Museum internship illustrates alternative career plans in classical studies
A classical studies major at The College of Wooster, Amina Hull ’22 wanted to apply her interest in the study of ancient Mediterranean languages and cultures to a career outside of teaching. She became interested in museum curation as a sophomore researcher for Josephine Shaya, associate professor and chair of classical studies and archeology. With her background in classical studies, Hull wanted to focus on Greek and Roman art. She began her search for an internship in this field at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia where she was offered an internship with Ruth Allen, the museum’s curator of Greek and Roman art. With support from an APEX Fellowship, Hull began her work at the Carlos Museum. Hamed Goharipour, assistant professor of urban studies, served as her Fellowship mentor.
“I view my internship as a trial run, and I’m happy to say that curation is something I can see myself loving as a career option.”
—Amina Hull ’22, Intern, Michael C. Carlos Musuem
What interests you most about the work you did?
“The most striking thing about my internship is how varied the work of a curator is. One day, Dr. Allen will ask me to research and write up brief descriptions of the items on display, and the next, I’m working with the communications director to create an Olympics social media campaign. Curation is so much more than just putting on exhibitions. As a result, my day never had a standard schedule. In the beginning, I spent a lot of my time identifying objects from the collection with inscriptions. Afterwards, I created label texts, which are short descriptions of the inscribed objects on display. I also created informational documents about the ancient Olympics, which will go on the Carlos museum’s website.”
How did your fellowship mentor help you to succeed in this position?
“Professor Goharipour sent excellent prompts each week that helped me think very intentionally about my experience. I consider my internship to be somewhat of a trial run to see if curation is an area that I’m interested in before I commit to going to graduate school, so having Professor Goharipour’s guidance in interpreting my experience has been invaluable.”
What are some skills you’ve learned that you see yourself carrying forward in your career?
“During my internship, I had many long-term projects that I needed to balance. I had to learn how to prioritize certain components of each project as well as how to be okay with leaving one project unfinished if another one was more pressing. I suspect that whatever careers I have in the future will have their own suite of long-term projects, so prioritizing is a skill I will want to take with me.”
How has the internship helped to see what’s next for you?
“Because of my internship, I’m happy to say that curation is something I can see myself loving as a career option. The next step for me is to get a master’s and Ph.D. in museum studies, and then I hope to have a job just like Dr. Allen’s.”
Is there anything else you want to share about your APEX Fellowship?
“I am incredibly grateful to APEX for providing me with the support I needed to do this internship. This has been an unbelievable opportunity, one that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and I couldn’t have done it without APEX.”
Posted in Experiential Learning on August 13, 2021.
Related Areas of Study
The languages, literature, history, myths, philosophies, and archaeology of the Ancient MediterraneanMajor Minor