Museum Victoria Internship, Melbourne, Australia, through Global Challenge

Ellie’s project at the Museum Victoria was the ‘Cultural Artefact as a Cultural Stereotype’ in which she assessed the existing collections, as well as collections housed by other museums throughout Australia and globally, to see where the Museum compared.

Ellie also looked at developing the collection during her internship and made recommendations based on her work of the future directions of the project and the possible artefacts which could compliment or add to the existing objects: "I was able to have access to the museum collections, research within and outside the museum, get involved with object acquisitions, as well as receive suitable catalogue training."

Ellie’s activities during the internship included:

  • attending meetings
  • going on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour
  • attending staff seminars and lectures
  • testing and developing a new app

Ellie’s main achievements were "writing two narratives on the collection for the museum’s online collections website" as well as writing a literature review for the topic. Ellie also conducted the research for a new acquisition, and presented her conclusions on the project to the department.

Ellie said that the internship was an overall incredible experience, but one thing in particular she enjoyed was "the professional, yet friendly atmosphere in the museum" which meant there was collaboration between projects so Ellie got to hear about other work throughout the department.

Ellie was able to see the behind the scenes work which really opened her eyes to the wide variety of jobs involved with working in a museum, which she said has "been inspiring when thinking about my future career."

The main skills that Ellie developed were professionalism and an understanding of the working environment, as well as key museum based skills including the specific Emu catalogue training she received.

Ellie now has a better understanding of the way in which museums work, an improved technique of historical writing, and an improved sense of interpersonal professional relations.

On a personal level Ellie says: "I have furthered my independence and organisational skills by being the other side of the world, out of my comfort zone and having to be prepared for a 9-5 working week."

Ellie also feels as a result of the internship she will now be able to trust her instincts, follow her own initiative and have belief in her work – "having this confidence in my academic work has been really motivational in these first few weeks of university."

Ellie feels that the internship will help her when applying for future jobs as she now has a better understanding of how museums work.

Ellie believes that "the EMu training and overall experiences I gained from this summer will make me stand out from the crowd" she also has a better understanding of the scope and variety of jobs that are available: "this internship has allowed me a valuable insight into my job prospects."