In Friday’s zoom meeting most have mentioned how they have theoretically bounced around until they found the job they intended to be in or have gained enough experience to be in the position they are at now. You gain better connections and relationships with colleagues and guests. You get to know other roles; to be able to give advice or join other events and be aware of what is being discussed. because it is hard to land a job position you want at a museum, the museum’s funding, or just your professional knowledge.

(I am having trouble explaining my ideal museum job, but I will try my best.)

So, for this discussion topic I will share some of the work I am currently doing while learning, then share my thoughts on an ideal museum job/place. Currently for my one year long apprenticeship I have been updating inventory of our collections by re organizing and consolidating shelves to what cultural region they come from or what collection the object is a part of, adding objects to the institutions database, and learning how to make data sheets of cultural workshops surveys, doing some of the label work for our village sites, and learning how to write contracts and do loans. When I think of my ideal museum job. It is being a part of an institution that is well structured. As I have been going through the modules, it seems most museums vary in staff depending on size, finances, and the different variations of museums. If we are hypothetically speaking, I would ideally like to be able to have all the departments needed to run a museum. Like directors, curators, registrars, collections managers, conservators, exhibit designers, etc.

My personal job preference would be to be a history museum Curator, Collections Manager or Museum Educator; to be honest I am still unsure of what I want to do. I would like to be able to represent natural and historical significance while being able to somehow share art, objects, and specimens, without having to extract them from the region or environment. To not harm anything in a damaging way. If it must move, then move the item with precaution. So that further research, preservation, conservation, and exhibition can happen. There may be and I am unaware of them. I think museum institutions should have set spaces to ponder the knowledge you just soaked in while incorporating a place in the museum to find out more information on an object or specimen you found intriguing about an item on display. Such as a library, not necessarily a library full of books but pages pulled from books, writings, and publications on the item, specimen, object, cultural belonging, etc. already. So, guests would not have to do the deep digging, it would already be at the visitors’ fingertips.

My question(s) to my peers, do you already know what job position you want? if you were to go into museum work? What motivated you to want to get into museum studies?

Alutiiq Exhibit in Afognak Corporation, here in Anchorage

6 Thoughts to “Job Discussions”

  1. Arianna Wyanski

    The type of job that I would want at a museum would have to be something that has to do with either archival work or conservator-like work. Both of those fields really interest me and I really feel like I would be able to play my strengths in either of those areas.

  2. Hannah Terwilliger

    HI Savanna!
    Awesome post! I like that you mentioned about the Zoom meeting. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend but I did see a bit of the meeting from the recording. I love of your interests in museum careers and what not. I’m on the same boat about having a bunch of different interests in careers and not being able to choose one. To answer your third question, I got interested and motivated in museum studies when I was in middle school when I volunteered at the Anchorage Museum. I interacted with a lot of museum educators and I was so fascinated with their careers. I had a blast volunteering over there and I’m hoping that I can do an internship someday over there if possible.

  3. Rose Thao

    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with updating the inventory of your museum’s collections. I am of the same sentiment as you in being unsure of what museum job type I would like to engage in. I also like your idea in being able to provide spaces for visitors to ponder what they’ve just learnt and seen at the museum.

  4. MoHagani Magnetek

    Savanna, your apprenticeship sounds amazing and that you will grow a great deal from your experience. I am curious to know what cultural regions you’re working on, if you don’t mind me asking. As to your question regarding motivation to take this class. I didn’t know such class existed until my graduate advisor suggested I take this course for my first semester of my Cultural Anthropology doctoral program. I must say, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made to date because this course is pointing me in the right direction of living some dreams.

    1. Avatar photoSavanna VonScheele

      Hey MoHagani, I do not mind any questions! I have been consolidating shelves to Yup’ik /Cup’ik, Unangax^/Sugpiaq, SLI/Inupiaq, Eyak/Tlingit/Haida/Tsimshian and Athabascan. so that it will be easier for throwback Thursdays, to find objects and it looks more appealing. We do have items in the collections that are not Alaska native and I have been making shelves depending on what it is. I can’t identify where ever object comes from so I have my supervisor helping with that and she will be showing me how to add it into our database Past Perfect.

  5. Angela Linn

    Savanna, I love your idea of having a quiet place to process the information you learn from the exhibits and public programs, while also continuing your learning and discovery in a self-directed way! This is such a smart concept – I keep hearing from the museum “experts” that 21st-century museum visitors want to engage in experiences in museums, not just be told what they should know. Providing an open/public research lab where guests could continue their visit while digging deeper into certain topics, maybe with the guidance of a research assistance, would be a wonderful way to promote those kind of experiences!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.