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How I Got My Internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art

by Eleanor Gartner '12

Posted September 16, 2011
Tags Student Stories

Ever since enrolling in my AP Art History class my junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the arts world. After having a variety of art-related internships the past three summers, working at the Richard Gray Gallery and the Art Institute in Chicago, and the Rubin Museum and New York City Opera, I decided this past December that I wanted to try to work at my most favorite museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art.
 

I found the internship initially through an online search of New York City museums. I ended up applying for internships to a few of the places I found on the initial search, as well as with the Whitney. The application included a resume, official transcript, letters of recommendation, a short statement on which departments I was interested in working in, as well as one page on why I was interested in interning at the Whitney. I was able to put my application together quickly. I had already gone over my resume with the Career Center a few months before, and had my letters of recommendation and transcript on hand. For the two written pieces, I did a lot of web research on the museum’s history, past exhibitions that I had visited, as well as the descriptions of the various departments.

The next step of the application process was the in-person interview. I found out at the end of February that I was selected to move onto the interview round. I went to New York over Spring Break and met with the head of Human Resources at the Whitney. The interview consisted mainly of questions asking why I would be an asset to the museum staff, why I wanted to intern at the museum, as well as discussing the past internships I’ve had and what I’ve learned from them. After a month, I received a call from the head of Human Resources telling me that I received an internship in the Development department.
 

Simultaneous to the application process for the museum, I was also applying for summer funding from the Career Center. I went to one of the funding information sessions early on in spring semester and found out that I was eligible for a number of the offered funds. I applied to the Kevin W. Kennedy ’70 Internship for the Arts Fund, as well as The Richard & Patsy Couper Grant. I interviewed for both funds, and a day after I found out about my internship with the Whitney, I found out that I had received funding from the Kennedy fund as well. 

For more stories like this, visit the Career Center homepage.

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