall semester usually starts the third week of August and ends the second week of December. Spring semester generally starts the first week of January and ends the last week in April. During the summer, internships typically run from May 15 - August 15, but starting and ending dates for individual internships are negotiable.
Most interns are expected to work a regular schedule of 9-12 hours per week.
Each intern works closely with one or two primary supervisors/mentors but also has an opportunity to meet and work with other museum professionals. Interns usually also participate in department and museum meetings and are invited to attend museum studies special lectures and workshops.
Interns are responsible for their own health insurance and housing, though East Lansing has many possibilities for low-cost housing, especially in the summer, through student sub-lets. Some on-campus housing may be available (see the University Housing website). Interns are also responsible for transportation to and from East Lansing.
Michigan Stained Glass Census internships are unpaid. Occasionally, other MSU Museum internships are available for pay.
Academic credit may be possible through academic programs and departments at MSU as well as other colleges. Internships for MSU credit require 3 hours for each credit sought. MSU Museum internships require a 3 credit minimum (representing 9 hours/week). Potential interns are encouraged to contact their academic program advisors for information about available credit options. NOTE: Internships at the MSU Museum can fill the requirement of the MSU Museum Studies Program but must have prior approval. Contact information is provided below for two possible options:
- MSU Museum Studies Internship Program
- MSU College of Arts and Letters Internship Program: 517-355-6519
Program Intern: Michigan Stained Glass Census
Description of Internship: Intern will assist program coordinators in a variety of tasks associated with the Michigan Stained Glass Census. The Census is a statewide survey of architectural stained glass. With the help of volunteers, it seeks to locate, record, and photograph stained glass windows throughout Michigan. The information collected by census takers is maintained in a computerized archive at the MSU Museum. Tasks will include assisting in cataloguing and data entry of incoming census forms, digitizing images for use on the web, and compiling data for web publication. The intern's major project of the semester will be to research, register, and photograph the stained glass windows of one new location in the Lansing area. For additional credit, an internship may also be tailored to suit the research interests of an individual student, culminating in a research paper about Michigan stained glass.
Qualifications desired: Good writing and oral communication skills. Some familiarity with the field of art history and decorative arts; commitment to the field of art history and/or museum studies; familiarity with databases helpful; proficiency with Adobe Photoshop, scanning, digital photography and knowledge of HTML desirable, but will train if needed. Basic knowledge of the history and cultural make-up of Michigan a plus.
Duration of Internship: Academic semester or summer, full or part-time (minimum 9 hours a week).
Supervisor: Beth Donaldson
Requirements of Internships: In addition to the activities defined above, each intern is expected to complete a weekly log, a portfolio, and a short self-evaluation/summary report. Supervisors will also complete an evaluation.
Review Criteria and Process: Decisions are made on a revolving basis by the primary supervisor and the coordinator of MSU Museum interns. Selections are made based on appropriateness of candidate to position and availability of internship opportunities.
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