Full Name: Pamela (Carrye) Simmons
Major(s) and/or Minor(s): I have a double major in Arts History and Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and a minor in Arts Management.
Year: I’m a graduating junior.
Career Time Travel: What did you want to do when you were growing up: Growing up, I went through various stages of desired professions. From ghost hunting to being a ballerina, my interests were all over the place. Other career fields I considered were: business owner, professional football player, chef, writer, and storm chaser.
Title or Role For Internship: Collections Intern.
Organization/Company Name: Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois.
How did you find the position: My aunt’s neighbor is the Exhibit Curator at the museum so after discovering this wonderful connection, I did some serious networking to mention my interest in working at the museum. He was more than happy to give me a very informal interview, which took place in the comfort of his kitchen, after which he offered me the internship.
What does a typical day look like for you: I arrived before the rest of the department to beat traffic, so I worked with the Artifact Proprietor. We would visit various exhibits to keep the artifacts clean and well-preserved. After this I would meet with my supervisor and we’d discuss the day’s schedule which usually consisted of sitting in on meetings or dealing with archives in our storage facilities. Towards the end of the summer, I was tasked with creating an exhibit for member’s night in which all the members of the museum, and the workers, would be able to venture into our storage facilities. Seeing as how the archives are usually off-limits to mostly everyone, it was a huge interest for members and employees alike to visit the collections department. Creating the exhibit was probably the most intense project I’ve ever worked on but it came out as a huge success and is still in archives to this day.
Tell us something you have learned about the industry: With the museum industry, and probably most other professional industries, I learned that college is only a very small part of the world. Once you get into the industry, you get to learn so many new things and meet so many fascinating people. Sometimes your teachings at school don’t prepare you for the industry, sometimes they do. But whether you’re learning on the job or applying your well seasoned skills your daily tasks, being able to work in the industry of your choice is an amazing experience.
What do you wish someone would have told you before this position that can serve as advice to others: I wish someone would have told me to slow down and take the time to truly appreciate my day-to-day activities. The Museum of Science and Industry is a world-renowned organization and I had the incredible opportunity to work there, behind the scenes, which is a luxury only very few have. Looking back on my time, the summer seemed to fly by and I truly wish I could go back and work there again. I had an amazing time at the museum and advise others to accept these opportunities whenever possible because you never know what’s waiting just around the corner.