Internship Series: Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

Screen-Shot-2016-08-29-at-3.21.12-PMEmmett Nahil
CAS’17 | Art History
Curatorial/Collections Management Internship

CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?

Emmett: I worked directly under the Center’s Curatorial and Exhibitions Administrator. I independently oversaw the daily maintenance of the HGARC’s various exhibition rooms, as well as executed daily goals regarding the organization of these exhibits. Additionally, I assisted in the design, creation, and execution of the recent Bud Collins Memorial Exhibition, currently on view in Mugar Library. I assisted in the organization of various individuals’ archived materials, as well as helped in the redesign of multiple out of date cases throughout the library.

CCD: What were the top 3 skills you learned from this experience?

Emmett: Time management, organization, and resource management. Many of my assignments involved me checking exhibits by myself throughout the library, and had to be done in a specific time frame. I frequently juggled multiple goals and tasks, and this internship helped me with learning how to execute them in a professional environment.

CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?

Emmett: Continually ask questions. You’re there to learn, not just to take direction. If there’s something that you’re asked to do that you don’t fully understand, or are just curious about, don’t be afraid to be inquisitive. More often than not your supervisor will be impressed that you’ve thought to ask at all.

CCD: What are the benefits of the type of summer experience you did? 

Emmett: Real world experience is the first and largest benefit that will come from any work experience outside the classroom. For me, I was interested in the operations of an extensive collection that we all are in such close proximity to in the library. I’ve always loved museums and am still intrigued by how they’re managed, as well as which artifacts are chosen for display. With so many changes arising in museum studies over the past decade, the experience helped me put a tangible face to these issues, as well as to see the clear benefits of archival exhibitions to a student population.

CCD: What’s next for you?

Emmett: I’m currently seeking a position at the Harvard Peabody Museum or Archaeology for Collections Management. I’m interested in Museum Studies as well as object conservation and management, and hopefully these things will help me as I go into my senior year, and eventually into graduate school for Museum Studies and Art History.


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