Over the past nine months, I had the opportunity to intern with the merchandising department at The Met. As a public relations graduate and an art enthusiast, I am seeking a career path that combines my academic knowledge and passion. This internship allowed me to do so and showed me where my career may take me.
Here, I had a unique opportunity of observing the business side of a nonprofit organization like The Met. As a content strategy intern, I worked on a variety of projects related to The Met Store’s brand strategy, including conducting market research, writing summaries, and presenting my insights to the merchandising team; assisting in organizing digital asset-management database; editing curators’ interview transcripts; reviewing the text of product packaging developed by The Met Store’s licensing partner in China; and more.
One of my favorite projects was conducting research. I worked on five research projects with a focus on best practices among institutional and retail peer brands. Through my research, I gained a deeper understanding of both merchandising trends and marketing strategies. It’s interesting to see how different brands speak to their audiences.
Outside the merchandising department, I also had a variety of opportunities to get involved in the work of the Museum.
Every Friday, at a weekly lunch with my 20-some fellow interns, I participated in the education department’s intern seminar, which invites professionals from different Met departments to present their work, career path, and advice to us. The Met has a strong employee network with experts from various fields—and through this program, I found my mentor and many inspiring people, who have stimulated my professional and personal growth.
Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in The Met Employee Art Show, an biennial event that shows off the many talents of Museum staff. I was hesitant to get involved in this show, as I never expected my work to be displayed in an exhibition—but several people from my team encouraged me to submit my photography. Through this art show, The Met demonstrates its positive environment with room for growth and creativity.
Each time I enter The Met, I feel inspired to expand my knowledge in art to become a more open-minded person. I had the privilege to take a walk around the galleries as part of my lunch break activities. My new favorite artworks include Claude Monet’s Regatta at Sainte-Adresse, the new British Galleries‘ teapot collection, and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Magnolias and Irises.
At The Met, I never felt like I was “just an intern.” I always felt like my opinion was valued. I was encouraged to explore my interests and able to get hands-on experience through a variety of projects. My internship was a meaningful learning experience. It not only gave me a better understanding of my skill set but also showed me how different departments within an art museum operate and connect.