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Syracuse University Library Science student Abby Houston is interning at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Cincinnati, OH.

Getting Ready for My Internship at the Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) describes itself as a multi-museum complex … and complex it truly is.

I have not yet officially started my individual internship, but it’s easy to tell from one day of group orientation that this summer will be incredibly interesting, rewarding, and maybe even a little chaotic.

The Journey to Cincy

Leading up to orientation and the beginning of my internship, I wrapped up my hectic spring semester, relocated to Kentucky (where I’m originally from) with my two cats, and managed to fit in a mini-vacation. Taking a couple weeks to spend time with family and wind down with some new books in the ever-hot-and-humid Kentucky sun was just what I needed to reboot after my most difficult semester yet.

One of the courses I took in the iSchool this past semester was IST 628, the Organization and Management of Archival Collections. I expect my experience processing a collection in this course, as well as many others before it, to be useful throughout the course of my internship. As I’m working with the Audio Visual Curator to process large photographic collections, I hope the knowledge I gained in 628 will give me a solid foundation from which I can truly begin to expand my archival skills toolkit.

Great Expectations

When my internship begins, I’ll be commuting a little over an hour a few times a week to the thriving city of Cincinnati. Orientation certainly made me even more excited to be at CMC and in the city at large.

Most of my previous experience has been within academic library and art museum settings. While part of CMC lives in the breath-taking Union Station that is being restored to all its art deco glory, it’s still completely out of my comfort zone to be at a museum whose mission and collection has a much broader scope.

I’ll be surrounded by paleontologists, zoologists, archaeologists, historians, librarians and more at this institution. Art museums and libraries have always been my home, but I am beyond thrilled to have this new opportunity to learn from such a wide variety of experts and see how such a complex machine flourishes.

Connecting with Fellow Interns

I also hope to connect with other interns and professionals throughout the city this summer. One way I plan to do this is by participating in Cincinnati Intern Network Connection (CINC) which connects interns and other professionals throughout the tri-state area through various programs and events.

It’s crucial to build a network for both professional and personal reasons. While we may be interns currently, we will be the next generation of library, museum, and archive leaders.

Ultimately, I’m trying to get comfortable with the uncomfortable this summer because that’s truly when you learn the most. Let me know in the comments how you handle uncomfortable (and exciting) experiences!

Abby Houston

Abby Houston

Abby is entering her third year as an LIS student at the iSchool and an Art History MA student at the College of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her first two years, she worked at the Special Collections Research Center and the Learning Commons in Bird Library and now primarily serves as a teaching assistant for HOA 105 and 106. In her spare time, Abby enjoys being in the sun and spending time with her two cats.

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