See you later, Alligator

My final week at the museum flew by with the camp craziness. I look back on my experience there with happiness for the opportunity and sadness to have to leave! I am unbelievably thankful for this opportunity. I met so many great people at the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum. I thought it was the perfect experience to have as my first internship. Everyone, especially my supervisor, supported my ideas and helped me along the way. I have now decided to continue to pursue the idea of working in management in a museum, as a result. I am not limiting myself to other options- but I really enjoyed this one! I could not have completed this internship without the Dickinson Grant for interns. My commute (although very long some days) helped me to stay at home before I go abroad in a couple weeks. The Dickinson Grant allowed me to do so and enjoy the internship without stressing about finances. I could not have afforded to drive to Erie every day without it.

My education this summer extended further than learning about the daily business in a children’s museum. I also learned my strengths, weaknesses, and a little about what I want to be doing. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the kids each week and being hands on in their experiences there. However, I don’t think I will pursue an education degree or remain in that area of work. I now am realizing I am more interested in the business aspect of the “museum world”. I also learned, I love to be busy! I was excited once I had projects to constantly work on and things to do, which my supervisor made sure I did.

Besides learning to work with students and the daily responsibilities of the museum, I learned much more from the women I worked with. Ainslie, the Executive Director, taught me the power of connections and keeping in touch with colleagues. Ainslie also showed me some different aspects of running fundraising events and marketing a museum. I think she has amazing skills in these areas. Tami, my supervisor, taught me more than I could probably express in a post. She taught me to never take your title too seriously, she was always willing to help everyone no matter the difference in job description. I really admired this in her. She was an amazing leader and role model. Tami also taught me to go with the flow when it comes to working with kids. She gave me new ideas with handling students who may be challenging in the classroom and embracing each unique personality of a child. Each day I worked with her, whether it be in a camp or the classroom, I could see her genuine belief in every student as an artist and explorer. I aspire to be a similar leader and person as her. Not to mention both are super cool and hilarious 🙂

I will certainly be visiting the children’s museum again. This will not be the end of my communication with them, I hope to come back every year and keep in touch through email. I loved my internship this summer, it was more than I could have ever imagined. The tight knit group and size of the museum allowed me to flourish in my experiences and truly participate in all different areas. It was the perfect little place for me.

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” (Shakespeare)

See you later, Alligator.

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