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Katie He '11
Katie He '11

Internship at Rubin Museum of Art Exposes Katie He ’11 to Ancient Himalyas

By Allison Eck '12  |  Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted August 11, 2009
Tags Funded Internships Student Internships
The world of modern art comes to mind when students mention their internships at cutting-edge museums. However, Katie He ’11 feels that her internship at the Rubin Museum of Art, which collects Himalayan works from as early as the 2nd century, is just as “hip” as the more offbeat pieces held in other museums. The Rubin explores the artistic and cultural legacy of the Himalayas in a way that makes it both an art museum and a history museum. It also organizes programs and events to encourage a deeper appreciation of art in the Chelsea, New York City, community. 

Katie works for three departments at the museum: Visitors’ Experience, Family Programs, and Communications. Her responsibilities include greeting and informing the public about the museum and its contents, teaching an early childhood art class, and reaching out to the New York City Chinese community. Cooperation with the Chinese community necessitates approaching businesses, community organizations, and non-profits to try to foster more interaction with the museum. Besides the obvious experience she has gained in communication and neighborhood outreach, Katie says that she has doused herself in a fresh knowledge of the Himalayas, Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, and education, among other subjects. Moreover, she receives free admission to other museums in the city. 

The position is also building connections between the concepts she has learned in classes and the art itself. “It’s awesome to be exposed to a form of art that we are not exposed to in the studio,” she says. Katie is a studio art major whose interest in art began with a painting class her freshmen year at Hamilton. Now she is considering a career at a museum, or perhaps a graduate degree in the Fine Arts. 

Katie did not expect her that her summer internship would bring lasting friendships, let alone the bizarre memory of fellow art aficionados breaking a sweat on the baseball field. The museum is part of a group of other museums dedicated to Asian art that form a “league” of baseball teams. The pastime brings together people from many illustrious collections across the city, including the Museum of National History. 

Because her internship is unpaid, Katie applied for and received the Joseph H. Anderson Internship Fund, which provides stipends to students who have secured full-time, unpaid summer positions. The Fund is open to students in all academic majors, intended or declared. She says that the trick to getting a great internship is to look out for opportunities in the most unexpected places. “Get out there and talk to everybody. People you least expect to have relevant advice have relevant advice.”

He is a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School

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