(Someone on the AAM LinkedIn group suggested this entry, so here it is! I am going to ask everyone that blogs with us to write one, since I love asking people how they got into the museum world)
So this time two years ago, I thought I’d be going to law school in fall. Thank the dear lord that didn’t happen. A fabulous professor took me out to lunch and convinced me that the world (specifically the Anishinaabe community) didn’t need anymore lawyers, but other educated people with diversified skill sets. I was a little sad at first (wish I could have sold my LSAT score to someone!) but I decided to explore other options. I never even thought of museums until another professor told me about a fellowship program being offered between my university and the Minnesota Historical Society.
Once I got into the fellowship, it was pretty obvious that the museum world was where I should be. Less insular than academia, because we deal with the public (people see our work!) More fun than law. Still meaningful. Our fellowships came with great internships, and I was lucky to land in a department where I found amazing mentors and inspiration. Unlike internships I have done in the past, they really seemed to want to teach me what they knew, and they were also interested in hearing what I have to say (which must be trying at times.) Then they gave me a job where I get to help make an exhibit. Pretty great opportunity fresh out of school.
I was kind of stupid for not thinking about going into museum work earlier. I spent three long, hot summers doing costumed interpretation at MHS’s Historic Fort Snelling and a few years on Walker Art Center’s Teen Arts Council. I had already been doing the work for almost 10 years, before I ever decided to work in museums.
I also have rock star parents that raised me to be a nerd. As a kid, my parents had to take me to the planetarium, the zoo or the art museum weekly and my mom had so many swingy pendulum drawings from the Science Museum that there was no more room on the fridge. My dad read to me every night from when I was born until I started reading to him when I was three. Thanks Mom and Dad!