This is the first interview for Wright State University. This alumnus graduated in 2014 and currently works as an Archivist. Thank you for answering these questions!
Why did you choose Wright State University?
It was close to home and affordable for me.
What was your favorite class and/or professor and why?
I loved any preservation classes I took, including objects and archives – and those professors were my favorites.
What particular skills were taught in the program?
Archival management, collections management, exhibition techniques, oral history, basic conservation techniques, disaster planning, public speaking, professional development, research/writing
Did you complete a thesis or capstone project? If so, what was your topic?
Yes, I completed a capstone project. I researched a local philanthropist’s donation to the institution (including photography) and presented my findings to the philanthropists’ family for their review. I also presented on the topic.
Where were you and your classmates in your career? Just out of undergrad, or coming from an entry-level museum position, or coming from outside of the field, etc.?
Most just out of undergrad. A few non-traditional students, but none who had worked in museums before.
Related, who would you recommend your program for? Any particular focus or for those interested in theory vs. application?
I would recommend the program for those who have just graduated undergrad. It would be difficult to come back to it after years out of school. There are 2 focuses available – archives and museums. You can take both tracks if you wish (I did); the first year was more focused on theory, and then the internship and second year were focused on application.
Was housing provided for grad students or did you find your own housing and was it a challenge?
Found own housing, not a challenge since I was local.
Did you or any of your peers work while pursuing their degree?
A few did. I was a graduate assistant but didn’t do any other outside work.
Any advice for those looking into graduate school and beginning a career in museums?
Have a very good “why” for wanting to do it. The pay in the field is not comparable to other job opportunities, so you have to be passionate about what you are doing. Also, know that grad school is a time and money investment – but it is well worth it if you put in the effort.