United States of America
Years in the field:
6 – 10 Years
Areas of Expertise
Administrative Support, After-School Programs, Camp Programs, Docent Programs, Education, Explainer/guide, Guest/Visitor Services, Intern Programs, Volunteer Programs, Youth/Teen Programs
There's nothing quite like churning butter for a job interview.
I came to Columbus in 2016 in search of museum work; I've volunteered or worked as an informal educator at several historic sites since I was a teenager, and figured that the state capitol would provide more opportunities to a moderately recent graduate with her M.A. in Public History. I did not expect to end up working in a science center, and I certainly did not anticipate that I would learn as much or have as much fun as I have in the museum world.
My background is centered on living history and work in open-air museums; through my experience I have worked very closely with part-time staff, volunteers, and interns. In graduate school I worked as a Teaching Assistant in the History Department and studied historic preservation and adaptive reuse. I took the skills I learned into maintaining a historic homestead in Dayton, Ohio where I managed volunteers, interpretive programming, and budgeting for that site. I really enjoy providing educational experiences for museum guests, but I believe my strongest skill set lies within helping volunteers and interns reach their fullest potential.
While at COSI I have set off liquid nitrogen bottle rockets; I've coordinated the scheduling and reservations for the largest outreach program in the country; and I've entertained thousands of schoolchildren weekly in a giant bat costume while explaining echolocation. As a reservationist, I had the pleasure of managing the interns within the Education team, and as a volunteer manager, I worked with all interns and work study students throughout the institution.
One of my strongest assets is my ability to take my unique background and incorporate what I've learned into thoughtful, meaningful experiences for others. Which brings me back to butter churning -- it turns out that if you add something of yourself to your work (a love of history, a curiosity about learning something new, and a desire to be just a little bit silly) you can have rewarding experiences throughout your career.