Going abroad to another city without family or friends was an exciting step for Morgan, our London Art Gallery intern, during our Fall 2017 semester. Studying Political Science with a Minor in Art History, she wanted to get a feel of what it would be like to work in a museum. After completing her internship she tells us, “one career path I was thinking of was to eventually become a curator, and this internship is really good exposure since it is showing me more of the tasks people working in the museum industry perform.” In a city with so much history and a variety of museums and art galleries, why wouldn’t you choose London?!
A good question would be what sets apart an Art History Minor from just another student studying abroad? The answer would be the internship. As an intern at The Foundling Museum, Britain's first home for abandoned children that was turned into a museum, Morgan was part of the visitor engagement team and interacts with visitors hands on. Most of her activities involve working with the public, such as gallery stewarding, working the till, surveying and monitoring/helping with some of the events that take place. During her internship she had the opportunity to come up with her own project: she made a timeline of all the Hospital governors and the world events that happened during their election and was able to present it to the volunteers!
We asked Morgan to share a Snapchat of her day, from beginning to end, to give potential interns a taste of life in the City of London.
From Start to Finish
With its fast-paced lifestyle, it’s important to develop rituals to keep your sanity! Waking up early to have breakfast and preparing lunch for the day are Morgan’s daily morning rituals. At her housing at Liberty Court in central London, she would share a kitchen and hall with other Global Experiences participants but have a room and bathroom to herself. “Being abroad in a setting like this really helps you become truly independent, discover more about yourself, and learn more about the your career field. Plus, you get to spend time in an amazing city!” Check out more tips on living in London: “How to Live Like a Local in London”
History of Morgan's Placement
You know you’re a local when you can navigate on the tube with ease! After her quick commute and showing us the fun places around The Foundling Museum, Morgan’s work day began. The Foundling Hospital was founded in 1739 by Thomas Coram and the Royal Charter that set up the hospital has been kept in the museum for visitors. Fun fact: Right next to the Foundling Museum is the children’s charity Coram which continues Thomas Coram’s work by helping the children of London.
Giving us the Full Tour
During Morgan’s quick tour through the museum, she highlighted some original pieces of furniture from the hospital including the Courtroom with its original ceiling still in tact where Governors would hold meetings. The, beautiful artwork was done by William Hogarth, the Founder Governor, and you can spend time and sit to listen to some of Handel’s music in the Gerald Coke Handel Collection Room.
Her supervisors were laid back and let her do little projects on the side too. One of these projects was to make a scavenger hunt around the museum for the young visitors. The volunteers are currently trying out Morgan’s trail to see how it is working out and hopefully they’ll continue to use it! Besides the scavenger hunt, there are always events to help out with. On one occasion a nursery came over and Morgan was able to entertain them and even played Twister with the 3-5 year olds! Who said working in a museum was boring?
After Work Fun
Even though GE interns work 40 hour weeks, there’s still plenty of time for fun in the evenings. Every day the wall in the kitchen of the GE interns gets updated with daily comics and while weekdays can get hectic and it can be tiring to go out every night of the week, the mini citytrips during the weekends Morgan planned with her roommates, in addition to our social events are definitely worth looking forward to!
This particular evening the Global Experiences participants and all the other students living in the Chapter accommodations were invited to a big Welcome Party to meet and socialise with other housing mates! Who doesn’t like free food and free drinks, right?!
Convinced that an internship in London is something you need to do? Perfect! Don’t worry if Art Galleries are not your thing. No matter your career choice take Morgan’s advice, “There is always something to do here. From markets, to sightseeing, to trying new pubs/restaurants, you really cannot get bored in London. Also, I am a huge fan of pizza and Franco Manca has some of the best pizza ever!” Don’t forget to check out Time Out London too, which is free to take at any London Underground tube station. It’s literally your go-to with tons of tips and events around London!
The only question that remains, then, is: What are you waiting for?! There’s an incredible and diverse city out there, waiting for you to explore it; and a long list of employers - in art gallery, business, marketing, psychology and information technology - looking for the perfect intern. Are you ready?