I started applying to internships in January and continued through mid-April. Art-related internships are extremely selective and anyone interested in the field should know that. I was extremely disappointed while I was applying to museum and gallery internships: I received rejections and more rejections. I started giving up towards the end of March. I was sure I was gonna go back to Bulgaria for the summer and not be able to gain any experience in the field that I wanted to.
I talked to my parents and explained the situation. My dad suggested calling and asking for advice one of our family friends who lives in New York since she has extensive experience and love for the art world.
At this point I was very skeptical that I would find an internship. I called our family friend and asked her what to do. She told me to send my documents to MWPAI and referred me to one of her good friends who works at MWPAI’s Museum of Art. I sent my resume and afterwards three recommendations.
MWPAI notified me via email that they wanted to interview me. At that point I already had an offer from a gallery, however, the living expenses associated with that internship were too high. I did the interview with MWPAI. And I was extremely disappointed with my performance. I was sure that I was not going to get the internship.
However, I received an email with an offer for a full-time summer internship at MWPAI’s Museum of Art. I was walking to class and I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. I knew that the size of the museum was exactly what I wanted, the ability to move from department to department over the course of my internship was ideal for a first internship in the art world.
In the end things worked out. So if I could give a piece of advice to people looking and applying to internships I would say that it is a rollercoaster. You’ll get rejections–that’s inevitable–but don’t give up because things will work out. Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and don’t worry because fate is doing its job. And at the end you’ll get that offer letter.
And after you receive the offer letter, you still have a lot to do. Figuring out living expenses, transportation and etc. is not going to be easy. Getting adjusted to your internship and not living at home is very hard but with time you get used to it. I had a really hard time transitioning, even harder than when I started at Dickinson. But a month later, things were better and I don’t regret any part of this experience. It makes you stronger.
Be open, social, and understanding and you’ll have the best experience in the world!