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Internships in Museum Studies

Anthro 724 -- Internship
Concentrated Internship
Recent Internships, Wisconsin and Beyond

Anthro 724 – Internship (150 hours)

An internship is the most effective way of gaining in-depth practical experience in a chosen sub-field of museum studies, and students may complete internships in various sections of the Milwaukee Public Museum or in other museums. Students considering an internship should apply to a potential internship site at least one semester before they plan to perform an internship. They should also be aware that a limited number of internships are available and that students compete for internships with students from other schools and programs. Because of the time commitment required, internships taken during the summer when classes are not in session have proven to be most effective.

Registration in course Anthro-724 requires the approval and signature of Dr. W. Warner (Bill) Wood of the UWM Anthropology Department. Students should be aware that an internship site may have special requirements regarding an internship performed at their institution. It is the student's responsibility to incorporate these policies into their internship plan in consultation with Dr. Wood.

Guidelines:

  1. The internship must follow successful completion of course Anthro 720
  2. The student must serve a minimum of 150 hours in the chosen institution over the course of one semester.
  3. The student should meet with a museum staff person who will agree to supervise the student's internship and complete the contract specifying mutual roles and responsibilities, including requirements and deadlines (see attached form). For internships at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the student should meet with both the museum staff person who will supervise the internship and the Museum Internship Coordinator, to formalize the internship.
  4. The student should meet with the UWM Museum Studies Chair—currently Associate Professor W. Warner (Bill) Wood, UWM Department of Anthropology—to briefly discuss the internship and complete the required registration form and contract. A copy of the Internship contract will be placed in the student's file. Contact information: telephone: (414) 229-6323 or 229-4175 or e-mail: woodw@uwm.edu
  5. The student should then proceed with the internship, meeting regularly with the supervising museum staff person to discuss progress. The student should also meet with Dr. Wood at the beginning and at least once during the course of the semester for the same purpose.
  6. A paper of approximately 20 pages on the project—including the student's assessment of what was learned, the contribution of the project to the Museum and/or knowledge of the subject—must be completed by the last week of classes. If the supervising museum staff person has assigned some other final project, this paper will be an extension of that project and may be reduced to a minimum of 10 pages. The paper will be graded by the supervising museum staff person.
  7. Following completion of the internship at the MPM, interns should submit a copy of their paper and their total intern hours to the Museum Internship Coordinator. It is their responsibility to deliver a copy of the paper to Dr. Wood and to remind the supervising museum staff person to submit a review and suggested letter grade to Dr. Wood.
  8. By the last day of final exams in the semester of the internship, the supervising museum staff person will e-mail to Dr. Wood, an intern performance review and a suggested final grade. The final grade is a composite of the submitted paper, account of hours, and intern performance review and will be assigned by Dr. Wood in consultation with the supervising museum staff person. See attached Supervisor Evaluation guidelines.
  9. A grade of "B" or better is required to pass the course.

If the intern is having problems with the internship, s/he should address the situation by discussing any difficulties with the supervising museum staff person, Dr. Wood, or an MPM museum studies instructor. Alternatives to the termination of the internship should be considered before any action is taken.

Where an internship experience cannot be salvaged, the internship can be terminated at any time during the semester if the student, supervising museum staff person, or Dr. Wood believes that the student is not making satisfactory progress and/or the supervising museum staff person is not fulfilling his/her obligations to the student.

If the student does not satisfactorily complete the internship, s/he may repeat the entire internship, or just that portion deemed unsatisfactory, but only with the written approval of the supervising museum staff person and Dr. Wood. Incompletes are not encouraged.

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Concentrated Internship (50 hours)

The Museum Studies Program offers many options to broaden work experience outside the scheduled coursework. While an internship is one of the most effective ways of gaining in-depth practical experience, a full three-credit graduate-level internship is not desirable or feasible in some cases. For such situations, a Concentrated Internship may be the answer.

These internships allow students to explore areas of interest before committing to a full-scale internship and provide an opportunity to "sample" different museums or different areas within a museum.

Concentrated Internships are designed to be short, intensive, and task-specific experiences. Internship possibilities depend on the availability of specific projects or programs and supervisory personnel. The MPM Museum Studies Program Coordinator keeps an ongoing file of available internships in the area and will assist the student in identifying potential projects or sites, if needed.

Museum Studies students may take a Concentrated Internship in lieu of a required Museum Studies workshop.* The Concentrated Internship may not be substituted for Anthropology 724. Students considering a Concentrated Internship should formally apply to the museum at least one month before they wish to perform this type of internship. To sign up for a Concentrated Internship, you will need the approval of the MPM Museum Studies Program Coordinator and the museum staff person who will supervise the internship. Students should be aware that the Milwaukee Public Museum has special requirements regarding any internship performed at MPM.

Guidelines

  1. One Concentrated Internship requires a minimum of 50 hours of work with a minimum commitment of 5 hours a week.
  2. The student must complete the Concentrated Internship in the course of one semester.
  3. A Concentrated Internship may be taken more than once. However, no more than two may be used to satisfy the Museum Studies Program workshop requirement.
  4. The student may not take more than two Concentrated Internships in one semester.
  5. The student must meet with a museum staff person who agrees to supervise the student's Concentrated Internship and complete the Concentrated Internship Contract detailing mutual roles and responsibilities, including requirements and deadlines.
  6. The student should proceed with the internship, meeting regularly with the supervising museum staff person to discuss progress.
  7. At the completion of the internship (and by the completion date specified on the contract), the student must submit...

    1. a record of hours worked;
    2. a 3 to 5 page paper on the Concentrated Internship, including the student's assessment of what was learned and the contribution of the project to the Museum and/or knowledge of the subject (including illustrations, where applicable).
  8. Based on the paper, a record of completed hours, completion of work described in the contract, and conversations with the student and supervisor, the Museum Studies Program Coordinator will evaluate the Concentrated Internship on a Pass/Fail basis.

If the intern is having problems with the Concentrated Internship, s/he should address the situation by discussing any difficulties with the supervising museum staff person or an MPM museum studies instructor. Alternatives to the termination of the Concentrated Internship should be considered before any action is taken.

Where a Concentrated Internship cannot be salvaged, the Concentrated Internship can be terminated at any time during the semester if the student or supervising museum staff person believes that the student is not making satisfactory progress and/or the supervising museum staff person is not fulfilling his/her obligations to the student.

* Public History students may also take a Concentrated Internship for one credit toward their required internship total. They should register for one credit of 448-701 and complete the Public History Program Memorandum Form. Anthropology students cannot take the Concentrated Internship for credit.

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