Laura Mason

Concentrations/Minors: Public Policy and Museum Studies minor

 

Why did you decide to pursue the museum studies minor?
I saw publicity about the museum studies minor around campus the year that the minor became available. I have always been interested in museums and I would love to work for one in the future, so I went to an informational session, and I really liked what I heard. I never had an interest in curating, rather I would like to work with the educational or public progarmming aspect of museums, so this sounded like a perfect program for me.

How did the museum studies minor impact your other fields of study?
I am a public policy major, and being interested in the public programming or public outreach part of museum studies made me look at my degree differently. Public policy is a very broad field, so as a student of it there are many different areas I could choose to focus in on. Because of my minor, I wanted to find the public outreach and community development aspect of public policy, and thus find a way to blend my major and minor, even though they sound very different.

How was your internship experience?
I had a great internship experience. I interned in the education department at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the internship requirement is a really integral part of the minor, because it forces you to get hands-on experience at an institution, which is great when you are looking for jobs after college, and also encourages you to apply the theories and concepts you have been learning in class to a real world setting.

How did the virtual exhibit project from Museums 301 help reveal the interdisciplinarity of museums to you?
The virtual exhibit project made me realize how many different parts there are to designing an exhibit, as well as how many different types of skills are needed or can be useful when working in a museum in general.

How do you feel your life at the university and beyond has been and will be affected by pursuing a museum studies minor?
The minor has allowed me to become involved with a number of great people and institutions during my time at the University of Michigan. I would really enjoy working for a museum and being able not only to impact the staff, but also the community that institution serves, and I hope the minor can help me achieve that goal in the future.

Why would you recommend a student to pursue a museum studies minor?
I think pursuing a museum studies minor is a great way to gain knowledge about the museum field. It is structured to give students practical, professional experience, and a solid foundation to base their work in a museum on. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the field, it is a great way to gain training in the field that you can use to go on to grad school, or simply to work in a museum.

Where do you see museums fitting into your future?
In the future I definitely want to work in a museum. Hopefully, I will work in multiple museums.