Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself since I'm a new blogger on YMP. My name is Hassan and I work as the Manager of School and Family Programs at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. I have been keeping up with YMP for a while and then I met Nathan and now here I am.
For my first post I wanted to share how I came to work in the museum field. At AAM this year I encountered a number of students and new members to the museum field in general. Many of them go to AAM to learn more about the museum field, to network, scout out jobs, and gain insight into how they can break in to the field. The question I fielded the most was "how did you get your job"?
This topic is covered greatly on the Museum-L listserv (mostly every year around graduation time) through posts and back and forth banter from museum professionals and students. What worked for me is the year-long internship/volunteer work/free labor I did for a local history museum. I worked in collections and education and recieved a very well rounded experience as a result. I recieved this valuable work experience for free. The museum recieved an extra hand for free. The point is: don't expect to get paid.
There is also a mixture of luck involved meeting the right people; that is where conferences come in to play. I imagine that a lot of "Young Museum Professional" hopefuls also read this blog.
For those of already in jobs I want you to sound off in the comments if you gained your first paying museum job by what you know (as far as experience in an internship or other position) or if you where hired because of who you know...or was it a mixture of both (or something completely different).